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.”

Monterey County: Libraries to celebrate National DNA Day

From The King City Rustler

” Monterey County Free Libraries will host a series of National DNA Day events in South County this week to highlight the role of genetics in the modern world, in addition to discussing what the human genome will mean to the leaders of tomorrow and encouraging local youth and adults to take an interest in the subjects of genomics and genetics.According to Library Director Jayanti Addleman, this series reflects Monterey County Free Libraries’ ongoing commitment to encouraging interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.The free presentations, which are open to the public, will be Saturday, April 21, from 2 to 3 p.m., at the Greenfield branch library, 315 El Camino Real, and Wednesday, April 25, from 6 to 7 p.m., at the Gonzales branch library, 851 Fifth St., Ste T. A separate presentation will be made at Soledad High School for local students only.“These presentations are part of the many events being held nationwide for National DNA Day, an annual observance promoted by the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health,” Addleman said.National DNA Day is celebrated every year on April 25 to raise awareness about the discovery of DNA’s double helix by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953 and the successful completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003.”

Sacramento Public Library to Celebrate 100 Years

From Rocklin and Roseville Today

” Sacramento Public Library will be celebrating the centennial anniversary of the opening of Sacramento’s historic City Library with exhibits of Sacramento’s culture and history and behind-the-scenes tours on April 22 at 1 p.m. Admission is free and limited to the first 100 people.The anniversary celebration will take place in the Sacramento Room – the reference room of the 1918 Carnegie-funded Central Library before the library was expanded to its current size in 1988.History buffs and architecture enthusiasts will find something to love during the celebrations, whether it’s an exclusive look inside the climate-controlled vault holding rare Sacramento documents and ephemera, a telling of the history of the library by DeWilde, or a guided tour of the original Italian Renaissance-inspired architecture in the historic library – including the original staircase and entrance normally off-limits to visitors.”

San Diego County: Donate Prom Dresses to Library for Free Giveaway Events

From Valley Center Happenings

“Help make dreams come true for teenage girls who need a dress for the prom. The San Diego County Library is collecting gently worn formal dresses so these teens can go to the dance in style.For teen girls, half the fun of going to the prom is picking out the dress. But that can be challenging when the budget isn’t quite there. That’s why the County Library is joining forces again with the non-profit organization The Princess Project to collect prom dresses.In past years, the County Library has collected hundreds of dresses at the El Cajon and Vista branches. This year, all 33 library branches will be taking in gowns. The branches will take donations until April 20.”

Tulare County librarian: ‘This is a dream come true’

From Visalia Times Delta

” Saturday was a dream come true for Tulare County Librarian Darla Wegener. While children flipped through books and authors captivated audiences, Wegener stood back, smiled and watched. “I have goosebumps,” she said. “This has been on my bucket list for a very long time.”On Saturday, hundreds visited the Visalia Branch Library on West Oak Avenue to celebrate the inaugural Book Festival. The festival was a collaboration between Wegener and Leadership Visalia. Leadership Visalia is a program offered through the Visalia Chamber of Commerce. Each year, a new leadership class creates a service project aimed to enhance the community and develop leadership skills. The event took months of planning, but everyone involved said it was worth the effort.”

Marin’s Top Librarian Receives National Award

From San Rafael Patch

“The director of the Marin County Free Library has received a national award from the American Library Association.Sara Jones, who has led the 10-branch county-run library system for five years, has won the 2018 Peggy Sullivan Award for Public Library Administrators Supporting Services to Children. The award is presented annually to a library administrator who has shown exceptional understanding and support of public library service to children.Jones will be recognized during the American Library Association’s annual conference June 26 in New Orleans.”

Gonzales: Library to host robotics class

From Gonzales Tribune

” Gonzales Library is gearing up to start a robotics class for middle school students beginning April 19.The Gonzales Branch of the Monterey County Free Libraries received a $10,000 grant from the California State Library in December that will be split with the Carmel Library. Carmel Valley Branch Library and Gonzales Librarian Christopher Gallegos applied for the grant to set up a “Innovation Station” in both libraries with the idea to provide STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) focused programs to middle and high school aged patrons.
“This was particularly important to me here in Gonzales since we are in a rural area where technology access is often behind the norm,” Gallegos said. “Eddy and I also identified that we wanted to encourage young women to apply, since figures show they are underrepresented in these professions.” The platform used will be Lego for both libraries. Lego has sets called “Mindstorms EV3,” which allow students to create simple robots and learn basic computer coding.”

Rancho Mirage: Bridging the Digital Divide: Brain Training Now Available at Local Libraries

From Global NewsWire

“As National Libraries Week kicks off, Posit Science announced that BrainHQ, its cloud-based brain exercise and assessment platform, is now available at hundreds of public and military libraries — at no charge to library patrons.Consumer subscriptions to BrainHQ range from $8-14 per month, but patrons of participating libraries can gain access without charge. Through an arrangement with library supplier Demco Software, libraries can obtain access for their service area population that allows library cardholders to access BrainHQ from the library or remotely.“We have tried to make BrainHQ subscriptions highly accessible,” said Dr. Henry Mahncke, CEO of Posit Science, “but we realize that some people still don’t have access to internet-connected devices, and that some people, especially on a fixed income, may not have $8 a month to spare. Libraries, with their dedication to improving minds, are ideal partners in getting this technology to everyone it can help.”BrainHQ is unique in the field of brain training because of the science behind the product. A study comparing commercially-available brain exercises and games targeting older adults, published last year in Neuropsychological Review, found most such products were backed by zero studies and that only BrainHQ was backed by multiple high-quality studies.”

San Diego County: High-speed internet coming to county libraries, five-year contract signed

From The Californian

” The 33 County Library branches currently have Internet service with a broadband speed of 40 megabytes per second, but an upgrade to high-speed Internet will improve the download speed to one gigabyte per second.A 5-0 San Diego County Board of Supervisors vote March 27 authorized a sole-source contract with Califa Group to provide high-speed Internet services at County Library branches. The five-year contract has a value of $1.5 million.“I have been a huge supporter of libraries and I know their value in our communities,” said Supervisor Bill Horn. “The countywide upgrade to a high-speed network will open up countless new opportunities for library visitors, and it comes at very little cost to the county.”The Federal Communications Commission has an E-Rate Program that subsidizes 85 to 90 percent of the costs for access to high-speed Internet service for libraries and educational institutions. The county’s projected expense (based on an 85 percent subsidy) of $225,000, or $45,000 annually, will be funded by the county’s general fund revenue.”

National Library Week: Doris Foley Library, preserving the history of Nevada County

From The Union

“This past fall, the Doris Foley Library’s small but mighty historical research library came back under the purview of the Nevada County Community Library.The Friends of the Nevada County Libraries successfully managed the Foley for the past seven years. Our dedicated, hard-working Friends volunteers transformed the Foley into a powerhouse of historic research, assisting patrons across the globe with questions spanning every imaginable local history topic while lovingly caring for the archival collections, books, and the beautiful building itself.Although Nevada County Community Library has now staffed the Foley Library, our Friends volunteers will continue to cheerfully assist patrons and work on special projects. In addition, the fabulous “Bookies” that work downstairs will continue to run the renowned book sale on the first Saturday of every month.”

Murrieta Launches ‘Library For All’ For Adults With Disabilities

From Murrieta Patch

” The Murrieta Public Library invites adults with disabilities to a new library enrichment program. Library for All features activities tailored to the participant’s unique interests and ability levels. The goal of the program is to provide activities that are fun, creative, and meaningful to all participants.An interactive program for adults with disabilities, ages 18 and up, and their families/coaches, will be beneficial for an underserved population within the community. Efforts to provide inclusive programming are an important aspect of library service which results in numerous rewards for families, communities and libraries.”

Lake County: New Middletown Library marks five years of service

From Lake County News

” The Middletown branch of Lake County Library located at 21256 Washington St. is celebrating its first five years since moving from the historic Gibson Library across the highway.Come on it and see what the library offers to the public.The library supplies books and so much more to the community.The library’s resources and programs include free high-speed wifi, public computers, downloadable digital content, storytime at 11:30 a.m. each Tuesday and a book club that meets at 3:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month.The Middletown Library features more than 20,000 books, DVDs, audiobooks and other materials.Through the shared library catalog and circulation system, Middletown library patrons can also borrow from the collections of the Lake, Sonoma and Mendocino County Libraries.The library shares the building with the Middletown Senior Center and the Middletown Community Center. The meeting room is available for programs.”

Long Beach Public Library Encourages Adults To Go Back To School

From The Grunion

“Long Beachers 19 and older can go back to high school and earn an accredited high school diploma.It’s possible through Long Beach Public Library’s Career Online High School (COHS) program, an online high school course that differs from a GED.”It offers a great, flexible schedule, and students who complete the course are receiving a high school diploma,” Gina Robinson, Long Beach Public Library librarian and coordinator at COHS, said. “If you have kids and the only time you have to do schoolwork is after they’re in bed, then you can do your high school coursework in bed while in your pajamas.” The program has 75 students enrolled, and celebrated its second graduation earlier this month. Twelve students graduated with their high school diplomas.”

Placentia: Local Public Library Now Offering Drones, Violins, Leaf Blowers And More For Check Out

From CBS Los Angeles

“At Placentia Library, patrons can now look to their local library for more than just books.From drones and violins to a popcorn machine and snow cone maker, the public library is offering those with a library card the opportunity to check out dozens of items and gadgets.Library director Jeanette Contreras told CBS2’s Jo Kwon there are about 40 items patrons can borrow for two weeks at a time.”

Local Public Library Now Offering Drones, Violins, Leaf Blowers And More For Check Out

Butte County: Library expands collection Grant delivers hundreds of books on emergency prep, recovery

From News Review

” In light of the Oroville Dam Spillway crisis and last summer’s devastating wildfires, the Butte County Library has added hundreds of books focused on disaster prep and recovery, made possible by a $10,000 Crisis Collections grant from the California State Library.”

san Diego County: County to have high-speed internet at library branches

From The Coast News

” The 33 county library branches currently have internet service with a broadband speed of 40 megabytes per second, but an upgrade to high-speed internet will improve the download speed to one gigabyte per second.A 5-0 San Diego County Board of Supervisors vote March 27 authorized a sole-source contract with Califa Group to provide high-speed internet services at county library branches. The five-year contract has a value of $1.5 million.“I have been a huge supporter of libraries and I know their value in our communities,” Supervisor Bill Horn said. “The countywide upgrade to a high-speed network will open up countless new opportunities for library visitors, and it comes at very little cost to the county.”The Federal Communications Commission has an E-Rate Program which subsidizes 85 to 90 percent of the costs for access to high-speed internet service for libraries and educational institutions. The county’s projected expense (based on an 85 percent subsidy) of $225,000, or $45,000 annually, will be funded by the county’s general fund revenue.”

Altadena Library Director’s Attorney Seeks Independent Investigation and Trustee Recusals

From Colorado Boulevard

” Altadena Library Director Mindy Kittay’s attorney today warned the Library District’s governing Board that the emails showing Brown Act violations disclosed last week were “just the tip of the tip of the iceberg.”In a 7-page letter (see below) to the Library District Board of Trustees, civil rights attorney Dale Gronemeier demanded the Board “hire an independent investigator to review and publicly report on the extent of Brown Act violations and other misconduct;” if the Library does not hire an independent investigator, he asserted there would be a “coming storm” of “embarrassing email after email dripping out month-by-month because we have to resort to public shaming of the Library leadership in order to address these issues.”Gronemeier and his partner Skip Hickambottom last Thursday made a series of 7 presentations to the Library’s Board of Trustees public meeting as it moved through the agenda.”

Richmond: Public Libraries Are Handing Out Free Seed Packets to Promote Sustainability

From My Modern Met

” Recently, a number of public libraries have come up with creative ways to encourage education through engagement. While most of these public programs—including city-wide book scavenger hunts and an immersive “Subway Library“—typically exist to foster a love of reading, one growing campaign also aims to promote sustainability by offering library members free fruit and vegetable seeds.Known as seed libraries, these collections of complimentary seed packets are popping up in hundreds of libraries across the country. While some institutions simply give the parcels away to library card holders, others allow them to be “checked out” with the understanding that the seeds of any future plants will be returned to the library.”