Libraries are as relevant as ever

The Mercury News

” My two days attending the Internet Librarian conference in Monterey last week reminded me of something that a lot of people already know. Despite predictions that they would be rendered obsolete by technology, libraries remain a vital part of our communities.If anything, they’re more important than ever as I reminded attendees when I addressed the group. Libraries encourage and help satisfy curiosity and the search for truth and meaning. Along with schools, the arts and the news media, they offer our citizens not just knowledge, but entertainment, understanding and the critical thinking skills we need to make good personal and collective decisions in how we live our lives and govern our collective selves.Even in some of the smallest and most remote parts of our country, there are libraries where we can expand our horizons or learn practical skills. But – as I learned at the conference – libraries do more than that. In some cases, they are places where people can not just absorb knowledge but create their works of literature or – for those libraries equipped with 3D printers or workshops, objects as well.In a world where the divide between haves and have nots is growing wider, libraries are committed to accessibility. Jeanne Holm, deputy chief information officer and senior adviser to the mayor of Los Angeles told the conference about how libraries in her city have beefed up their WiFi signals so that homeless and other students without at-home access, can go online to do their homework at night from near the library, even after it’s closed.”

Escondido library to be run by Maryland company

From Dan Diego Reader

” On October 18th, dozens of Escondido residents rallied one last time to keep their public library from being outsourced to an East Coast company. The library belongs to the community, they told the city council; it should not be run by spreadsheet. But in the end, cost-cutting won out, 4-1.”We’re not going to outsource our police or fire,” said mayor Sam Abed. The city expects to save $400,000 annually, with “at least half a million in pensions,” Abed said. “We must do this to be a financially viable city.”The vote affirms a ten-year contract with Maryland-based Library Systems & Services. The proposal was first presented months ago as a five-year term, and has been strongly opposed all along.”The contract rate steadily increases each year,” said resident Liz White at the meeting. “No wonder it went from five to a whopping ten-year term.” White mentioned a scathing performance report by an Oregon county, where she said the company was taking 30 to 35 percent profit.Councilmember Michael Morasco said the longer-term contract will save the city money: 4 percent vs. 3 percent. Library advocates fear major staff and service cuts and a collection not up to par. The outsourcing is opposed by the Escondido Library Board of Trustees, Library Foundation, and American Library Association.”

Alameda County Library System Hacked

From Fremont Patch

” Those who patronize the Alameda County libraries may have had their personal information compromised.KCBS reported Wednesday that customers received an email stating the library’s records were hacked.”An email to library members says officials were contacted last month by someone claiming to have information from the library system’s entire database of users,” the news station reported. “That contact included the names and addresses of about three dozen library patrons. The person also threatened to sell the information.”

Towards a Fine-Free Future: A Funder Tackles a Barrier to Public Library Engagement

From Inside Philanthropy

” Recent coverage of public library giving can be summarized in a single word: access.Funders including the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Simons Foundation envision U.S. public libraries as open community spaces fostering inclusivity and collaboration, devoid of what economists would call “barriers to entry.”But what about the financial barriers facing the precise demographic these funders aim to reach—namely poor kids?At first, this seems like a strange question. After all, public libraries are free, right? Not so fast, says the New York City-based JPB Foundation.On October 19th, the city’s three library systems—the New York Public Library, which serves Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island, the Queens Library and the Brooklyn Public Library—forgave all fines for children 17 and under and unblocked their cards thanks to the foundation, which made a $2.25 million donation to cover the revenue shortfall.By funding the library system’s surprisingly costly amnesty program, JPB calls to light a problematic and age-old obstacle to public library engagement: library fines.”

Whittier has had bad luck getting money for a new library; why some put hope in a Nov. 7 ballot measure

From Whittier Daily News

” For the last 15 years, Whittier city officials have unsuccessfully tried to come up with money for a new library.They’ve since abandoned the idea and instead, on Nov. 7, will ask voters to approve a $22 million bond that would provide most of the $25 million needed to renovate the 59-year-old Central Library.If Measure L is passed, local property owners would pay $24 per $100,000 assessed valuation. A typical owner — for example — whose home is assessed at $330,000, would pay $81 a year over the next 15 years. A two-thirds vote is needed for approval.”

Yolo County announces new librarian

From The daily Democrat

” A West Sacramento man has been appointed as Yolo County’s new librarian.The Yolo County Board of Supervisors announced this week that Mark Fink, 50, would be taking over the position to replace Patty Wong’s previous position held by Interim County Librarian Chris Crist.According to a report from Yolo County Spokeswoman Beth Gabor, Fink has an impressive resume that made the decision easy.“Yolo County is fortunate to have hired a county librarian of such high caliber, and with a diverse career background,” said Oscar Villegas, who represents District 1, surrounding West Sacramento and Clarksburg. “We have every confidence that Mark will continue to build upon the solid foundation that has been established throughout our county library system.” A local, Fink currently serves as a District 1 representative on the Yolo County Library Advisory Board. He is also the deputy director of library services with the Solano County Public Library.”

Solano County: Fairytales at their source can be a bit Grimm

From Daily Republic

” Night is coming sooner, the leaves are crisping and turning brown, and the air is cooling. It must be time for fall.Traditionally, it’s always been something of a time of reflection. There would be a celebration of a successful harvest, but also a time to brace oneself for the hardship of winter. It’s a time of change, but also a part of an endless cycle. It’s a little paradoxical that way.In that spirit, I felt it was the perfect time to read something that’s both new and old, or at the very least, new to me. I picked up a copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales; I was familiar with a large number of the stories, but had never actually gone to the source.Somewhere along the line I had gotten the idea that the original stories were much more grim, some-pun intended, and that just made it seem like an even more perfect fit for this Halloween season. But to be honest, I had no idea what to expect. In fact, many of the stories I knew only from the various homages or retellings we see scattered around pop culture. In that way, getting to see them in their original forms was a little jarring, like seeing a stranger’s face that looks so much like an old acquaintance.”

Watsonville: Encouraging young readers

From The Register-Pajaronian

” To her friends, family and coworkers, Deanne Pernell was an energetic, caring teacher with a passion for teaching young people to read, and a particular affinity for bilingual education.When she died in 2014 at age 59, Pernell’s loved ones began looking for a way to memorialize her.On Friday, a group that included teachers and librarians gathered in Watsonville Public Library to unveil the Deanne Pernell Reading Mentors Program, which pairs young readers with volunteers in six-week sessions geared to build reading and comprehension skills.
The program is funded by a $50,000 gift from Pernell’s father, Godfrey Pernell.“She was the best person I have ever known,” Pernell said. “This is an opportunity to help with something that she was passionate about.”Community Foundation Santa Cruz County is managing the bequest.Also called “Reading Buddies,” the program is slated to launch in Fall 2018.The library will recruit volunteers to help with the free six-week program, who will be paired with children grouped according to their grade level. The volunteers will then be tasked with reading a book to the kids, and with helping them as they take turns reading. Training will be provided.Participants will receive the book they read at the end of the program. Volunteer mentors must commit to come on weekends for six weeks.”

How a better library can change a child’s life

From CNN

” In 1999, Rebecca Constantino began doing a study at schools across Los Angeles.She had just completed a Ph.D. in language, literacy and learning, and she was analyzing children’s access to books in affluent and low-income communities.One day, she saw something that stopped her in her tracks.”I was at a school in a wealthy community, and they were getting rid of almost brand-new books because they didn’t have room in the library,” Constantino said.She put the books in her car and drove them to a school in an underserved community. Shocked by the disparity she saw in public school libraries, Constantino became determined to bridge the gap.”School libraries are not funded well, and sometimes not funded at all,” Constantino said. “If you’re a child in an underserved community, you’re left with boring, outdated, tattered, uninteresting books.” Word spread about Constantino’s work, and books began piling up, literally.”

Long Beach library hosts Drag Queen Story Hour, controversy ensues

From Press Telegram

” A photograph showing a horned drag queen reading a picture book to children at a Long Beach public library event is one of the latest images to generate controversy.The person shown in the image is Xochi Mochi, who posted the photo on her Instagram account on Saturday afternoon, the same day Long Beach Public Library’s online calendar shows an event called Drag Queen Story Hour was scheduled to have taken place at Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library in North Long Beach.Commentators in conservative news and social media have since attacked Xochi Mochi’s appearance. World Net Daily on Monday published an article headlined “drag-queen demon reads to kids at Michelle Obama library.” The American Conservative ran a post Tuesday under the words “Children’s story time in Weimer America,” a likely reference to the anything-goes culture prevailing in interwar Germany before the rise of the Nazi Party.Locally, CBS 2 news covered the reaction to the event in the context of a Southern California political race after GOP congressional candidate Omar Navarro tweeted a picture of Xochi Mochi below the words, “Demonic teachings alive in Long Beach. I’m outraged they would allow this.”

Carlsbad: Dove Library to host human trafficking awareness event

From The Coast News group

” Modern Day Slavery in San Diego County, a free public event providing insight on human trafficking, is scheduled for Oct. 21 at the Dove Library in Carlsbad. The event will be emceed by Kaye Van Nevel of Soroptimist International Vista.Attendees will watch a screening of a 20-minute documentary film, “Chosen,” which highlights two American girls who were betrayed by men they thought were their boyfriends and exploited into a life of trafficking.Van Nevel will lead a discussion with panelists Summer Stephan, district attorney of San Diego County, and Jaimee Johnson, a counselor and founder of Sister of the Streets. The League of Women Voters North County San Diego, American Association of University Women, Soroptimist, Sisters of the Streets and North County Life Line are hosting the event. Each of the nonpartisan groups aims to educate individuals on issues of public interest.Van Nevel said the event is about human trafficking, but specifically the sexual exploitation of women, girls and boys. She said “Chosen,” portrays what can happen to any girl in the United States.“It shows how easily girls are lured to a life of sex trafficking,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what ethnicity or educational level or economic strata, it covers all of that.” According to Van Nevel, any girl can be a target and 80 percent of the girls and women who are trafficked in the United States are citizens of the country. Van Nevel also said she hopes that people attend this event to learn more about this epidemic.”

Man Threatens to Shoot People at Alpine Library With Toy Gun

From NBC San Diego

” A man armed with a toy gun was pointing it at people in the crowded Alpine Library and threatening to shoot them Saturday afternoon, according to the Sheriff’s Department.”I thought I was dead,” one of the people in the library said. “I thought I was a dead man. And then he starts pulling the trigger and up to that point and I’m thinking I’m going to be dead, and then I’m thinking it’s going to be like an airsoft gun or a co2 gun.”Before deputies arrived the suspect, identified as Jack Wadel, 60, threatened to pull a handgun out of his backpack. In an attempt to keep him from grabbing the gun, a person in the library tackled him. The person sustained minor injuries to his left eye. No one else was injured in the incident.”

San Francisco Public Library partners with Kanopy, a free streaming platform with 30,000 films

From SF Gate

“The San Francisco Public Library is further embracing technology this week as it debuts Kanopy, an online streaming platform that will allow library guests to watch more than 30,000 documentaries, classic films and rare independent releases. Earlier this year, Kanopy, which is based in San Francisco, introduced the program at the New York Public Library and the Los Angeles Public Library.To use Kanopy, all users need is a valid library card (which San Francisco residents can learn more about here) and an internet connection. Each card holder can stream Kanopy online, on Roku, iOS, and Android (and soon, Apple TV) to watch up to eight films per month on the SFPL’s dime. Film credits are then re-upped on the first of the month.”

Richmond Tool Library to celebrate one year this Sunday

From Richmond Confidential

“Richmond residents look to the Richmond Tool Library to learn about and access almost any tool you can think of, free of charge. The small room in the Recreation Complex has everything from rakes to circular saws. Manager Guadalupe Morales said the “original mission was to be there for the folks who need the tools, whether that’s a park cleanup or helping clean their own home.” And this weekend, the library has reached its one-year mark, so staff and community members are reflecting on successes and challenges — and looking toward the future.Tomorrow’s anniversary event is also a chance to celebrate the success of the RTL’s $3,000 crowdfunding campaign, money that will be used to replace tools that were stolen during a burglary in early September.Most of the RTL’s patrons are folks with some prior gardening or construction experience, but after getting their sea legs, library staff are looking to expand their clientele.
But Morales, who was away at the time of the burglary, says that the break-in has been a sort of blessing.”

Sacramento: More Than Books

From Sacramento Magazine

” Connecting the homeless to housing and other services requires meeting them where they’re at—and in many cases, that place is the public library. Sacramento’s libraries are among the few spaces where people without a stable place to live can readily access the internet to search for housing or employment, recharge their phone or simply find refuge from the daily grind of living on the streets.Rivkah Sass, executive director of the Sacramento Public Library, believes that libraries are uniquely positioned to serve the homeless because everyone is welcome there, regardless of circumstance.“We’re this special organism. We serve everybody,” says Sass. “The library is the heart of the community. We really are the last little bastion of democracy in action because anybody can use us. You can walk in the door and we are free and open and accessible to anybody.”Sacramento Steps Forward, a nonprofit agency whose mission is to help connect the homeless to housing and other resources, has even assigned an outreach person to downtown’s central library, a practice that the organization’s executive director, Ryan Loofbourrow, says is common in large and midsize cities.”

Woodland library puts another Youth Rally in the books

From Daily Democrat

” Rhea Gardner wants teens to stop thinking a library is only for books. As the teen service librarian, Gardner is reaching out to local youths and showing them what the Woodland Public Library is offering.Continuing its second year, Gardner and her team hosted the Yolo Youth Ralley: arts and maker edition. The year’s focus was to inspire creativity in teens through several avenues. Teens could sign up for four of the 10 workshops available. Some included: makeup 101 with a beauty artist, laser cutting for woodworking and how to use a 3-D printer.
More than 30 teens participated in the Saturday program hosted from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Leake Room. Enrollment costs were kept low, only $10, and included lunch. Gardner said waivers and discounts were offered to ensure anyone who wanted to participate could.Down at the library’s basement level, a group of teens stood on their yoga mats, listening to direction from Yoga Instructor Minakhi Sarma. Inside, more youths soldered circuit boards, participated in photography lessons or created designs to print onto shirts.Across in the Leake Room, Gardner was preparing for a painting session. She quickly painted her own design of a cherry blossom tree to give an example to for the incoming class.”

Star Wars and cosplay rule at Santa Clara Library Comic Con

From The Mercury News

” A quiet place normally filled with books turned into a buzzing wonderland of robots and “Star Wars” icons and princesses Saturday at the Santa Clara Library’s second annual Comic Con.The event featured Bay Area artists, comic book shop owners, cosplayers and authors, who all helped to turn make believe into reality for a day. It was an opportunity for hundreds of families to experience a community-based Comic Con event, according to organizers. Attendees bonded with people who, like them, enjoy the wonders of comics.Jin Di Giordano, 28, of Vallejo, dressed up as Padmé Amidala, a fictional human character in the Star Wars franchise who was married to Anakin Skywalker.“I like that strangers will see you and they just know you because they know the character,” said the software developer. “Usually I like to cosplay with people that I relate to on some level. You meet new friends that way.” “And I feel like I look awesome,” she added.”

Philanthropist backs adding housing to rebuilt Menlo Park library

From The Mercury News

” A plan to rebuild Menlo Park’s downtown library could come with housing.Mayor Kirsten Keith announced last week that local philanthropist John Arrillaga, who’s offered to cover half of the library construction costs, supports the housing idea.Keith and Councilman Rich Cline — her colleague on a library rebuild subcommittee — and City Manager Alex McIntyre met with Arrillaga in McIntyre’s office on Sept. 19.“I asked about having housing on top of the library and he said, ‘Yes, that’s great. Let’s do it,’ Keith said at the council’s Sept. 26 meeting. “He’s eager to work with us and we’re moving forward. … It was a very good meeting, it was very positive.” Keith said this week that details such as the number of housing units, whether they would be rentals and what income levels they should be tailored to still need to be worked out in additional discussions and future council meetings. She said the plan could set a precedent that other Peninsula cities might follow.”

Old bus station to become a modern $39 million library in Riverside

From My News LA

” The library destined to replace Riverside’s existing downtown repository will feature modern attractions intended to draw residents from all walks of life — and bear a design that can change over time, city officials said Friday.“Modern day libraries not only spur a love of reading and provide all of our children with access to the Internet, but they also spur interest in technology and the crafts, and provide job seekers and entrepreneurs with resources for success,” said Mayor Rusty Bailey. “They offer valuable public spaces for community building and life-long learning.”The Riverside City Council on Tuesday voted 5-1 — with Councilman Chuck Conder opposed and Councilman Andy Melendrez abstaining — in favor of the $39.69 million Main Library Project, slated for completion in 2020 at 3911 University Ave.“This project is going to improve the quality of life for Riverside residents, while simultaneously setting the stage for a major economic development project,” Councilman Jim Perry said. “The fact that we are accomplishing this on the site of an old bus station that frequently generated complaints from nearby residents is a huge bonus.”The 42,329-square-foot library will be elevated, featuring an arcade platform beneath it where visitors can gather for readings, book signings, or just relax outdoors, according to officials.”

Breathing Troubles? 4 San Francisco Libraries Have Filtered Air

From San Francisco Patch

” San Francisco city officials said today they are offering four library branches with filtered air for those seeking respite from the poor air quality caused by several North Bay wildfires.The main branch at 100 Larkin St., the Chinatown branch at 1135 Powell St., the Mission Bay branch at 960 Fourth St. and the Glen Park branch at 2825 Diamond St. are available, according to office of Mayor Ed Lee.The Bay Area Air Quality Management District earlier today issued a smoke advisory because of the wildfires, which have burned tens of thousands of acres in Napa and Sonoma Counties, and this afternoon issued advisory and Spare the Air alert, calling the pollution levels “unprecedented.”

Sacramento : Special California library brings books to the blind


” Every day, Karen Parsegian walks down the stairs from her apartment to her mailbox with a bit of expectant joy in her step.“It’s like Christmas every time I go to the mailbox,” she said.Before 2002, she was a voracious reader and a member of a book club. That was the year a childhood injury intensified. In a matter of a few weeks, she went from driving to totally blind.“I cried like a baby the day they put that cane in my hand,” Parsegian said. “You feel vulnerable. You feel exposed. You can’t do anything the way you used to.”Soon after she lost her vision, she was told about The Braille and Talking Book Library. The free service is a lifeline to more than 9,000 people across Northern California who otherwise would not be able to read a book.
“It’s the best kept secret in northern California. It really is. It’s a treasure,” Parsegian said. “This is one of the best reasons I’ve been in a great mood, and I have a pretty good attitude.”
From their head office in Downtown Sacramento, employees and volunteers send out thousands of books to people in 48 Northern California counties.”

Design OK’d for downtown Riverside’s new $40-million library

From Press Enterprise

” The design for a $40-million main library in downtown Riverside is back on track.The Riverside City Council voted 5-1 Tuesday, Oct. 3, to approve the design for a three-story oblong building with a prominent front window. The city will move $9.6 million in Measure Z funds from police headquarters to construction of the library.The vote came just under a month after the same proposal failed to get the four votes required by the city charter.This time, the proposal had the support of City Councilman Jim Perry, who previously opposed it, and of Councilman Steve Adams, who was appointed Sept. 18 to fill a seat that was vacant when the first vote was taken.Earlier, Perry was concerned about taking the money from the Riverside Police Department, where it was set to be used for a new detention facility.“After meeting with staff and representatives of the Police Department, I was convinced that we can move forward,” Perry said by phone Thursday, Oct. 5. “This has been such a controversial issue for so many years. It started well before I was on the council. … Hopefully, when people see the finished product, they will be happy with it.”Councilman Chuck Conder remained opposed to the plan’s price tag. He named several prominent local architects who he said told him they could build the library for significantly less.”

Sacramento Archives Crawl will celebrate the city’s quirk and oddities

From Sactown Magazine

” City historian Marcia Eymann shows tour participants the 1949 “Casey at the Bat” mural that once hung at Edmonds Field, home of the Sacramento Solons baseball team.In honor of National Archives Month, four local institutions will display rare artifacts and treasures from their collections for the seventh annual Sacramento Archives Crawl on Oct. 7.
During the free event, the California State Archives, Center for Sacramento History, Sacramento Public Library and California State Library will lead visitors on tours of their facilities, including temperature-controlled rooms where artifacts are kept under lock and key. This year’s theme “It Came from the Archives?!” pays homage to the Northern California’s unusual relics.“A lot of people think that archives tend to have serious documents and we do have those,” says Dylan McDonald, deputy city historian at the Center for Sacramento History and a coordinator of this year’s crawl.”

San Diego library system launches literacy program for young children


” The city of San Diego library system Monday launched a literacy program designed to increase the number of books that parents and other caregivers read to young children.
Library patrons who want to participate in the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program can register online or at any city library location. Small rewards are offered when parents, caregivers and children hit milestones on the way to reading 1,000 books.”Experiencing books at a very young age opens up so many opportunities for children — opportunities that pay off well into adulthood,” said Misty Jones, the city’s library director. “By adding the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten early literacy program at all 36 San Diego Public Library locations, we’re giving parents a clear path to follow to develop literacy skills in their children before they begin school.”Library officials cited data from the National Education Association that says 26 percent of children who were read to three or four times a week by a family member recognized all the letters of the alphabet. The ability for a child to recognize the alphabet drops to 14 percent for children who were read to less frequently.”

New Pleasant Hill Library: ‘If you build it, they will come’

From East Bay Times

“The line “If you build it, they will come” is from one of my favorite movies, “Field of Dreams,” and refers to the building of an iconic baseball field in the heartland of Iowa. I’m using it to refer to the building of an iconic new library in the core of Pleasant Hill.When I first ran for City Council in 2002, one of my primary goals was to get a new library for our community. I wrote, “Pleasant Hill deserves a modern state-of-the-art library that will meet our future needs.” I’ve been committed to that goal ever since. Some 15 years later, that dream is going to be a reality!For more than three years Pleasant Hill has been working to replace its aging library. Although the Pleasant Hill Library is the most popular in the county with over 1,200 daily visitors, the building is 66 years old and well beyond its shelf life. The county estimated it would cost more than $10 million to make repairs and upgrades.”