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.”