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.”