San Jose: Giving Underserved Youths a Chance to Succeed Through Better Access to High-Quality Education

From Next City

“The disparities in access to education have led to dismal outcomes. Students who drop out of high school or college are disproportionately low-income, particularly students of color; black and Hispanic students are 12 and 9 percent less likely than their white peers to graduate from high school in four years. These inequalities have far-reaching consequences, not just for individual kids, but for society as a whole. They hamper social mobility, exacerbate income inequality, and stifle economic growth.More and more, alongside school districts, cities are creating their own programs to ensure that all kids, especially those in underserved communities, have access to a high-quality education and of the many benefits that education guarantees them in the future. In California, San Jose and Oakland are among the cities leading this charge, taking a highly targeted approach that focuses on the students who are consistently being left behind. By developing programs to lower the barriers that students face, these cities are helping reduce disparities in access to educational opportunities.”

Paso Robles City Library offers book kits to encourage education on common mental health illnesses

From New Times

” One focus of the California State Library—the central reference and research library for state government and the Legislature—is mental health education.Karen Christiansen, adult services librarian for the Paso Robles City Library, told New Times that in order to provide educational materials on a variety of common mental health topics, the California State Library’s Mental Health initiative staff curated Mental Health and Wellness Book Kits. Then, the State Library provided public libraries with the opportunity to apply for a grant to receive the kits, and the Paso Robles City Library was selected as a grant recipient. Through the grant funding, the Paso Robles library is now offering eight book kits to the public.”

Digital Bookmobile makes Poway stop during national tour

From San Diego Union Tribune

“The Poway Library played host to the OverDrive Digital Bookmobile Tuesday, where patrons learned how to download e-books and audiobooks onto their smart devices.The bookmobile is a nationally touring interactive experience that goes to library branches using its Libby app service, said Marissa Gillett, digital book specialist.“It’s our way of saying thank you to libraries who participate (in using Libby),” Gillett said.Using the Libby app, which can be downloaded for free onto a smartphone or tablet, library patrons can use their library account to digitally check out and download thousands of e-books and digital audiobooks.”

Lompoc: Central Coast librarians act as quasi social workers to community’s most vulnerable


“Public libraries are a place to pick a good book or surf the web but, for people in crisis, the library can be a safe shelter.In libraries across the country, librarians increasingly find themselves serving as social workers for vulnerable populations who have nowhere else to go.The Lompoc Library sees over 200 visitors daily, ranging from studious teens to homeless people.”If people are experiencing some homeless issues, it is a safe place, it’s off the street,” Lompoc Library Dir. Sarah Bleyl said.Amid California’s financial crisis, which leaves housing and childcare increasingly unaffordable, local libraries become a haven.”

Contra Costa: Northern California Libraries Hit by Internet Outage

From Government Technologies

“Almost two months after the library system in Contra Costa, Calif., was hit with a ransomware attack that disabled its online network for weeks, another mysterious outage has struck its 26 branches while authorities are still investigating what happened the first time around.After residents reported not being able to access their online library accounts to reserve or check out books, library spokeswoman Brooke Converse confirmed this week the library’s Internet systems are down again.“The Library is experiencing a network outage as we continue the remediation work from the January ransomware attack. The investigation is still active and ongoing,” she said in a statement emailed Tuesday evening. “We’re doing everything we can to get library services restored as quickly as possible.”She did not say what caused the latest outage or when services would be restored, nor did she indicate whether investigators believe it was related to the original ransomware attack or could be the result of a new one.”

More Libraries Are Doing Away With Overdue Fines

From New York Times

“Mark Twain once described the public library as “the most enduring of memorials,” a free center of intellectual and educational power accessible to old and young alike. Libraries today are seeking to keep it that way, with many offering a reprieve to those who fail to return their books on time.Last week, the Free Library of Philadelphia ended its policy of charging fines on overdue materials. It is one of several library systems, among them Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver and San Diego, that have adopted a no-fee or amnesty policy in recent years.”

Porterville: Missing firefighter found dead inside torched California library, teens charged

From Daily News

“The body of the firefighter who was unaccounted for after a deliberately set blaze torched the Porterville Memorial Library in California has been found.Patrick Jones, 25, was discovered dead inside the library, apparently overcome when the ceiling collapsed, police said Thursday. Killed along with him was Captain Ray Figueroa, 35, who had been with the department since 2007, the Porterville Fire Department said in statements posted to Facebook.Porterville Fire Chief Dave LaPere remembered both men for their dedication and passion, emphasizing that both men had died making sure no one was trapped inside the building as the fire raged, reported the Fresno Bee.”

California K-12 Students Would Automatically Receive Library Cards Under SB 1025

From California Globe

“Senate Bill 1025, authored by Senator Tom Umberg (D-Santa Ana), would give students a ‘student success card’ for their respective library district. The proposed law would be active for five years pending renewal. SB 1025, also known as the California Student Success Act, would also have libraries report the number of books and e-books loaned out, specifically looking for increases among the student demographic. The law itself would not be mandatory, as parents and pupils alike can opt out of it.The bill was largely written to lead students to use the library for free and easy access of materials, as well as signaling to students that the internet may not provide all of the answers or provide the correct information. Senator Umberg’s press release specifically cited a 2016 Pew Research Center poll that found that “a large majority of American adults believed that false and made-up news has caused a great deal of confusion about the basic facts of current events”. Senator Umberg himself noted this.”

California K-12 Students Would Automatically Receive Library Cards Under SB 1025

Long Beach: So many languages, so few books: Libraries struggle to reflect places they serve

From Los Angeles Times

” Jennifer Songster roved the crowded aisles of the small mom-and-pop shop, riffling through books in Khmer, the official language of Cambodia. Outside, the streets of Phnom Penh bustled. The air was thick and humid. Beads of sweat trickled down her face.She hadn’t flown for 20 hours to marvel at Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world, or stroll the white-sand beaches of Sihanoukville. Instead, she spent eight sweltering days in the Cambodian capital on a five-figure shopping trip.Songster works at the Mark Twain Branch of the Long Beach Public Library, home to one of the largest public library collections of Khmer (pronounced Ka-mai) books in the United States. She and fellow librarian Christina Nhek had traveled more than 8,000 miles on a mission that faces libraries across the country: to serve the readers of rapidly changing cities.”

Salinas spoke, the library listened: New El Gabilan Library reflects community’s requests

From The Californian

” Walking into Salinas’ new El Gabilan Library, visitors are welcomed by warm rays of light that penetrate the floor-to-ceiling glass wall.The $20 million library is filled with rooms that came from the requests of Salinas children, teenagers and parents through community forums hosted by the Salinas Public Libraries.“You can understand the desire of the community to have that safe space where they can go and gather together,” said Mila Rianto, deputy librarian for the Salinas Public Library. “That’s what we’re trying to provide by having all of the new features that we don’t have in our other libraries, like the multiple study rooms and the community room.” What was once home of a 3,500 square-foot brick library just south of Navajo Drive and North Main Street, next to the all U.S. Credit Union, is now a curved two-story 20,800 square-foot library.”

Library of Things ushers in new era of item lending in Sacramento

From ABC 10

” Libraries have changed a lot—you probably wouldn’t even recognize the Sacramento Public Library anymore.These days, the Sacramento Public Library isn’t just lending literature to the community. Shelves of neatly displayed DVDs, rows of 3-D printers and the Tom Sanderson Design Spot at the Arcade branch tell a different story: the public library system in Sacramento County is welcoming a new era of item lending through the Library of Things.”We are absolutely on the cutting edge in terms of offering non-traditional items, in addition to other services,” said Molly Milazzo, youth services librarian at Arcade’s library branch.Much like popular tool lending libraries in Europe, the Library of Things allows visitors access to an array of useful items. You can check out an item at the Arcade and Fair Oaks branches and take it home to try, just like you would with a book. For up to one week, folks can use their thing, before returning it to its respective library.”

Humboldt: Promoting digital literacy

From Redwood Times

” The Humboldt State University Library and Humboldt County Library are collaborating to provide free digital literacy classes to the community.The grant-funded workshops — made possible by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian — include topics ranging from “PDF Essentials,” “Google Drive” and “Professional Development” to “Canva” and “VoiceThread.” Classes are open to the public and being held either at the Eureka Main Library (1313 Third St.) or the Arcata Library (500 Seventh St.).Louis Knecht — special collections instruction librarian with the Humboldt State University Library — initially got the idea to apply for the grant after looking over some past census survey data. ”

Promoting digital literacy

San Diego: Point Loma Library being retrofitted to attain zero net energy

From San Diego News

“Point Loma/Hervey is among three City libraries about to be refitted to achieve zero net energy. ZNE is a term describing buildings, homes — even communities — that generate as much renewable energy onsite as they use annually. California law now calls for 50% of existing commercial buildings to be retrofitted to ZNE by 2030.“The Point Loma/Hervey Library will remain open throughout the zero net energy renovation process, although patrons may notice work going on in different parts of the building,” said Christine Gonzalez, branch manager, Point Loma/Hervey Branch Library. “As one of the first City buildings to be converted to ZNE, we’re excited to be a model for sustainability and the move toward 100% renewable energy.” The other two libraries in the ZNE rollout are Serra Mesa-Kearny Mesa Library and Valencia Park/Malcolm X Library.”

Santa Clara: County Librarian Retiring After A Quarter Century of Service

From Patch Gilroy

“County Librarian and Executive Director of the Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) Nancy Howe is retiring on Friday, March 27. Howe, who has served as County Librarian since 2012, will be leaving the Library District in an excellent economic and structural position, with a recent ranking by the Library Journal as the #7 library system in the country with expenditures of over $30 million, as well as numerous service awards.”I am proud and grateful to have been a part of nearly one quarter of the Library District’s journey alongside our wonderful staff, supporters, and volunteers,” said Howe. “Together, we have made great strides in eliminating barriers for every resident and patron of the County of Santa Clara, especially our children and vulnerable populations.”Howe began her career with the Santa Clara County Library, as it was known then, in 1995 as a substitute librarian.”

Americans Went To The Library More Often Than They Went To The Movies, Poll Finds

From CNN

” Who says libraries are dying?Last year, Americans visited the library more than they went to the movies, live sporting events, museums, concerts, amusement parks and casinos, among other activities, according to a Gallup poll.US adults reported taking 10.5 trips to the library on average in 2019, the poll found — about twice as many times as they went to the movies. They went to live music or theatrical events and national or historic parks roughly four times last year, and visited museums and casinos about 2.5 times. Trips to amusement parks and zoos were the least common activities on the list.The results are based on phone interviews conducted by Gallup between December 2 and 15 with a sample of 1,025 random adults, and are an update to a survey the analytics company conducted in 2001.People were still visiting libraries more often than they were visiting movie theaters two decades ago, though trips to movie theaters have declined slightly, Gallup said. ”

Americans Went To The Library More Often Than They Went To The Movies, Poll Finds


From EDHAT Santa Barbara

“A man who refers to himself online as “Johnny Five O” was arrested on Monday afternoon for refusing to leave the Santa Barbara Public Library.According to the Santa Barbara Police Department, staff of the library contacted the department for a man who was videotaping in their library violating their rules of conduct and refused to leave. Johnny Five O admits he had been videotaping for more than an hour before police arrived, as stated in his video.The Santa Barbara City Library rules of conduct state “recording, photographing, or filming persons in the library without prior consent from the Library Director or designee and from the person(s) being recorded, photographed, or filmed” will result in the offender being asked to leave the premises immediately. It goes on to state that those who fail to comply may be forcibly removed resulting in a citation or arrest.The video was being live-streamed on social media causing an influx of views and comments from people throughout the U.S. with some prompting calls to the library and police department. It currently has over 36,000 views.”

Norwalk Library to get $4 million makeover

From Whittier Daily News

“Norwalk’s 51-year-old regional library will get a $4 million makeover, beginning later this year.It’s the latest large expenditures for local Los Angeles County-run libraries, which are getting either a facelift or a new facility.The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved plans that will include minor interior demolition, carpet, paint, refurbishment of public areas, upgrades to restrooms, new furniture, shelving and circulation desk.“The Norwalk Library has been a community resource for decades, and it’s time it gets a little TLC,” Supervisor Janice Hahn said in a news release. “The Norwalk community deserves a modern, world-class library, and later this year they will have one.” The nearly 34,000-square-foot library will close in mid-March. A triple-wide modular will open at the site to provide library service, according to Hahn’s office.”

Norwalk Library to get $4 million makeover

Alta, L.A. library announce $10,000 reward for information leading to long-lost sculpture

From Los Angeles Times

” Efforts to track down the missing sections of the long-lost sculpture Well of Scribes are ramping up.The Los Angeles Public Library and Alta magazine and its publisher announced on Tuesday a $10,000 reward for information leading to the discovery of the sculpture’s lost pieces. The bronze sculpture — which honored history’s great writers — mysteriously vanished more than 50 years ago when the downtown L.A. library underwent a makeover.“We’re excited to broaden the search and to ask the public’s help in this endeavor,” said Alta magazine editor Blaise Zerega in a phone interview. He encouraged anyone with a hunch about the missing pieces’ whereabouts to reach out.”

Toy libraries popular among families seeking to save money, protect environment

From The Denver Channel

” Parents know how quickly children can lose interest in a new toy. Sometimes, they only play with the box they came in. With many looking to the shared economy for green, cost-saving living, sharing toys is a trend that’s picking up across the country.For Jennifer White, a mother of four, having access to a slew of toys helps keep her kids occupied. Nowadays, her sons play with Legos while her daughter focuses on Tinker Toys.“She’s my first girl I have three boys and a girl. So, it’s nice to have a doll house and my boys actually come to the doll house and play,” said White.But the toys her kids are playing with don’t belong to them. They’re part of a toy library, housed inside a public library.”