In a Virtual World How school, academic, and public libraries are testing virtual reality in their communities

From American Library Magazine

” In the past several years, virtual reality (VR) technology has finally begun to fulfill what had long been promised. Traditional VR, which creates environments that allow people to be “present” in an alternative environment, has been advanced by offerings from Oculus, Sony, Google, and Samsung. At the same time, products like Google’s Cardboard have led the growth of 360-degree video that captures an entire scene in which the viewer can look up, down, and around. Instead of just games and entertainment, VR content is exploding with news, information, and educational content.Throughout this period of growth and expansion, libraries and librarians have once again demonstrated their adaptability to new information formats and user needs with moves that reflect the various directions VR has moved. Whether it is classroom use of Google Expeditions, new educational spaces and lending programs on academic campuses, or a demonstrated commitment to equitable access to this new technology in public libraries, librarians have taken on VR as a new way to engage their users.”


Veterans Resource Site Turns Another Page For Santa Maria Library

From Noozhalk

” A desk with information for veterans at the Santa Maria Public Library serves another role beyond providing books to 21st century patrons.In a small ceremony this week, the library celebrated the addition of Veterans Connect, a resource center to link former military members with assorted programs and benefits.“One of the largest problems that all government agencies that relate to veterans have is connecting them to the information and the resources they have,” said Calvin Angel, Central Coast local interagency network coordinator for the California Department of Veterans Affairs.For instance, he said, many may not realize that in California children of disabled veterans do not have to pay tuition to attend a community college or state university.“That’s a big deal, but if it’s information you don’t have, what good does it do you,” Angel said.The veterans resource center became the newest addition to the library, which has worked to remain a vital tool for community members.”

Lake County: Book to Action program scheduled

From Record-Bee

“Book to Action, the Lake County Library’s communitywide reading program, will feature Braving the Wilderness: the Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Breneì Brown. Free copies of Braving the Wilderness and the Book to Action event calendar will be available to pick up at all Lake County Library branches beginning March 6. The Book to Action discussions and events will happen in April.Lake County Library is one of twenty libraries across the state that won the Book to Action grant from the California Center for the Book. This is the third year that Lake County has done this program. The California Center for the Book is a program of the California Library Association, supported in whole or in part 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.”


Alameda: Palestinians Tell Their Stories at Main Library

From Alameda Sun

“Everyone has a life story, and many are being told at Alameda’s Main Library at 1550 Oak St. An exhibit that combines black-and-white portraits of 26 Bay Area Palestinians with audio recordings is on display. The library’s largest meeting room was filled to capacity with well over 100 people for the opening reception on Feb. 11.The multimedia storytelling project Home Away from Home: Little Palestine by the Bay showcases recorded interviews with Palestinian-Americans that reveal the complexities of living with hopes for Palestine in a country that is often hostile to those aspirations.The reception kicked off the month-long multimedia exhibit at the library. It featured tables of Middle Eastern food catered by Oakland’s Bacheesos Restaurant. A musical duo from Oakland, Birana di Mara on violin and Faisal on percussion, added ambience with their authentic Arabic selections.“Alameda is a tapestry of many cultures, races, ethnicities and religions that make us a vibrant, diverse community,” stated Councilmember Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft, who is of Lebanese and Syrian descent, as she welcomed the crowd. “Alameda has a rich history of Palestinian residents and businesses.”The overall theme of the exhibit draws on the immigrant experience and the importance of belonging, weaving together experiences from both Palestine and the Bay Area.”


Contra Costa County: Arson suspected in fire at El Sobrante library

From The Mercury News

” The two-alarm fire that damaged a local library branch Tuesday night may have been arson, a fire official said.“You’ve got an exterior burning after hours, and it goes into concealed area under the roof that’s fully combustible,” spokesman and Fire Capt. George Laing of the Contra Costa Fire Protection District said on Wednesday. “Very suspicious.”The library at 4191 Appian Way needed repairs from smoke and water damage after fire crews put it out Tuesday in about 1 hour, 20 minutes, Laing said. The fire, which started around 8:20 p.m. Tuesday, was burning hot enough when crews arrived that it ignited roof material overhanging the outside library wall, Laing said.”


Sacramento: Third public library is coming to Elk Grove City collects feedback on library, arts center at future civic center

From Elk Grove Citizen

“As the city’s future civic center edges closer to becoming a reality, patrons of the Franklin Community Library on Feb. 24 shared ideas on what features they would like to see at that project’s future library and cultural arts building.The civic center site is bounded by Elk Grove Boulevard to the north, Big Horn Boulevard to the west, and Lotz Parkway to the south.Heading the information kiosk at this five-hour event was Dawn Merkes, the building’s architect, who provided details about the project and handed out adhesive stickers for guests to place on suggestion boards.The boards included such possible library features as a quiet reading and studying area, a tutoring space, and such performing arts options as music concerts as well as dance and theatrical performances.Cultural arts options included literary events, family-oriented activities and performances such as magic shows and circus arts.Merkes described the type of library that will be located at the future civic center.”


How can Pomona expand hours at the public library?

From Daily Bulletin

” Members of the Pomona Board of Library Trustees have begun a conversation meant to come up with ideas as to what the Pomona Public Library would be like in the future.The conversation, which began during the Feb. 21 meeting of the trustees will continue next month, said Duane Smith, chairman of the board.“We spent an hour an a half wrestling with questions,” Smith said. “We will continue to wrestle before we have a recommendation to the (City) Council” possibly in March.The board has taken up the discussion on what they would like to see in a long-term, sustainable business plan for the library, Mark Gluba, Pomona deputy city manager, said Friday.Eventually, the board will come up with a recommendation that will go to the City Council, Gluba said.Coming up with a recommendation isn’t easy, said Smith, a Pomona resident who is a long time advocate and supporter of the library. He has served as coordinator of the Save Our Pomona Public Library group.”