County Civil Grand Jury Reports on the Homeless in Pasadena Libraries

From Pasadena Now

“The increase in homeless people is pressuring public libraries beyond the provision of books and information into services typical of “social infrastructures” and the Los Angeles County Civil Grand Jury has some recommendations for Pasadena’s libraries to navigate the transition.The Grand Jury’s report is scheduled to be examined by Pasadena City’s Council during Monday night’s meeting.The report concludes with recommendations. Some of them applied to Pasadena’s City libraries and require responses, which city staff prepared for approval in anticipation of the Council meeting.The Civil Grand Jury is watchdog for the citizens of Los Angeles County. Its members are drawn from all five supervisorial districts and work as a committee in choosing the issues it investigates and reports on.The document on the homeless is one of nine included in a final report submitted to the Superior Court. The report being heard Monday at Pasadena City Hall is called “The Impact of the Homeless on Public Libraries.”“The library has become a shelter for the homeless to get out of the cold and to escape from the heat; but it is not the ideal sanctuary for their predicament,” the report said.As social infrastructure, the report said, libraries have taken on the function of community hubs where library users discover access not only to books, “but to companionship with other patrons as well, busy parents find virtual childcare; language instruction for immigrants, and welcoming safe space for the homeless and the young.” Parks, playgrounds, schools and other government-supported public spaces also fall into the category of social infrastructure.”

San Francisco: Should library fines be dropped?

The Florida Times-Union

“Chicago recently joined 150 other U.S. library systems by eliminating late fees for library materials.Jacksonville’s library system’s fine revenue has been dropping in recent years but it still amounts to about $450,000 a year. The library is allowed to keep that revenue and use it for upgrades at regional libraries.However, library officials are looking at the possibility of dropping fines. Also, they have discussed the possibility of an amnesty for people with library materials.It’s not just about the books. Despite the positive role libraries play, they are often one of the first on the budget chopping block. Hours are cut, limiting access to services most during the only times many can access them, like evenings and weekends. Fines cannot be counted on to bolster inadequate planning and budgeting.Fines become a hindrance when they prevent access to materials or services. The mission of the Jacksonville Public Library is “To enrich lives, build community, and foster success by bringing people, information, and ideas together.” Forcing librarians into an adversarial role as a collection agency does not support their mission.”

Yolo County Library increased participation in Summer Reading Program

From Winters Express

” Yolo County Library reported that Summer Reading Program participants read a total of 52,290 books, 14,226 days and 12,564 hours between Monday, May 20 and Monday, Sept. 30. Participation grew across all age groups this year with a 37 percent increase in sign-ups and a 35 percent increase in finishers.Participants who completed the program by reading 10 books, reading for 10 hours or reading over 10 days received a free book of their choice, resulting in 6,223 books being given away. In a post survey of the program, participants said their favorite part was “the free book,” and “reading for fun” was a close second. The survey also showed that 82 percent of participants read more often because of the program and 88 percent learned something new.One participant said, “It was really a great way to get me reading again.”Participants of all ages attended events held throughout the county, including a summer concert series headlined by the Element Brass Band; magic shows by Magical Nathaniel, Mike’s Magic Show, and Jon Lopez; presentations by Uncle Jer’s Traveling Bee Show and Circus of Smiles; and slime-making.”

Yolo County Library increased participation in Summer Reading Program

Public libraries support and empower local communities

From The California Aggie

“When it comes to libraries, I like to consider myself one of their biggest fans, second only to Rory Gilmore. My fascination began in the second grade when I was issued my first library card and realized it was a ticket to carry a backpack full of “Junie B. Jones” and “Katie Kazoo” books home. But my perception and love for public libraries took on a whole new meaning when I began to volunteer there at 14 years old. I spent all four years of high school volunteering at my local public library. What began as an exciting opportunity to work in a building filled with books became a four-year journey into the monumental and integral role of public libraries in our discourse and democracy.As many people might already know, public libraries provide important services to the community that go beyond borrowing books. They hold tutoring programs, tax prep services and provide computers and other important technological sources for productivity and information. That’s why I was so troubled to learn that the U.S. isn’t doing too well with public libraries. In 2016, the Syracuse University School of Information Studies ranked countries based on the number of libraries per 100,000 residents. The U.S. ranked 62 with only 30.35 libraries per 100,000 residents.”

Public libraries support and empower local communities

Santa Clara County libraries close as strike enters 10th day

From Mercury News

” The Santa Clara County union workers strike entered its 10th day Saturday, affecting several public libraries throughout the county.Workers at libraries in Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Campbell, Cupertino, Los Altos, Milpitas and Saratoga participated in the work stoppage, resulting in their closure for the day. Picketing workers instead gathered at the Cupertino Library to protest what they say are unfair labor practices. They also criticized the county for worker shortages and failure to hire and keep new staff.“Many in our community depend on the services our libraries have to offer but don’t always realize that we the workers do not have the resources we need,” Lucia Leblanc, a library assistant in Cupertino, said in a prepared statement. “Too many of our co-workers are taking on extra work that doesn’t always reflect our job duties to meet the staffing shortages and it is not sustainable.” Leblanc said in a Saturday interview that she expects library service to resume tomorrow.”

Santa Clara County libraries close as rolling strikes enter 10th day

San Diego: Lakeside Branch Library’s new head librarian is one for the books

From The East County Californian

” Mary Elder is the new head librarian at the Lakeside Branch Library.Elder hails from Tucson, Arizona.After earning degrees from the University of Arizona in both English Literature and Library and Information Science, she worked at the Pima Public Library for four years. It is apparent she loves her work.“Other than having children, my library degree has been the most rewarding thing I’ve done,” she said.What brought her to the San Diego area? A few simple facts: her adult son lives in Los Angeles, her daughter wants to go to SDSU, and her fiancée lives here as well.”

Lakeside Branch Library’s new head librarian is one for the books

Institutions from All Over L.A. Are Hauling Out Treasures from Their Archives

From L.A. Magazine

“Most of the year, the historical treasures in L.A.’s archives and libraries are locked up tight in acid-free boxes and climate-controlled vaults, but once a year some of them get to come out and play. More than 70 institutions, from the Huntington Library and the Getty to small-town historical societies stretching from San Pedro to Glendora, will gather at the glorious Doheny Library for the Archives Bazaar on Saturday, October 12, to show off riches from their collections, and entice you to pay them a visit.”