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.”