Two state officials are on a mission to make libraries the public’s hub for government data

From State Scoop

“News organizations and public-interest groups are skilled at sussing out difficult-to-navigate government data when they need it, but freedom-of-information laws aren’t as friendly to the public in general. Two states, though, are figuring out ways to deliver information sets to regular citizens who want to find things for themselves.In parts of California and Washington, that service is being delivered at public libraries as part of growing program that trains librarians to handle open data requests from their patrons. The program, Data Equity for Main Street, is aimed at making local libraries — especially those in small towns and rural areas — hubs for where people can learn more about how they’re being served.”When trust of government institutions is at an all-time low, you have a government institution that people don’t realize is a government institution that they trust,” Anne Neville, the director of the California State Library’s research bureau, said during a presentation of the open data program at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers Midyear Conference in Baltimore on Tuesday.”

Solano County: Never too late to think about back-to-school plans

From The Daily Republic

” “Back to school” is a three-word phrase that conjures a lot of feelings for different people.For many, it’s a blurred, hurried time of madcap preparation and scrounging for supplies. For kids, it’s an unfair encroachment on their summer fun – precious seconds of freedom lost to looking for new backpacks and pencils and nagging. For many others, it’s a phrase that conjures a mixture of the two, along with a wave of relief realizing those days are long past.But why talk about it in April? With finals just around the corner for many, and the liberation of summer just beyond that, it seems like “back to school” couldn’t be further away.Well, two years ago, right around this time, I made the decision to go back to school. It wasn’t an easy one, and it came about after a long look at my finances, at my spare time and at what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be. I won’t say I was in a rut, but I had certainly fallen into a routine, and going back to school would disrupt all that.”

Tulare County Library branches in Lindsay, Exeter help people begin the citizenship process

From The Sun Gazette

” Not everyone would link citizenship and library services together, but that is exactly what the Tulare County Library is doing at their branches. Thanks to a program of the California Library Association supported by the Library Services and Technology Act Tulare County libraries were able to gather a Book to Action grant available to libraries and other nonprofits.“It’s a great program and as far as grants go its’ really easy to apply…the hardest part is finding the partner,” librarian Jonathan Waltmire said.The grant encourages libraries to partner with a service to help create action in their communities, while also highlighting the topic with an issue specific book. According to Waltmire the Tulare County Library has partnered with the United States Immigration and Citizenship Services (USICS). Waltmire pointed out that the topic emphasized their citizenship topic with two books; Diane Guerrero’s In the Country We Love and Tim Z. Hernandez’s All They Will Call You.”

Imagining San Mateo library improvements

From The Daily Journal

“In response to feedback from patrons and shifting trends in library use, San Mateo officials are imagining how increased multi-use space, additional meeting rooms and improvements to the San Mateo Main Library’s childrens space and teen lounge can better meet the needs of the city’s library patrons.Built in 2006, the San Mateo Main Library which welcomes just under 1 million visitors annually, has become home to children and their parents looking for educational materials, teens seeking a place to study, those on the job search and community organizations as well as entrepreneurs in need of a meeting place, said City Librarian Ben Ocón.”

Mayor’s initiatives to improve San Diego libraries move forward

From KUSI News

” Continuing his commitment to creating more opportunities for residents in every neighborhood to succeed, the City’s Budget and Government Efficiency Committee this week moved forward two initiatives proposed by Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer to promote greater efficiency within the library system, encourage public access and provide more equitable distribution of resources to branch libraries across the city.“This is all about making sure library doors are open to every San Diegan,” Mayor Faulconer said. “These new policies will eliminate a program that hadn’t proved to be effective and more evenly distribute resources to all branch libraries, particularly for those in historically underserved communities. The changes we are making are another big step in creating One San Diego.”The committee approved a plan to reform the Library Donations Matching Fund to more evenly distribute resources among the City’s 36 branch

‘Lady Bird’ lovefest continues as Sacramento library receives an autographed memento

From The Sacramento Bee

” Nearly six months after the wide release of “Lady Bird,” both the film and its director, Greta Gerwig, are still racking up recognition and accolades for a movie that brought the pop-culture spotlight onto Sacramento, Gerwig’s hometown.Her latest contribution to the city was a copy of the film’s script, signed by Gerwig and Saoirse Ronan (who plays the title character, Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson), and donated to the Sacramento Public Library system by a local resident, according to a library Facebook post.”

Santa Clara : ‘Food for Fines’ Waives Library Fees for a Good Cause

From San Jose Inside

” More than 100,000 people have unpaid fines or fees with the Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD). At the same time, Second Harvest Food Bank (SHFB) needs help stocking its shelves in order to provide food to the more than quarter million Silicon Valley residents it serves each month. Food for Fines, a new amnesty program offered by the SCCLD, seeks to address these challenges.To encourage patrons to return to the library in good standing, SCCLD is waiving up to $100 in fines and fees in exchange for the donation of non-perishable food. This is an amazing deal that offers the opportunity for SCCLD library card holders to quickly return to good standing and enjoy full borrowing benefits. Plus, they can help someone in need put food on the table, making this truly a win-win program.”