23 of the most incredible libraries around the world

From Vogue

“By reading books, we can travel the world, shape-shift and experience what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes without leaving our chairs. And with libraries, we can have these extraordinary experiences even if we have no money or means. “The library card is a passport to wonders and miracles, glimpses into other lives, religions, experiences, the hopes and dreams and strivings of all human beings,” says contemporary American writer, Libba Bray. “It is this passport that opens our eyes and hearts to the world beyond our front doors, that is one of our best hopes against tyranny, xenophobia, hopelessness, despair, anarchy, and ignorance.” From libraries steeped in history, like Trinity College Old Library in Dublin (where Harry Potter was filmed), to modern marvels, like Musashino Art University Museum & Library in Tokyo, where the focus is on digital information sharing, libraries endure as precious public spaces – spaces where anyone with a passion for learning is welcome to pull up a chair and stay as long as they like.”


NY Times now free in all 1,200 California public libraries

From The Hill

” The New York Times announced Tuesday that its content will now be offered for free in all 1,200 of California’s public libraries.The 23 million library card holders in the state will have free access to the Times’s website by registering with their library card. “A library card is the best bargain around, and having free access to The New York Times makes your library card even more valuable,” Greg Lucas, California’s state librarian, said in a press release announcing the partnership. “We’re excited to partner with The Times to make an important news source available to Californians at their local library. To say nothing of the creative lesson plans in the Learning Network.” Registered card holders will be able to access the Times either through a library computer, on their own device connected to a library’s Wi-Fi, or through the libraries’ website when accessing it remotely.”


Contra Costa: After protests, an estimated 500 attend East Bay library’s ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’

From SF Gate

“There were some in Brentwood who felt that a literary event at the Brentwood Community Center on Monday night was inappropriate for kids. Why? The public reading in Contra Costa County featured a drag queen reading children’s books to, well, children.But the 25 or so people who showed up to protest mostly peacefully outside the venue were well outnumbered by the 500 people Contra Costa County Libraries estimated to have attended the event. It was more people than the organization expected to attend to hear Bella Aldama read to young guests, a spokeswoman for the group told SFGATE, but it was nevertheless a rousing success.”


Santa Monica: 100 Years of History at Ocean Park Library

From Santa Monica Mirror

“By the early 1900s, as Santa Monica evolved into the city it is today, it was apparent that the Santa Monica Public Library had outgrown its quarters.In 1906, the Clapp Brothers Drug Store on Pacific Avenue established a book exchange where patrons of the public library went to pick up and return books. Elfie Mosse, the City Librarian, requested funding to build Santa Monica’s first branch library, and on February 15, 1918, after a $12,500 grant from Andrew Carnegie, the Ocean Park Branch Library opened its doors to the public.A century later, the Ocean Park Branch Library is one of the few remaining pieces of the Carnegie legacy in Southern California and a testament to the unique history and diversity that make up the roots of Santa Monica.”


Plumas County: Chester Library celebrates 90 years

From Plumas News

” In 1929 the Chester Library opened its door to the local community, and 90 years later is continuing to provide services far beyond simply lending books.There will be functions throughout the year to celebrate this anniversary. These events are intended to educate people of this historical library and the Chester Museum, which shares space at 210 First Ave. in downtown Chester.For 90 years this library has had the fortune to survive when many others have had to close their doors. She is a symbol of strength, need and utilization. She is the epitome of the saying, “Great things come in small packages.” Being a rural library, she serves the entire Chester/Lake Almanor Basin’s full time population, and the multitude of visitors during the summer resort season.Take away the new entry gable and the museum addition and the Chester Library doesn’t look much different than it did circa 1929. Celebrating 90 years of service to the Chester/Lake Almanor area, the library is planning several special events intended to educate the community about its history and expanding service to the community. The building itself has the unique status of being the only log library in California.”


South Pasadena: Library Improvements Coming Soon

From South Pasadena Review

” Changes taking place on the main floor of the South Pasadena Public Library will update its look, add space and improve library services, according to officials.Circulation and reference services will be centralized, and public computers with internet connections will double in number, according to Cathy Billings, Assistant Library Director.No changes will be made in the Children’s Room.The sizable circular desk at the entrance to the library used by staff for checking items in and out will be removed Feb. 19, Billings said.The substantial reference desk, which is located toward the back of the library, will be retired at the same time. Staff has used these desks to serve patrons since the library expanded in 1982 – nearly 40 years.Taking their place just inside the main entrance is an already installed almost 20-foot-long oak desk a few feet from the west wall. It will serve as the single-point service desk for both checkout and reference services.Storage cabinets and a book drop have been installed along the wall. Corian countertops give the new structures a sleek look.”


Planned drag queen storytime ruffles some feathers in Brentwood

From Times-Herald

“An upcoming library story hour on inclusion and tolerance is stirring up a commotion in Brentwood.Since the recent announcement that East Bay drag queen Bella Aldama Word will do the reading, social media has gone into a frenzy and people have been calling to express their displeasure or voice their support, according to Brentwood Library staff.The Friends of the Library-sponsored Drag Queen Storytime — the first such one — will be held across the street from the library at the larger Brentwood Community Center at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 11, followed by a heart wand craft-making session. Regular storytimes are held in the mornings at the library.Contra Costa County Library spokeswoman Brooke Converse said some mistakenly thought Aldama is going to give a nightclub-like performance, which isn’t the case.”


San Diego: County library system to obtain automated materials handler

From The Californian

“The County Library system will be obtaining a centralized automated material handling system.The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 January 29 to authorize the director of the county’s Department of Purchasing and Contracting to issue a request for proposals for the procurement of an automated materials handler and to award a contract upon a determination of fair and reasonable pricing. The contract will also include warranty, maintenance, and technical support service, and the supervisors’ action also appropriated $1,100,000 for the procurement and support services to supplement $400,000 already budgeted.“I’m really excited,” said County Library director Miguel Acosta.“Library customers will really appreciate a new automated sorter because the turnaround time for requested materials could go from 30 days down to three days,” said Supervisor Jim Desmond. “The more efficient system will also free up staff to better serve their customers.”Currently the County Library system has 15 automated sorters in branches.”


Robotics Showcase at Livermore Library

From The Independent

” On Sat., Jan. 26, a free Student Robotics Fair was hosted at Livermore Public Library. The event included presentations of remotely operated underwater vehicles by experts from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and Marine Advanced Technology Education Center. Local students showcased their robotics projects in a partnership with the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District.”


Tax season begins with free tax-prep campaign at Solano libraries

From Daily Republic

” The room was packed Saturday at the Suisun Library for the kickoff of a free tax preparation campaign across the county.W-2 forms in hand, papers filled out with all the important information, about 50 people waited for their chance to get those darned taxes finished.Solano County libraries are hosting free tax preparation Super Saturdays each weekend this month.It’s part of the Earn it, Keep It, Save It program. The United Way Bay Area and the county libraries are urging low-income workers to come in and get their taxes done early and learn about opening a savings account to help put money away for future needs.”


Santa Cruz: Library Champion, Capitola Treasure

From Aptos Times

“As we try to absorb the day-to-day flow of news, it can be challenging to remember that the world is full of good people doing good things. Barbara Gorson, who died January 5, was one of those good people whose life is well worth knowing about.Barbara was a lifelong learner whose interests were diverse. A national merit scholar in high school, she went on to earn her BA, eventually finding her way to Los Angeles with her beloved husband, Billy Gorson. In LA she worked for six years as chief of staff and personal assistant to Bob Dylan. During that time, she enrolled at UCLA in the School of Management and earned an MBA. This accomplishment led her to Silicon Valley and a series of increasingly responsible positions at Intel, where she worked for 16 years, spending two of those years in Hong Kong before retiring and moving to Capitola.”


The Huntington Library Hosts Pasadena’s Princesses of Fashion for Industry Runway Show

From Pasadena Now

“For some 14 years the Rodarte label has been synonymous with designs that caress the borders of art, its Pasadena-bred founders Kate and Laura Mulleavy, crowned with the laurels of true creatives.The sisters will host a Rodarte runway show at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens Feb. 5, a first fashion fling for the stately institution.A-List attendees are anticipated for Tuesday’s extravaganza. Cate Blanchett, Kanye West, Beyonce—and lots more—have all been seen wearing the brand.After graduating from UC Berkeley in 2001, Kate and Laura Mulleavy returned home to Pasadena where they started Rodarte. The brand’s first runway collection debuted in September 2005 to critical acclaim, and they never looked back.”


Santa Maria: Zip Books: Library looks to expand use by shipping audio, visual materials to readers’ doors

From Santa Maria Times

” One year after introducing Zip Books — a grant-funded program that brings books directly to community members’ homes — the Santa Maria Public Library is hoping to expand its use among readers.The program — which is supported by California Library Services Act (CLSA) funds — allows residents interested in books or audiobooks not held by the library to have the items purchased and shipped to their door, said Joanne Britton, a city librarian who oversees adult reference services and circulation.”


Stockton, Lagging in Literacy, Focuses on Neglected Library System

From Comstocks

“A 2010 report of the most literate cities in the U.S. placed Stockton at the absolute bottom. The city had climbed three spots on the list by 2016. That was the same year voters passed Measure M, the Library and Recreation Special Tax, approving $200 million for these services.Stockton resident Mas’ood Cajee says the measure has already improved Stockton’s library system. Cajee had volunteered as chair of the advocacy group Strong Libraries = Strong Communities to get Measure M passed, and was then appointed by newly elected Mayor Michael Tubbs as chair of the oversight committee for administering funds.”


New Teen Services Librarian joins Ukiah Branch Library

From The Ukiah Daily Journal

“Katrina Griffiths is the new Teen Services Librarian at the Ukiah Branch Library. She’s working with Melissa Eleftherion Carr, who was the former Teen Librarian, and was promoted to her new position as Branch Librarian last summer. Griffiths brings with her seven years of experience as a teen librarian working abroad, in four different libraries in countries as diverse as Australia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, and Sweden.Originally from Tucson, Ariz., Griffiths lived in Oregon for a time, and says “that’s when I pushed myself abroad.” She studied in Australia to become a librarian, and this is her first job back in the U.S.”


Tulare: Public libraries throughout the county are learning the benefits to 3-D Printing

From The Sun Gazette

“Tulareans have enjoyed the experience of watching a 3-D printer in action during the past few weeks. It’s owned by the San Joaquin Valley Library System (SJVLS) and has been on loan to the Tulare Public Library.The purpose has been to share the technology with library users, and to further grasp its usefulness in education and with the local business community, said Heidi Clark, library manager.The SJVLS actually has two 3-D printers available to its member libraries. With eight member library districts and two independent city libraries, there has been a lot of demand. Tulare Public Library is considering purchasing its own. The Tulare County Library (TCL) already has.”


Sonoma library launches winter reading challenge

From Sonoma Index Tribune

” Sonoma County Library is joining other libraries around the world in the Beanstack Winter Reading Challenge. Children ages 0 to 12 are challenged to read at least 600 minutes between Jan. 15 and Feb. 28 and track those minutes in Beanstack. Children who meet the goal of reading 600 minutes will earn a free book.Children and parents are encouraged to log their reading through Sonoma County Library’s new online reading program, Beanstack, a web and mobile application, to track self-directed reading time and help build a culture of reading in school and at home.”


Longtime Redwood City librarian retires

From The Daily Journal

“A “Redwood City icon,” librarian Molly Spore-Alhadef has retired after more than 40 years of connecting patrons with books, videos, historic documents and whatever they sought from the library’s catalog.“With Molly’s retirement, it is the end of an era,” said Library Assistant Gene Suarez. “She really is an icon in Redwood City, helping generations of students and patrons. She has been the institutional memory of the city and its libraries.”A retirement party will be held for Spore-Alhadef at the library’s community room Friday, Feb. 1, and city and county officials will present her with proclamations then.”