Sacramento: More Than Books

From Sacramento Magazine

” Connecting the homeless to housing and other services requires meeting them where they’re at—and in many cases, that place is the public library. Sacramento’s libraries are among the few spaces where people without a stable place to live can readily access the internet to search for housing or employment, recharge their phone or simply find refuge from the daily grind of living on the streets.Rivkah Sass, executive director of the Sacramento Public Library, believes that libraries are uniquely positioned to serve the homeless because everyone is welcome there, regardless of circumstance.“We’re this special organism. We serve everybody,” says Sass. “The library is the heart of the community. We really are the last little bastion of democracy in action because anybody can use us. You can walk in the door and we are free and open and accessible to anybody.”Sacramento Steps Forward, a nonprofit agency whose mission is to help connect the homeless to housing and other resources, has even assigned an outreach person to downtown’s central library, a practice that the organization’s executive director, Ryan Loofbourrow, says is common in large and midsize cities.”


Woodland library puts another Youth Rally in the books

From Daily Democrat

” Rhea Gardner wants teens to stop thinking a library is only for books. As the teen service librarian, Gardner is reaching out to local youths and showing them what the Woodland Public Library is offering.Continuing its second year, Gardner and her team hosted the Yolo Youth Ralley: arts and maker edition. The year’s focus was to inspire creativity in teens through several avenues. Teens could sign up for four of the 10 workshops available. Some included: makeup 101 with a beauty artist, laser cutting for woodworking and how to use a 3-D printer.
More than 30 teens participated in the Saturday program hosted from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Leake Room. Enrollment costs were kept low, only $10, and included lunch. Gardner said waivers and discounts were offered to ensure anyone who wanted to participate could.Down at the library’s basement level, a group of teens stood on their yoga mats, listening to direction from Yoga Instructor Minakhi Sarma. Inside, more youths soldered circuit boards, participated in photography lessons or created designs to print onto shirts.Across in the Leake Room, Gardner was preparing for a painting session. She quickly painted her own design of a cherry blossom tree to give an example to for the incoming class.”

Star Wars and cosplay rule at Santa Clara Library Comic Con

From The Mercury News

” A quiet place normally filled with books turned into a buzzing wonderland of robots and “Star Wars” icons and princesses Saturday at the Santa Clara Library’s second annual Comic Con.The event featured Bay Area artists, comic book shop owners, cosplayers and authors, who all helped to turn make believe into reality for a day. It was an opportunity for hundreds of families to experience a community-based Comic Con event, according to organizers. Attendees bonded with people who, like them, enjoy the wonders of comics.Jin Di Giordano, 28, of Vallejo, dressed up as Padmé Amidala, a fictional human character in the Star Wars franchise who was married to Anakin Skywalker.“I like that strangers will see you and they just know you because they know the character,” said the software developer. “Usually I like to cosplay with people that I relate to on some level. You meet new friends that way.” “And I feel like I look awesome,” she added.”

Philanthropist backs adding housing to rebuilt Menlo Park library

From The Mercury News

” A plan to rebuild Menlo Park’s downtown library could come with housing.Mayor Kirsten Keith announced last week that local philanthropist John Arrillaga, who’s offered to cover half of the library construction costs, supports the housing idea.Keith and Councilman Rich Cline — her colleague on a library rebuild subcommittee — and City Manager Alex McIntyre met with Arrillaga in McIntyre’s office on Sept. 19.“I asked about having housing on top of the library and he said, ‘Yes, that’s great. Let’s do it,’ Keith said at the council’s Sept. 26 meeting. “He’s eager to work with us and we’re moving forward. … It was a very good meeting, it was very positive.” Keith said this week that details such as the number of housing units, whether they would be rentals and what income levels they should be tailored to still need to be worked out in additional discussions and future council meetings. She said the plan could set a precedent that other Peninsula cities might follow.”

Old bus station to become a modern $39 million library in Riverside

From My News LA

” The library destined to replace Riverside’s existing downtown repository will feature modern attractions intended to draw residents from all walks of life — and bear a design that can change over time, city officials said Friday.“Modern day libraries not only spur a love of reading and provide all of our children with access to the Internet, but they also spur interest in technology and the crafts, and provide job seekers and entrepreneurs with resources for success,” said Mayor Rusty Bailey. “They offer valuable public spaces for community building and life-long learning.”The Riverside City Council on Tuesday voted 5-1 — with Councilman Chuck Conder opposed and Councilman Andy Melendrez abstaining — in favor of the $39.69 million Main Library Project, slated for completion in 2020 at 3911 University Ave.“This project is going to improve the quality of life for Riverside residents, while simultaneously setting the stage for a major economic development project,” Councilman Jim Perry said. “The fact that we are accomplishing this on the site of an old bus station that frequently generated complaints from nearby residents is a huge bonus.”The 42,329-square-foot library will be elevated, featuring an arcade platform beneath it where visitors can gather for readings, book signings, or just relax outdoors, according to officials.”

Breathing Troubles? 4 San Francisco Libraries Have Filtered Air

From San Francisco Patch

” San Francisco city officials said today they are offering four library branches with filtered air for those seeking respite from the poor air quality caused by several North Bay wildfires.The main branch at 100 Larkin St., the Chinatown branch at 1135 Powell St., the Mission Bay branch at 960 Fourth St. and the Glen Park branch at 2825 Diamond St. are available, according to office of Mayor Ed Lee.The Bay Area Air Quality Management District earlier today issued a smoke advisory because of the wildfires, which have burned tens of thousands of acres in Napa and Sonoma Counties, and this afternoon issued advisory and Spare the Air alert, calling the pollution levels “unprecedented.”

Sacramento : Special California library brings books to the blind


” Every day, Karen Parsegian walks down the stairs from her apartment to her mailbox with a bit of expectant joy in her step.“It’s like Christmas every time I go to the mailbox,” she said.Before 2002, she was a voracious reader and a member of a book club. That was the year a childhood injury intensified. In a matter of a few weeks, she went from driving to totally blind.“I cried like a baby the day they put that cane in my hand,” Parsegian said. “You feel vulnerable. You feel exposed. You can’t do anything the way you used to.”Soon after she lost her vision, she was told about The Braille and Talking Book Library. The free service is a lifeline to more than 9,000 people across Northern California who otherwise would not be able to read a book.
“It’s the best kept secret in northern California. It really is. It’s a treasure,” Parsegian said. “This is one of the best reasons I’ve been in a great mood, and I have a pretty good attitude.”
From their head office in Downtown Sacramento, employees and volunteers send out thousands of books to people in 48 Northern California counties.”