Sacramento: Seeking tools to spiff up your garden? Look no further than your local library.

From Sacramento Bee

“What do a power washer, synthesizer and a go-pro camera have in common? You can check all three out of the Sacramento Public Library.In fact, people often do check out the power washer – it’s the most popular item in the “Library of Things,” the collection of more than 100 tools and objects available at the Arcade branch for library card holders to check out. The collection also has lawnmowers, hedge-trimmers and weed-whackers, though all are checked out right now, probably by people who are looking to clean up their yards as spring approaches.By request, one of the next items to go into circulation will be a rototiller for churning up soil before planting.”

The Seed Library of Los Angeles strives to build awareness of food security as well as community

From Pasadena Weekly

“A revolution is gathering momentum, locally and across the globe. Its weapon is seeds, and the Seed Library of Los Angeles is doing its part to arm the citizenry.As its name implies, the Seed Library of Los Angeles is a place where community members can check out seeds, as opposed to books. The hope is that eventually they will return with seeds harvested from their own gardens, thereby expanding SLOLA’s collection of local living seeds and the “seed revolution.” The Altadena branch, established in December, is part of a gradual expansion by SLOLA, which is headquartered at the Learning Garden on Venice High School’s campus in Venice. Plans are on track for a branch to open in Watts in March, and another is planned for Long Beach, thus fulfilling SLOLA’s mission to “facilitate the growth of open-pollinated seeds among residents of the Los Angeles Basin.”“Hopefully, if the library is strong and people are returning seeds and we’re checking them out every year and we keep growing them out every season, then years down the line, we’ll have seeds that are better adapted to our microclimates up here in the foothills in the San Gabriel Mountains,” says Jessica Yarger, the Altadena branch coordinator. Yarger, who teaches gardening at Odyssey Charter School in Altadena and co-manages the school’s on-site garden, approached SLOLA chair Eleuterio Navarro with the idea of establishing an Altadena branch and tapped members of Altadena’s organic produce-exchanging RIPE community to help.”

Ukiah Seed Library helps Mendocino County residents grow their own food

From Ukiah Daily Journal

” Humans have been saving seeds for over 12,000 years; the knowledge of how to cultivate crops led to permanent settlements and the rise of civilizations, no longer requiring humans to travel nomadically for their sustenance.Over the centuries farmers have grown thousands of genetically distinct varieties of food crops, helping plants to adapt to different environments.Today much of this diversity is being lost; over the last 30 years plant breeding has become increasingly commercialized, dominated by international agricultural corporations that have established private monopolies in a quest to create genetic uniformity.”

San Diego : Pacific Highlands Ranch Library design a mix of modern, hacienda styles

From Del Mar Times

“Reviews were mixed on the first set of design drawings for the new Pacific Highlands Ranch Library at a Carmel Valley Community Planning Board design subcommittee meeting on March 19. Planned to open in three to four years, the new 18,000-square-foot library will border the Village of Pacific Highlands Ranch’s open space promenade on Village Center Loop Drive.Jim Gabriel, of Hanna Gabriel Wells Architecture, unveiled his vision for a modern building that he said drew inspiration from the pastoral and farmhouse history of Carmel Valley, as well as notes from the hacienda-style architecture of Pacific Highlands Ranch.”

El Cerrito: City’s library branch to kick off return of added hours

From East Bay Times

” The city’s library branch embarks on a new era in April with the official return of open hours seven days a week for the first time in more than 25 years.A community celebration to kick off the start of additional hours will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. April 4 at the El Cerrito Library, 6510 Stockton Ave.The First Wednesday Celebration, dubbed “4/4 @ 4” by organizers, will feature free frozen custard, cookies and music, family entertainment including games, magic, and face painting, a chance to see what the branch has to offer and registration for free library cards.The city has is funding expansion hours at the branch from the basic 35 hours funded by the county library system to 50 hours weekly, meaning the branch will now be open on Wednesdays and Sundays.Funding, about $127,000 annually, was approved by the City Council in June 2017 and it has taken almost a year to ready everything for the added hours, including hiring, training and realigning personnel to meet the added staffing needs, said Al Miller, board president of the El Cerrito Library Foundation.”

New microfilm scanner on its way for King City Library

From King City Rustler

“A new microfilm scanner for the King City Branch Library of the Monterey County Free Libraries is on order and expected soon thanks to a generous grant and donations from more than 50 residents and businesses.The new machine will allow better access to more than 100 years of information on microfilm at the King City Library.Issues of The King City Rustler newspaper going back to 1901 were converted to microfilm back in the early 1980s by Publisher Harry Casey. The machine that allowed access to the microfilm is now nearly 40 years old and difficult to use. The new equipment will be similar to microfilm scanners used at the California History Room at the State Library in Sacramento.”

California librarian not a prim post at all

From Pasadena Star News

“A Californian cannot be blamed for not knowing that there is a California state librarian.Or at least for not realizing that there is one who still oversees our books and the places they are kept in the wake of the mightily famous and intellectually imposing person who long held that post, the late Kevin Starr, who wrote the multi-volume history we all know as the key to the lock that is understanding our state from the Gold Rush until today.And yet there is such a person, Greg Lucas, and when I walked into my office the other day to meet him, he was already there, early, tall, burly, bearded, with a pirate’s gold earring.No one’s stereotypical idea of a librarian, that is. But as the son of a librarian myself — one who was elegant, artistic, a lifelong rebel — I knew that the prim cliche is not based on fact.As we walked out for coffee, I knew there was something else simpatico about Lucas, and soon found out why: For most of his career, he was a newspaperman, at the old Orange County edition of the Times and for 19 years as a Sacramento reporter and bureau chief for the San Francisco Chronicle.”

UC libraries launch tool to help achieve open access

From Berkeley Library News

” For far too long, a gold mine of knowledge has been locked away behind journal paywalls, or has been otherwise inaccessible to countless people who could benefit from it.To help address this problem, the scholarly community has been working toward achieving open access, helping to unlock this wealth of information by making it free to everyone, everywhere. But after nearly 20 years of work, much of the world’s scholarly information is still not as available as it could be — only 15 percent of journal articles, for example, are openly accessible at the time of publication.Today, to accelerate toward free readership for all, the University of California Libraries published Pathways to Open Access, a toolkit for campuses and research institutions to help make more knowledge openly available.The resource aims to help research libraries and institutions throughout the world, by empowering them with information that could enable them to redirect their spending away from high-cost subscription services and toward sustainable open access scholarly publishing.”

SF Library Makes List Of Most Beautiful Libraries In US

From San Francisco Patch

” Real estate website Curbed has come up with a list of the 20 most beautiful libraries in America. Making the cut is the Main Library of the San Francisco Public Library system.Curbed selected a combination of historical and modern buildings.”

Emily Goehring, a new chapter for Paradise Branch Library

From Paradise Post

” The Paradise Branch Library welcomes their new Branch Librarian, Emily Goehring, whose love for reading, access to information and public service runs as deep as her Paradise roots.“Emily brings enthusiasm, experience, excellent technology skills and a genuine desire to serve our community members,” Butte County Librarian Melanie Lightbody said.Goehring is a Paradise High School, Butte College and Chico State graduate. Goehring worked for Paradise Elementary in the Title 1 and special education department, the Washoe County Library System in Reno, Nevada and earned a Master’s of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. Her story doesn’t stop there.While completing her Masters, Goehring spent a summer semester studying in London, England conducting archival research at St. Paul’s Cathedral, the British Library, and the Imperial War Museum.”

Dia de los Ninos celebrated at Yolo libraries

From Daily Democrat

“Children and their families are invited to join the Yolo County Library and celebrate Día de los Niños/Día de los Libros.Día de los Niños/ Día de los Libros celebrates children — who represent the hopes and dreams of every community. The celebration emphasizes the importance of literacy for children from all backgrounds by connecting children and their families to diverse books, languages, and cultures. Libraries and community organizations come together for a celebration aimed to inspire and empower a new generation of achievers.”

Express library in Ventura opens to public without staff

From VC Star

” Two hours before Hill Road Library in Ventura opens for the day, patrons can go it alone.The newly opened branch is one of just a few libraries in the nation to offer “express hours,” allowing residents to use the library without staff present. Officials are piloting the idea to add operating hours at low cost and may expand the concept to other locations in the 12-branch Ventura County library system.The express service adds 12 hours of operation each week to the 40 that the Ventura library is normally open, up 30 percent. “It could really be a sea change for us in Ventura County because we do have limited staffing resources,” said Nancy Schram, director of the library system. She knows of only two other library systems in the nation that offer the express service, one in Georgia and the other in the Minneapolis area. But express hours are common in Europe, where the idea has been tried successfully for more than 10 years, she said.”

Sacramento: Libraries, Museums Honored For Service

From Oakdale Leader

“The Institute of Museum and Library Services recently announced that California’s Pretend City Children’s Museum, LA County Library, and Sacramento Public Library are among the 29 finalists for the 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to their communities. For 24 years, the award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service and are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities.”

Tehama County: California students showcase rural communities through public murals

From Rural Schools Collaborative

” At California State University, Chico, students in Professor J Pouwels’ Public Art Murals course are learning about how to take their art skills to rural communities. “Art is the best way to understand a culture. The history of art closely parallels the history of human kind,” Pouwels said. “Working with our partners in the North State, we hope the murals we create will reflect the faces of those communities.”In addition to some local sites around Chico, the art students will design and paint murals for the communities of Corning, Los Molinos, and Oroville. Two of the murals will be in Tehama County library branches.Tehama County Librarian Todd Deck is very enthusiastic about the partnership. In February, he visited the murals class and talked with students about the county’s resources and its residents. A small group of students presented their proposed images to the class and they agreed upon one that would represent the community well. Deck says, “I believe that libraries are reflections of the communities they serve and the students in the class have embraced this. Although the work the class will be doing will make the physical space of the library more beautiful, ultimately this project is about celebrating and giving back to the community.”The image selected for the Corning site was designed by Studio Arts major, Ryan Ramos who also just happens to be from the small town.”

Recorded Books Adds All-You-Can-Watch Streaming Video Service for Libraries

From The Journal

” Binge-viewable video could be coming to a library near you. RBmedia, which owns Recorded Books, has released an unlimited streaming video service for libraries, as well as a new version of its app to allow patrons to access multiple content services, including the streaming shows.RBdigital, the specialized streaming video service, will give library users the chance to view videos from RBmedia’s licensed content in the same way they watch shows on Netflix. They’ll be able to watch as many shows as they like in a seven-day period while the library pays for a single checkout. According to the company, the unlimited license model will save libraries 75 percent compared to competitive services.”

Plumas County welcomes new Librarian Lindsay Fuchs

From Plumas County News

” Stopping by the Plumas County Library in Quincy for a friendly chat and to meet the brand new librarian, a surprising development pops up.“Please excuse me just a moment,” County Librarian Lindsay Fuchs says politely, temporarily leaving the desk inside her bright office tucked into a back corner of the comfortable building that is a key resource for residents and community organizations.An efficient staffer is at the door with a perplexed expression. She has a worn paperback novel in one hand and a stack of cash in the other.“I was sorting through the book donations and found this,” the employee tells her new boss, holding out the handful of bills.Fuchs is immediately on the problem, explaining that this sort of thing sometimes happens in community libraries because “people tuck all sorts of things into books and forget they’re there.”The ladies step away to work out a resolution. They have a lead on where the donation came from and will take it from there.”

Monterey County Free: Orquidea Olvera Named Library Journal’s 2018 Paralibrarian of the Year

From Cision PR WEB

” Monterey County Free Libraries’ (MCFL) Orquidea Olvera has been named LJ’s 2018 Paralibrarian of the Year. The award, sponsored by DEMCO, Inc., of Madison, Wisconsin, recognizes the essential role of paralibrarians in providing excellent library service. Paralibrarians, or those working in libraries who do not hold the professional degree, make up the largest pool of employees in the field. Olvera will receive a $1,500 cash prize and is featured in Library Journal’s March 1, 2018 issue, available in print and online.”

Children interact with public service vehicles at Suisun library

From Daily Republic

“Children sat in police cars and tried pushing buttons, then ran to the recycling truck and climbed aboard to see how the view was from atop the vehicle.The first Touch a Truck event Saturday at the library attracted a lot of happy youngsters who got to learn about a few different jobs and touch vehicles normally reserved for grownups.Mayra Ochoa brought her children Sebastian, 4, and Jereni, 2, after hearing about the event from a friend.“My husband is working today and we didn’t have anything to do so I thought we would come out to this,” she said. “It’s neat because the kids get to check out a truck and learn about what they do.”David Currie, 7, of Fairfield, loved the Solano County Sheriff’s Office’s SWAT truck.”

In a Virtual World How school, academic, and public libraries are testing virtual reality in their communities

From American Library Magazine

” In the past several years, virtual reality (VR) technology has finally begun to fulfill what had long been promised. Traditional VR, which creates environments that allow people to be “present” in an alternative environment, has been advanced by offerings from Oculus, Sony, Google, and Samsung. At the same time, products like Google’s Cardboard have led the growth of 360-degree video that captures an entire scene in which the viewer can look up, down, and around. Instead of just games and entertainment, VR content is exploding with news, information, and educational content.Throughout this period of growth and expansion, libraries and librarians have once again demonstrated their adaptability to new information formats and user needs with moves that reflect the various directions VR has moved. Whether it is classroom use of Google Expeditions, new educational spaces and lending programs on academic campuses, or a demonstrated commitment to equitable access to this new technology in public libraries, librarians have taken on VR as a new way to engage their users.”

Veterans Resource Site Turns Another Page For Santa Maria Library

From Noozhalk

” A desk with information for veterans at the Santa Maria Public Library serves another role beyond providing books to 21st century patrons.In a small ceremony this week, the library celebrated the addition of Veterans Connect, a resource center to link former military members with assorted programs and benefits.“One of the largest problems that all government agencies that relate to veterans have is connecting them to the information and the resources they have,” said Calvin Angel, Central Coast local interagency network coordinator for the California Department of Veterans Affairs.For instance, he said, many may not realize that in California children of disabled veterans do not have to pay tuition to attend a community college or state university.“That’s a big deal, but if it’s information you don’t have, what good does it do you,” Angel said.The veterans resource center became the newest addition to the library, which has worked to remain a vital tool for community members.”

Lake County: Book to Action program scheduled

From Record-Bee

“Book to Action, the Lake County Library’s communitywide reading program, will feature Braving the Wilderness: the Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Breneì Brown. Free copies of Braving the Wilderness and the Book to Action event calendar will be available to pick up at all Lake County Library branches beginning March 6. The Book to Action discussions and events will happen in April.Lake County Library is one of twenty libraries across the state that won the Book to Action grant from the California Center for the Book. This is the third year that Lake County has done this program. The California Center for the Book is a program of the California Library Association, supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.”

Alameda: Palestinians Tell Their Stories at Main Library

From Alameda Sun

“Everyone has a life story, and many are being told at Alameda’s Main Library at 1550 Oak St. An exhibit that combines black-and-white portraits of 26 Bay Area Palestinians with audio recordings is on display. The library’s largest meeting room was filled to capacity with well over 100 people for the opening reception on Feb. 11.The multimedia storytelling project Home Away from Home: Little Palestine by the Bay showcases recorded interviews with Palestinian-Americans that reveal the complexities of living with hopes for Palestine in a country that is often hostile to those aspirations.The reception kicked off the month-long multimedia exhibit at the library. It featured tables of Middle Eastern food catered by Oakland’s Bacheesos Restaurant. A musical duo from Oakland, Birana di Mara on violin and Faisal on percussion, added ambience with their authentic Arabic selections.“Alameda is a tapestry of many cultures, races, ethnicities and religions that make us a vibrant, diverse community,” stated Councilmember Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, who is of Lebanese and Syrian descent, as she welcomed the crowd. “Alameda has a rich history of Palestinian residents and businesses.”The overall theme of the exhibit draws on the immigrant experience and the importance of belonging, weaving together experiences from both Palestine and the Bay Area.”

Contra Costa County: Arson suspected in fire at El Sobrante library

From The Mercury News

” The two-alarm fire that damaged a local library branch Tuesday night may have been arson, a fire official said.“You’ve got an exterior burning after hours, and it goes into concealed area under the roof that’s fully combustible,” spokesman and Fire Capt. George Laing of the Contra Costa Fire Protection District said on Wednesday. “Very suspicious.”The library at 4191 Appian Way needed repairs from smoke and water damage after fire crews put it out Tuesday in about 1 hour, 20 minutes, Laing said. The fire, which started around 8:20 p.m. Tuesday, was burning hot enough when crews arrived that it ignited roof material overhanging the outside library wall, Laing said.”

Sacramento: Third public library is coming to Elk Grove City collects feedback on library, arts center at future civic center

From Elk Grove Citizen

“As the city’s future civic center edges closer to becoming a reality, patrons of the Franklin Community Library on Feb. 24 shared ideas on what features they would like to see at that project’s future library and cultural arts building.The civic center site is bounded by Elk Grove Boulevard to the north, Big Horn Boulevard to the west, and Lotz Parkway to the south.Heading the information kiosk at this five-hour event was Dawn Merkes, the building’s architect, who provided details about the project and handed out adhesive stickers for guests to place on suggestion boards.The boards included such possible library features as a quiet reading and studying area, a tutoring space, and such performing arts options as music concerts as well as dance and theatrical performances.Cultural arts options included literary events, family-oriented activities and performances such as magic shows and circus arts.Merkes described the type of library that will be located at the future civic center.”