Butte County: California Libraries in Wildfires’ Wake

From American Libraries

“Public institutions across the country are rallying in support of displaced library employees and libraries devastated by wildfires in California that have claimed more than 80 lives and resulted in the evacuation of tens of thousands people.“Miraculously, the Paradise branch of the Butte County Library system is still standing,” says Butte County Library Director Melanie Lightbody, noting that it’s one of the only remaining structures in the town.The remaining five branches in the system are still operational and have become information centers, offering computers, Wi-Fi, and printers to help displaced residents contact insurance companies, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other agencies.“Right now, part of the biggest issue we have going on is people have lost their technology,” Lightbody says.Five of the library’s 26 staff members have lost their homes to the fire, Lightbody says.“We have many people affected by the fire, so we are still in an urgent situation,” she says. “We are just now starting to look at disaster recovery. One of the things I’m working on is trying to get into the [Paradise branch] building.”Also on the long list of concerns are the historical records and archives located at the Paradise branch, Lightbody said. While the library was not destroyed by the fire, the building and its contents have suffered extensive smoke damage.”


Nevada County Library releases innovative plan moving forward

From The Union

“A new report suggests ways local libraries can help promote lifelong learning, economic and workforce development, and community wellness within Nevada County.The 30-page report, issued Wednesday by the Aspen Institute and shared by the Nevada County Library, is entitled “Rising to the Challenge: Creating Pathways for Learning, Innovation and a Resilient Community.”The document is the product of a day-long conference held in Grass Valley in August. The report details strategic initiatives and steps that will help tie local libraries to the overall goals of Nevada County.”I am working to advance collaborative ideas and initiatives sparked by the Nevada County Dialogue that improve life for all community members,” said Nevada County Librarian Yolande Wilburn.”


Berkeley Public Library worker alleges employee retaliation, sues library, city

From The Daily Californian

“Berkeley Public Library employee Lisa Hesselgesser filed a lawsuit against the library and the city of Berkeley on Nov. 19, alleging age discrimination, retaliation on the basis of her union affiliation and the intentional infliction of pain, among other charges.The suit comes after a prolonged dispute between the library and a number of staff members. According to the lawsuit, the contention originated with a 2015 “weeding” effort, during which the library removed outdated books from its racks. The weeding prompted pushback from multiple staff members, and Hesselgesser alleged that the library subsequently retaliated against her because of her “outspoken belief that the library engaged in fraud, abuse, and misuse of public resources” in connection with this process, according to the suit.Hesselgesser is a library specialist and has been employed by the Berkeley Public Library since October 2001. She could not be reached for comment as of press time.”


UC Davis-based online textbook library receives $4.9 million federal grant

From The California Aggie

” The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $4.9 million dollar grant to the LibreText Project, an online textbook library founded at UC Davis.According to the Department of Education website, the grant awarded under the Open Textbooks Pilot Program “emphasizes the development of projects that demonstrate the greatest potential to achieve the highest level of savings for students through sustainable, expanded use of open textbooks in high-enrollment courses or in programs that prepare individuals for in-demand fields.”The LibreText Project, previously under the name ChemWiki, was developed 11 years ago by Delmar Larsen, an associate professor in the chemistry department. Larsen provided a supplemental text for Chem 107B: Physical Chemistry for Life Scientists, and the project grew to encompass all chemistry classes and further fields of study. The LibreText Project has amassed 12 libraries worth of content to date.
While developed at UC Davis, the online library is in use across universities and community colleges throughout the country. In addition to providing existing texts, it also provides the option for instructors to contribute their own texts tailored to their classes. The intent is to offer classrooms the ability to read content more directly related to the vocabulary used by a professor in their classes.”


Anaheim library hosts Mars InSight lander view party

From The Orange County Register

“The Anaheim Central Library hosted a viewing party on Monday morning where the public could watch a live-feed from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena as the Mars InSight made its final descent to the Martian surface.”


Jai’s Library opens at CSUB

From Bakersfield Now

“For many at California State University, Bakersfield, today was a step towards a more accepting world.This afternoon, the university unveiled Jai’s Library in honor of transgender student Jai Bornstein, who committed suicide in 2016.”It’s heartwarming, it’s honoring, um, it’s humbling, it’s emotional, it means a lot to our family,” said Jeanie Bornstein, Jai’s mother.The library will feature a variety of books and resources dedicated to transgender awareness and identity.But more importantly, it will also serve as a welcoming and safe place for those who might feel like outsiders.”We have to show love, acceptance, empathy, caring, support, concern for, for everybody,” Bornstein said.And experts say that having spaces where people can feel safe to be themselves is critical.People who are part of a marginalized population can feel different.”


Merced County: Connecting veterans to resources through the Library

From Los Banos Enterprise

” It’s been two years since the Los Banos Library’s Veterans Resource Center opened, and all of us at Merced County Library cannot help but reflect on what a privilege it’s been to assist 135-plus servicemen and women!“Libraries are safe spaces where people care and want to provide assistance,” said County Librarian Amy Taylor. “Helping veterans navigate the internet to apply for benefits is a natural fit with the services and mission of Merced County Library.”The VRC was initially funded by a grant through the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services in partnership with the California Department of Veterans Affairs and the California State Library. The goal is to provide assistance through trained volunteers to connect veterans to state and federal education, employment, housing, health, disability and other benefits they deserve.”