San Diego :Library proposes eliminating fines on overdue books

From Fox San Diego

” The city’s library director said Wednesday she is proposing the elimination of fines for overdue library books in an effort to restore access to literacy resources in low-income communities, where as many as 57 percent of cardholders have been barred from checking out books because of outstanding bills.The problem with fines doesn’t end with equity issues.
The San Diego Public Library spends more than $1 million each year in staff time and other costs to collect about $700,000 in late fees. And the fines are ineffective in changing the behavior of those who have failed to return the 296,000 books, DVDs and other library items currently overdue — otherwise there would be no overdue items, Library Director Misty Jones told the City Council’s Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee.”

Library proposes eliminating fines on overdue books

I-Team Expose: Crime is Down, But Not Gone From LA Libraries

From NBC Los Angeles

” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said “we have to do better” to curb drug use and crime at LA’s public libraries, in response to a new NBC4 I-Team investigation.
Last November, after the I-Team aired video of people masturbating and routinely doing drugs around city libraries, the Mayor and the chief of the LAPD vowed to curb these rampant crimes. Chief Charlie Beck said he was adding “additional resources” to “do a better job” of securing libraries.So for the last two months, the I-Team resumed surveillance outside libraries. In recent weeks, our undercover cameras recorded a man shooting what appeared to be heroin, and several others smoking what appeared to be crystal meth, outside Francis Howard Goldwyn-Hollywood Regional Library. When asked if he would want his child to walk by that kind of drug use on the way into a library, Mayor Garcetti responded, “Of course not, of course not.”The Mayor’s office recently told the I-Team “The LAPD has significantly increased deployment of additional officers … to library locations citywide.”But since that interview, the LAPD has repeatedly declined to tell us specific numbers of new resources deployed now to libraries, claiming it “would compromise the mission as well as officer safety.” Last November, before the I-Team’s original report aired, the LAPD did provide exact numbers of officers deployed.”

Sonoma County: From the Library

From The Healdsburg Tribune

” February at the library means the annual visits from AARP Tax-Aide have begun again. Tax helpers are on hand from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Wednesday through the end of tax season. Make sure to bring your 2016 return, all your income statements, expenses, receipts from large purchases, etc., as well as your photo identification and Social Security card. As always, there is no pre-signup; simply come at 10 a.m. and you will be assigned a time.For specific requirements and more information, there are flyers and posters at the library. Also, with regard to tax forms: the library has begun receiving tax forms and instructions, but everything is shipping very late this year because of changes to the tax code. As a result, we still do not have everything you need. Hopefully we will have all of the most major forms over the next few weeks. In the meantime, we can help you find forms online and print them if that will help. ”

Solano County Library Literacy Services to celebrate helping adults

From The Reporter

” Solano County Library Literacy Services celebrates another year of helping adults read, write, and speak English.“Spread Kindness Like Confetti,” is the theme for the celebration which represents how literacy tutors and volunteers contribute to the lives of their students, their families and the community through literacy instruction that is based on the needs of the student.”

Lompoc Library announces Zip Book program

From Santa Maria Sun

” The California State Library selected the Lompoc Public Library System to participate in a project called Zip Books to help library users get better access to books they want.The program helps libraries purchase requested books they don’t own and then have them shipped to the user directly. Books checked out through the Zip Books program can be returned to the library like other books.According to Lompoc Library Director Sarah Bleyl, the city that the Zip Books program could effectively expand the size of the Lompoc Library exponentially.”

A New Chapter for Santa Clarita Public Library

From Santa Clarita Magazine

” Our top priority here at the City is to enhance the quality of life for Santa Clarita residents, and it is this priority that helps to frame all of our decisions. Among our most effective services in terms of quality of life enhancement are those provided by the Santa Clarita Public Library. The Santa Clarita Public Library is a vital resource in our community. Our three library branches in Canyon Country, Newhall and Valencia provide a free and safe gathering place for our residents to read, explore new interests, access technology, develop new skills, access business development tools and participate in educational programs.The City of Santa Clarita assumed responsibility for public library services in 2011, with the goal of improving library services for the Santa Clarita community by focusing our resources locally. Over the past seven years we have succeeded in improving and expanding public library services. We have made library services better; it is now our goal to make Santa Clarita Public Library one of the best.”

Federal budget cuts could impact library services

From Times-Standard

” President Donald Trump’s proposed federal budget for fiscal year 2018-19 contains a provision that would eliminate $156 million in funding for the Institute of Museums and Library Services, which provides federal funding to libraries and museums across the country through competitive grants. The justification for the cut is IMLS supplements state and local funding for libraries and museums and that it is unlikely the cuts to funding would result in the loss of local programs.Alex Vasser with the California State Library said the “federal grant funds are used for special projects such as honoring veterans or for the introduction of new technology, as a way to draw public interest.”The state library awards grants on a case-by-case basis and asks a local library or museum to identify a need. The state library then evaluates that need and the budget available before it awards a grant.“For the most part, the grant money is not spent on day-to-day costs,” Vasser said, “but for special events that support local library programs.”Kathryn K. Matthew, the director of IMLS said in a news release that “we are disappointed that for a second year, the president’s budget request did not provide funding for the continuation of IMLS activities for the next fiscal year. In the meantime, the agency will continue normal grant-making operations with allocated FY 2018 funds.”Local school libraries won’t feel much of an impact if IMLS is eliminated.”

Lodi Library opens new teen center

From Lodi News

” Guests of all ages enjoyed appetizers, deserts and strawberry lemonade at Lodi Public Library as they celebrated the grand opening of a new teen center on Tuesday evening.Designed by Sam Harper of WNB Architects, TEENS@201 features two rooms with floor-to-ceiling glass walls as well as a courtyard, all named after some of the donors who helped fund the construction of the Lodi Public Library Foundation’s latest project.Children draw on interactive whiteboards mounted to the walls of the Michael David Family Foundation Lounge, which also features a variety of chairs and table surfaces.A door from the lounge leads outside to the Dr. Ram and Radhika Courtyard, where concrete walls hold inset benches covered by mesh awnings to provide shade.”

Lafayette Library offers children’s storytimes in foreign languages

From East Bay Times

” Many library patrons look forward to bringing their children to storytimes, to enjoy a favorite book and maybe sing a song or two. At Lafayette Library and Learning Center, this childhood favorite can be experienced not only in English but in Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese and Portuguese as well, introducing children and their parents to the languages and cultures that contribute to the rich diversity of this state.Spanish Storytime came first, about five years ago. It was so successful that last year the library decided to try French, the others followed and all have grown in popularity.“The other presenters, the Farsi teacher, the Mandarin Chinese couple and the Portuguese storyteller all approached us when they saw that we had these foreign language storytimes,” said Vickie Sciacca, senior community library manager, Lafayette Library and Learning Center.”

Long Beach Public Library Celebrates 15 Years of Free Dictionary Program

From Long Beach Post

“Every year since 2003, Long Beach Unified School District third graders have received a brand new dictionary thanks to the Long Beach Public Library and Earl B. And Loraine H. Miller foundations.After the new dictionaries are distributed, the Long Beach Public Library’s Dictionary Day events support students by teaching them how to properly use a dictionary through engaging activities that help to improve reading comprehension during a crucial time in their reading development.When children enter the fourth grade their lessons shift from learning to read to reading to learn, however studies show that students who are not at a proficient reading level by third grade are four times more likely to not graduate from high school, according to Campaign for Grade Level Reading.”

Chino library celebrates African-American history

From Chino Championship News

“TMZ television personality TK Trinidad of Los Angeles celebrated African-American Heritage month in Chino by reading a story to children at the Chino Branch Library Tuesday morning.She joined librarian Ed Diggins in story telling and singing. Mr. Diggins told the children that Jackie Robinson was the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball. “They called him names because he looked different,” Mr. Diggins said.The children used construction paper and cut-outs to produce artwork of the baseball legend.”

Anaheim: Cosplayers and Orange County Artists Geek Out At AnaCon

From El Don News

“Anaheim Central Library turned into nerd paradise last Saturday when AnaCon celebrated Orange County’s independent comic book culture with sci fi book readings, an artist market place, and a cosplay competition.Attendees dressed as characters from Star Wars and Ghostbusters pushed and shuffled between aisles of books, visiting booths and making their way to panel discussions. Others were dressed in intricate costumes that mimicked Darth Vader and Stormtroopers down to the smallest detail. There was even a life size replica of R2D2 that moved and made noise.Outside, Anaheim’s Unsung Brewing Company set up a beer garden, selling adults pints of its flagship Anthia IPA. The brewery’s concept was based off a comic book created by the owners, which was also for sale.”

Gale and California State Library Expand Partnership, Tripling Investment in Career Online High School

From Business Insider

” The California State Library is expanding its partnership with Gale, a Cengage company, signing a three-year agreement to continue and broaden its Career Online High School Program, which since 2015 has enabled California public libraries to offer qualified residents the opportunity to earn a free, accredited high school diploma.Based on the successes experienced by the 46 library jurisdictions currently participating in Career Online High School, the state of California tripled the amount of funding previously invested, allowing the State Library to purchase an additional 2,603 scholarships to sustain and expand the program.”Investing more funds in this program was an easy decision when you look at the life-changing impact it’s had on residents accomplishing their education and career goals, and how public libraries are making that happen,” said Greg Lucas, California’s State Librarian.According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 5.3 million Californians age 18 or older do not have a high school diploma or equivalencyi. Currently, more than 1,000 adults are enrolled in California’s Career Online High School program and over 400 adults have graduated from the Program through local public libraries.”

Coming to Crowell Library from the Braille Institute – A Bookshare Online Library and Other Free Services

From Pasadena Now

“Book lovers who are visually impaired or have difficulty holding or reading standard print materials will want to come to Crowell Library on Friday, March 2 at 10:30 a.m. to learn about the Braille Institute’s free services. Attendees will have an opportunity to sign up for a one-year free license for Bookshare (, an online accessible library with over 550,000 titles in audio and Braille. As part of a statewide pilot program, Braille Institute is providing free access to Bookshare for eligible library patrons. Bookshare users will also receive free training, in-person or over the telephone. Braille Institute staff will lead hands-on demonstrations and explain the resources available to anyone with visual impairments or movement disorders. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore mainstream devices, such as smartphones and tablets, as well as special adaptive technology designed to help continue one’s lifelong love of reading and learning.”

Anaheim library’s bookmobile – the only one in OC – is celebrating 60 years

From The Orange County Register

“When the Anaheim Public Library bookmobile pulled up to the curb at Anna Drive on a recent afternoon, the street was nearly deserted, hardly a soul in sight.It was just the calm before the storm.Within 10 minutes, two school buses arrived, disgorging a swarm of chatty children onto the sidewalk where their mothers and siblings had gathered to meet them.Some families meandered off toward home, but many of the kids – library cards hung on lanyards around their necks – climbed the steps into the bookmobile or gathered around a folding table on the grass where librarian Katrina Ford was explaining the life cycle of insects and leading a related craft project.Anaheim’s bookmobile service, the only operating one in Orange County and one of three dozen in the state, turns 60 on Feb. 14. Some consider it a relic of an earlier time, but it seems as popular as ever in the dozen neighborhoods it visits regularly.The first time Miriam Ruiz saw the modified bus decorated with book-bearing jungle animals in her Anna Drive neighborhood, “I thought it was really cool, because you don’t see bookmobiles anymore,” she said.Ruiz brings her 7-year-old daughter, Sarah, and 5-year-old son, Jacob, to get DVDs and books to read at home, and it’s “something for the kids to look forward to when they get off school,” she said.For some bookmobile patrons, it’s convenient to have a place to get books in their neighborhood. For others, it may be their first experience with their public library, Anaheim Principal Librarian Keely Hall said.”

San Francisco : Accessing Your Local Library with Libby and Flipster

From The Chronicle of Higher Education

” Several years ago, I was part of a focus group on our campus. One of the questions posed to us was, “How often do you use the library?” I had to ask for clarification: was the question about how often I made use of the library’s resources, or how often I actually entered the building? In my case, I used the resources far more often than I entered the building (and that’s still true).The same is no doubt true for many of us in relation to our local public libraries. The ability to check out digital materials is incredibly convenient.In this post, I want to call attention to two mobile applications that I’ve found helpful in accessing and managing digital library materials.The first is Libby. It’s from Overdrive, and for me, at least, it’s a major improvement over Overdrive’s earlier app, which for some reason I could never quite wrap my head around. The interface is pleasant and user-friendly, and it’s easy to send a book to your e-reader, if you prefer to do your reading there rather than on a phone or tablet. Managing holds and keeping tabs on what you currently have checked out is simple and intuitive. The app also supports multiple accounts, so if you have access to more than one library, you can easily switch among their collections.”

10th anniversary celebration to be held for Encinitas Library

From Del Mar Times

” A celebration of the Encinitas Library’s 10th anniversary will take place on Feb. 24 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.The festivities include a variety of activities and musical performances for children and adults. The library is located at 540 Cornish Drive, Encinitas, 92024. All activities are presented free of charge.Performances throughout the day include Moonlight Beach Ukulele Strummers, Hullabaloo, Lizzie Waters Experience, Peter Pupping and members of the Encinitas Guitar Orchestra, and the Peter Sprague Trio.At 11 a.m., city and county officials will make welcoming remarks.“I am thrilled to be part of the 10-year celebration of the Encinitas Library,” stated Kristin Gaspar, San Diego County’s Supervisor for District 3. “Whether you’re 7 or 70, I believe public libraries are special places for those looking to explore another country through a book or research a topic for a thesis. There is no better place to delve into the written word or just meet with others who share a common interest. I have wonderful childhood memories of my local library and it is my hope that others will have their own fond experiences in the Encinitas Library.”

Tax to fund Oakland public libraries heads to June ballot

From San Francisco Gate

” Facing a budget shortfall, the Oakland public library system is turning to voters to fund its core services through a new tax.The Oakland City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to place on the June ballot a $75-per-parcel tax that’s expected to raise $10 million annually for the next 20 years for city libraries. Supporters of the measure say it would allow branches to stay open on evenings and weekends, fund programs, upgrade technology and buy new furniture and equipment.The revenue would also go toward converting some temporary part-time library positions to full-time ones — a switch the city’s largest union has been pushing for amid its ongoing contract negotiations.The library system has operated at a deficit of $2 million annually for the past 14 years — projected to rise to $4 million this budget cycle, according to library director Gerry Garzon.”

Opportunity Knocking At Beaumont Library: Career Online H.S.

From Banning Patch

” Opportunity knocked when Edwin Romero visited his hometown library. As his daughters sat quietly reading, Romero spotted a brochure about ‘Career Online High School.'”I’m 46 years old,” Romero thought to himself. “But it’s never too late to start.”Ten months later, Romero had earned a scholarship and become the first graduate of the Career Online High School program through the Beaumont Library.Since graduating in 2017, Romero, a cable company installer, has set his sights on becoming a cybersecurity expert.The Career Online High School program is also offered across the Inland Empire at branches of the Riverside County Library System and the San Bernardino County Library.”

San Diego : City may seek armed guards at Central Library, other parks

From 10 News

” The city of San Diego may seek armed guards to patrol downtown’s Central Library and multiple other locations open to the public.A city spokeswoman confirmed to 10News that it intends to issue a request for proposals that would allow it the option to have armed security services. The city’s current security firm, called Able, Patrol and Guard, is not allowed to carry weapons. City documents show that it patrols the Central Library, multiple community parks, City Hall, and even Brown Field.The city wouldn’t give a specific reason for the move, but multiple guards said the situation with the homeless at the Central Library has deteriorated to the point that it’s unsafe. One guard said he and his colleagues have been spit on, threatened, and surrounded while patrolling the property, especially in the wee hours of the morning.”

Sacramento librarians train to help patrons with mental illness


” Sacramento-area libraries are tackling the mental health crisis by offering new help for the homeless or anyone else who needs it. Dozens of library staff are getting special training to understand, identify and respond to sensitive situations.The program is in partnership with the group Mental Health First Aid and funded through the California State Library.
Advertisement”We want people to be able to enjoy our buildings, and obviously everyone is welcome in the library, so that’s the point of what we’re trying to do,” said Christie Hamm, with Sacramento Public Library. “A very high majority of our patrons experiencing homelessness are also experiencing mental illness, so that can get in the way of people getting ready to accept services.”Lora Konnerth frequently visits the Central Library in Sacramento and said it has become a critical resource in helping her get out of homelessness .”

The unexpected role librarians are playing in Sacramento’s homeless crisis

From The Sacramento Bee

” For many of Sacramento’s homeless men and women, the public library is a haven from harsh weather, a primary source for bathroom facilities, a place to rest from the stress of the streets.Sacramento library director Rivkah Sass welcomes them all, she said, as long as their behavior is not disruptive to staff members and other patrons.But as the homeless crisis deepens in the capital city and around the country, libraries increasingly are seeing people with untreated mental illnesses that cause them to act oddly, or put themselves or others in danger.“Clearly, there just are not enough services for people who need to address their mental issues, and they end up with us because we are the last free, public open space available to them,” Sass said. ”

California State Library Eases Access Through Smarter Portal

From Government Technology

“The California State Library is using technology — and a newly redesigned website — to help users look things up. The work took months and was a collaboration between the State Library’s Web design team and six computer science students in California State University, Sacramento’s senior project class, who coded the pages as a final requirement for graduation. The new site makes it easier to grab and use on any kind of electronic device to look up information — pieces of California’s history, government documents, databases, information on the state’s libraries — or even a book.“Among the new features are links that take visitors to the library’s latest additions,” the library says in a news release. “The library’s digitized photos, texts and exhibits are also more easily accessed. So are statistics on California’s 1,119 public libraries – the most of any state – and the work those libraries are doing with grant funds provided to them by the State Library.” “The website is our front door. Now the door’s wide open and there’s a way bigger ‘Welcome’ mat,” said Greg Lucas, California’s state librarian.”

No books at home? Anaheim library’s ‘permanent loan’ program aims to fix that for kids

From The Orange County Register

” Studies have shown a connection between how many books a family has at home and the level of education the children reach, so Anaheim library officials are trying to fill local students’ bookshelves.The library’s “permanent loan” program, which began as a few individual events and became a year-round offering last July, has distributed more than 6,800 books for children to keep.Library officials choose popular titles for a range of age groups and buy them with money from the Anaheim Public Library Foundation and Friends of the Library, city spokeswoman Lauren Gold said. The books are handed out to children at library events and through its bookmobile.“That research is widely known,” Mary Grace, Anaheim Elementary School District’s superintendent of educational services said of the correlation between access to books and education. “It starts at infancy and builds each year (on) the number of vocabulary words that students know.”The library’s program is focused on reaching students whose families might not be able to afford spending lots of money on books.”

Virtual reality comes to Benicia Public Library

From Benicia Herald

“Walls of reality are collapsing at the Benicia Public Library. Well, not really, but the new virtual reality programs at the Benicia Library are blurring those lines.The Library began its virtual reality program through Califa Library Group, a nonprofit library membership consortium. Califa began sending California libraries emails asking libraries if their institutions would be interested in starting a virtual reality program at their individual branches. This mass inquiry came after Califa received funding from state grants and donations of VR sets from virtual reality manufacturers. Benicia Public Library staff said yes to the email, and Califa sent the library an Oculus Rift.Aug. 27 was the first VR event at the Benicia Library. In October, the library received an HTC Vive virtual reality set. Library staff beta tested the VR sets and games before a public rollout of the program. By December, the public was allowed to test out the HTC Vive set.“I think it’s a great program and I think we have benefited from it,” Allison Angell, the head of Youth Service at the Benicia Library, said. “I feel lucky that we have it.”
More than 20 games are available for the Oculus Rift, according to Angell. ”