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.”