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.”


Books S.F. Public Library serves as refuge from wildfire smoke

From Datebook

” San Franciscans looking to escape the smoke-filled air can depend on an institution that is so often there for those in need: the public library.The city’s Main Library — plus its branches in Chinatown, Mission and Glen Park and the SFMOMA Public Knowledge library — are equipped with air conditioning systems that do not use outside air as intake. With toxic smoke from the deadly Camp Fire continuing to pollute the Bay Area, public health officials have warned people to stay indoors.“San Francisco Public Library is often the only indoor place that many of our residents can spend time in, every week of the year,” said Acting City Librarian Michael Lambert. “We are proud to be an important resource for knowledge and respite for all San Franciscans.”
The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management has listed the library — and Japantown, Westfield Centre and Stonestown shopping areas — as public places for fresher air.”


Santa Clara: New Automated DMV Kiosks Providing Relief For Bay Area Drivers

From KPIX 5

“The California Department of Motor Vehicles has installed an automated kiosk at Santa Clara’s Central Park library branch, hoping to steer drivers clear of the dreaded lines found at DMV offices statewide.“Nobody likes to go to the DMV and stand for hours, especially when you’ve got kids. And here, you’re hitting two birds with one stone. You can hang out at the library — get your books and get your registration printed out,” said driver Kristin Ajlouny.The kiosk allows drivers to renew their registration instantly, allowing users to print out their new tags immediately. That’s an especially handy feature for the procrastinators among us that comes without lines or appointment hassles.”

New Automated DMV Kiosks Providing Relief For Bay Area Drivers

Poway Library will host digital bookmobile Friday

From San Diego Union Tribune

“The Digital Bookmobile National Tour Event is coming to the Poway Library from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday.This free event highlights eBooks and audiobooks from the library in an interactive experience.The digital bookmobile is equipped with interactive workstations, touchscreen activities, devices to sample titles and more, according to a press release.Staff from the Poway Library and eBook experts will be available on the digital bookmobile to guide visitors through the process of browsing, selecting and downloading eBooks and audiobooks from the library’s digital catalog. Interactive learning stations will also feature video tutorials that introduce readers to the process of browsing and borrowing.”


Empty Hollywood library will be converted to women’s shelter

From Curbed Los Angeles

” Construction officially kicked off today on a project that will convert a shuttered Hollywood library into temporary housing for up to 30 homeless women. Located at 1403 North Gardiner Street, near the West Hollywood border, the building once housed the Will and Ariel Durant branch of the Los Angeles Public Library system (now located on Sunset Boulevard).It’s only a mile and a half from the site of another bridge housing shelter in Hollywood, which got under construction last month and will include 70 beds for residents.But unlike that project, the Gardiner shelter isn’t funded by Mayor Eric Garcetti’s A Bridge Home program. Announced by Garcetti in April, the initiative is aimed at developing temporary homeless shelters in all 15 of the city’s council districts, where residents can get connected with case managers able to help them find permanent housing.”


Special Libraries open up new opportunities for patrons

From The Columbus Telegram

“Public libraries are the generalists of the library world; they serve the diverse needs of a community. Special libraries, on the other hand, serve a very specialized group of individuals for a particular purpose. In many cases, the general public does not even know these wonderful gems are there, hiding in plain sight.The Braille Institute Library has six California branches that serve the needs of the blind or visually impaired. Like your public library, they include comfortable reading areas, computers, free wireless internet, and various books, magazines, and periodicals in braille and audio formats. They also have CCTV magnification stations available to assist patrons who wish to read traditional print materials.The American Museum of Natural History in New York has its own library. The library was founded at the same time as the museum and is now one of the largest natural history libraries in the world. The primary function of the library is to support the work of those employed at the museum, but it is also available for use by outside scholars and members of the general public.”


Libraries on the Front Lines of Homelessness

From Ever Widening Circles

” Sometimes, opportunities seem obvious after they are discovered, but at the outset, their genius seems revolutionary.Have you given much thought to the changing role of libraries in the past few decades? Public libraries attract marginalized populations like individuals experiencing homelessness because they are free spaces, open to everyone. Instead of overlooking the issues facing these library users, many public libraries like those in San Francisco, D.C., Los Angeles, Denver, and Toronto are implementing amazing programs to serve these populations! In 2017, over half a million individuals in the United States experienced homelessness. In response to these statistics, and the unique issues these individuals face, the Denver Public Library started its Community Resource Specialist program in 2015. Two years later, they expanded their social services to include three Peer Navigators.These are “individuals with ‘lived experience,’ meaning they are in recovery and have found stabilization in regards to housing, mental health and/or substance abuse.” 2 And it’s these peer navigators who have been able to connect with the library’s population of individuals experiencing homelessness in remarkable ways! One of these peer navigators is Cuica Montoya, a truly extraordinary individual who has had her own experiences with homelessness and substance abuse.”


Every City Should Have a Toy Library

From The Atlantic

” On July 30, 1942, then–New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia was uptown in Harlem, playing with toys.“Harlem Gets First Toyery,” announced a Paramount newsreel heralding the opening of the neighborhood’s first toy-lending library, a storefront on West 135th Street stocked with 1,000 playthings and sponsored by a branch of the Domestic Relations Court.
Ida Cash, a city probation officer, had conceived of the “toyery” in the late 1920s upon “contrasting the barren homes she found with the happy lot of her own children.” Philanthropic New York women decided to support the project, likewise concerned that children were being arrested for stealing toys.By the 1930s, the Heckscher Foundation for Children ran two toyeries where children could play with toys, check them out, and make crafts. Others followed suit. A consensus had formed that, as with playgrounds and book libraries, funds should be set aside for playing with toys. Monkey bars worked their bodies, reading worked their minds, but there was something else, something both physical and mental, that happened when they worked their fingers. Imagination. Socialization. Freedom.”


CSUEB students seek 24-hour library

From The Pioneer

” California State University, East Bay’s students attempt to do homework at random hours of the day, depending on when they can find time in their busy schedule. Students struggle to find a place to study, especially at night, without access to a 24-hour library.The University Library opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m. which restricts late night study hours. However, the Learning Commons that is connected to the library closes at 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday.“It helps me focus on my studies and what needs to get done”, said William Gallegos, a CSUEB junior. “If it was open 24-hours like some other libraries then I would be able to do work whenever I find the time.”Most students have classes and work throughout the day and prefer to take a break from their studies at the end of their busy days. Doing assignments at home can be difficult for students due to distractions.“I go to the Learning Commons quite often because my roommates play video games late, although I’d prefer to do my work in the library,” said CSUEB student Johnathon Washington. “You can get comfortable in the cushioned chairs and overall I tend to get more work done in the library.” The only 24-hour libraries available to students are at San Jose State University, which it is 28 miles from CSUEB and San Francisco State University which is 34 miles away. The distance to these universities makes it difficult for students to access their libraries, especially those who lack the means of transportation.”


Santa Cruz: Breaking new ground, Capitola embarks on library project

From Santa Cruz Sentinel

” Were history any indication, Friday’s groundbreaking for a new permanent Capitola library branch would be interrupted by the economy, political infighting, disagreements about size and location or some new hurdle.Instead, this week’s ceremony marks what is the first step toward the putting the city library in a brick-and-mortar space of its own. Not since 1981 has the city library been hosted in a permanent space as it was, across from Capitola City Hall since 1953. That early 80s marked the city’s last-gasp effort to self-fund its own library branch after the library system withdrew backing, as with at several other branches, due to system budget deficits the previous year.Thanks in large part to voters’ support of the 2016 Measure S bond measure and related parcel tax, libraries projects in Capitola and across the county are moving forward in refurbishing, updating and building new facilities. If construction proceeds as planned, Capitola’s new branch could open its doors by winter 2019.”


Free pet clinic comes to Sacramento library


” People lined up at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library on Sunday, not to get books, but to see a veterinarian.Street vets with nonprofit 4 R Friends helped more than 400 dogs at a free clinic at the library on 24th Street.The vet in charge said she was happy to be out in the community, offering pets life-saving treatments that can be a financial burden for some families.”


San Francisco: Libraries hire social workers to help homeless patrons

From L.A. Times

“In the past, when homeless people left their personal belongings in the aisles of the Addison Public Library, security guards might have asked them to leave.But that was before the library hired a social worker — someone who viewed the problem from another angle.“We started looking at patrons in a different way, that maybe some of the behavioral issues we were having at the library were stemming from other needs we could address,” said Mary Medjo Me Zengue, director of the Addison library.Public libraries have long been a refuge, not just for readers but also for people with nowhere else to go during the day — people who sometimes sleep in chairs, use the bathroom sinks to wash themselves or inject themselves with drugs in bathroom stalls. Sometimes they have been kicked out. At best they’ve been left alone.But now a growing number of libraries across the nation are facing the issue head-on, hiring social workers to help connect people with housing, healthcare and food. The Chicago Public Library has a social worker who splits time between two of its Uptown branches, paid for by local hospital system Amita Health. Amita plans to hire social workers for more Chicago library branches in coming months. Amita also pays for a social worker at the Evanston Public Library.”


Lake County: Creativebug offered as new library resource

From Lake County News

“The Lake County Library now offers Creativebug, a new free digital resource that lets library patrons use their library cards to access classes in sewing, quilting, art and design, jewelry, cooking, music and more.Creativebug’s video library has more than 1,000 high quality online art and craft classes and adds new classes every day.The Creativebug access is located on the library Web site, http://library.lakecountyca.gov, under “Resources.”You can watch classes on Creativebug anytime, anywhere, in the library, on your home computer or on a phone or tablet.Once you sign up for a free Creativebug account with your library card you can view or review any class as often as you like.You can download or print out the patterns, instructions and recipes that accompany the classes.Classes range from a few minutes in length to about an hour.Creatirvebug offers many classes for both beginning and advanced crafters and artists. In the art and design category alone beginners can find an abundance of choices.”


Kayaks, ukuleles, neckties: The weird and useful things you can check out from local libraries

From The Washington Post

“When you think about the most valuable cards in your wallet, you probably envision your credit and ATM cards. Here’s another one that should come to mind: your library card. These days, the nation’s 9,057 library systems let you check out a lot more than books.Need a power tool, kayak, 3-D printer or Ninja Turtle-shaped cake pan? Your library might have one you can borrow. What about crafting or studio space? It might have you covered there, too. Some libraries provide access to courses on computers or graphic design. Many will let you borrow passes to local attractions such as zoos and museums. Others provide seeds and cuttings to check out; you can grow your own, then return seeds or cuttings to share with others.Bottom line: If you don’t have a library card, you should get one, and if you do, it may be time to dust it off.”


FIRST LOOK: Inside Long Beach’s new library being constructed in Downtown

From Long Beachize

“While focus has homed in on the new Civic Center’s largest buildings—the new City Hall and the new Port of Long Beach headquarters that sit at the northeast corner of Ocean and Magnolia—the most expensive building per square foot is the new Main Library at the southwest corner of Broadway and Pacific.It is also one of the most important investments in the public in recent years as libraries across the nation have shifted from simply being places where one can find books to spaces that harbor technologies (our libraries have spaces that include free 3D printing), disperse accredited diplomas (since 2016, 37 adults have scored their high school diploma through the library), and assist with academic and social success (the library has a program that has children fully literate before kindergarten).The massive, 92,500-square-foot-structure will expound on these services and amenities—much needed, given that despite the development and economic boom centered in Downtown, 43 percent of children living in the area (zip codes 90802 and 90813) live below the poverty level.”


Yolo County hires its first museum curator

From Daily Democrat

“After a nationwide search, Yolo County Library announced the appointment of Iulia Bodeanu as the county’s first museum curator.Bodeanu has been serving as interim coordinator for some months now.Community leaders from YoloArts, Yolo County Historical Museum, Friends of the Yolo County Archives and Yolo County Library all played roles in the recruitment and selection process, according to Yolo County spokeswoman Beth Gabor..The museum curator is a new, full-time, limited-term position working under the auspices of the Yolo County Library. In this role, Bodeanu will lead a full review of the Yolo County historical collection, housed in Yolo County’s historical Gibson House and on the property, located in Woodland.The review process will include re-housing collection items and preservation work, according to Gabor.”


Santa Clara Co. Librarian To Be Honored By State Association

From Campbell Patch

” Santa Clara County Librarian Nancy Howe will be honored by the California Library Association with the Zoia Horn Award at their 2018 Awards Gala.The event is slated for Nov. 10 at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara.The Zoia Horn Intellectual Freedom Award recognizes those who have made significant contributions to advance intellectual freedom and help preserve free speech in an open society.”