Calif. State Library Program Mails Thousands Of Books To The Blind

From Capital Public Radio

“Every day the California State Library in Sacramento mails two thousand Braille and audio books primarily to the blind for a longstanding program that few people know about.The basement of the California State Library is very quiet, as you might imagine, and very full with row upon row of large green, bound volumes with thick white pages printed in Braille.Alex Vassar is with the library and says there are 300,000 titles to choose from.”It is every kind of book that people would want to read. There are romance novels, there are how-to books, there are books on government, current events,” Vassar said. There are also several rows of smaller, green, plastic containers that hold books on tape.”Because of how the words are printed in a Braille book, the pages can’t be bound quite as tightly. So, you end up with multiple volumes for what would be a very small book. That actually contrasts with the new digital audio book which are on flash drives.”About 2,000 orders are processed each day upstairs. The program helps more people enjoy reading, but it also helps other people with special needs.Krishell Aflague is an employment training specialist for the non-profit INALLIANCE. As she talks about the program, one of the trainees checks to make sure the numbers match on the books on tape and their cases.”



From East County Magazine

” November 29, 2017 (Escondido) — Libraries are vital sources of information for students, researchers, and the public. But now, the city of Escondido has voted to privatize its public library on Kalmia Street by hiring Library Systems, a Maryland-based company, over the objections of the library’s trustees. The city claims it could save $400,000 a year through private operation of the library.Now two library patrons, Roy and Mary Garrett, have filed a lawsuit against Escondido that claims the action is illegal under California law, Times of San Diego reports.Opponents of a move by the city of Escondido to outsource its library functions to save money announced Tuesday that they’ve filed a lawsuit contending that the action violated state law. Their attorney, Alan Geraci, says, “By forcing privatization of our library, the City Council failed the community, failed the library workers and failed to follow the law.Privatizing the library could also stop construction of a proposed new library at Escondido’s Grape Day Park.Roy Garrett, a long-time supporter of the library says, “Now the city manager, the mayor and City Council majority have broken faith with all the Escondido residents, taxpayers, volunteers, library employees and donors who created and nurtured this heart of our city, our 100-year-old public library, and turned it into a profit center for a corporation.”The County’s 33 libraries are all public, as are libraries run by other cities in our region. But privatization has become a hot button issue across the nation.”

LA allows porn viewing on library computers. Some city leaders want to change that

Daily News

” A pair of Los Angeles City Council members called Tuesday for software filters that block graphic material to be installed at all 73 city libraries, in the wake of reports of patrons viewing pornography on computers in view of children.The motion introduced by David Ryu and Nury Martinez comes in response to a recent report by NBC4 that found some patrons use library computers to watch explicit porn that can easily be seen by other visitors, including children, and also uncovered widespread drug use and lewd behavior at some branches.A second motion introduced by Ryu and Martinez requests that the Los Angeles Public Library, in conjunction with the Los Angeles Police Department, report back on all security incidents at public libraries in 2017 and on how current security measures can be improved.”

SF public library hires bill collector to track down patrons with large overdue fines

From San Francisco Examiner

” Forgiveness has its limits at the San Francisco Public Library.After offering a six-week fine amnesty period at the start of the year in which patrons could return overdue books without having to pay penalties, library officials are now turning over the records of about 13,000 patrons who owe more than $100 in overdue fines and fees to a bill collector, according to report last week from City Librarian Luis Herrera.In the first-ever partnership, the library is paying the Office of Treasurer and Tax Collector’s Bureau of Delinquent Revenue $72,714 to collect on debts — some of which are 25 years old — in what’s being called the Collections Initiative Pilot.The Tax Collector’s Bureau of Delinquent Revenue is The City’s official debt collector, which goes after people who owe payments for such things as ambulance and hospital bills from San Francisco General Hospital and boasts an average collection rate of 29 percent.“This initiative is the latest in our efforts to remove barriers to access and to address our outstanding liability,” Cathy Delneo, the San Francisco Public Library’s chief of branches, told the Library Commission last week. Those who owe more than $10 are prohibited from borrowing more materials, but they can use other resources like computers.”

Dr. Milton Clark Named Best California Library Trustee

From Precinct Reporter Group

” As a child growing up in San Bernardino, Dr. Milton Clark’s weekly Saturday visits to the central library on Arrowhead to read started him on a path of academic achievement that culminated in his earning a Ph.D. and a distinguished academic career as a faculty member for more than 30 years before retiring as the Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Studies at Cal State San Bernardino.He has also returned his fondness for public libraries and their value in communities such as San Bernardino by serving on the San Bernardino Public Library (SBPL) Board of Trustees since 2005 and as its president since 2007. That time period marked a decade of the city’s economic challenges since the national economic crash of 2008 that culminated in San Bernardino filing for bankruptcy in 2012.The economic challenges SBPL faced in that timespan resulted in several budget cuts which threatened the closure of the Howard Rowe, Dorothy Inghram and Paul Villaseñor Branch Libraries in 2009, 2012 and 2014.”

Altadena Library going to seed. Literally.

From Pasadena Star News

“Libraries were supposed to be wiped out by the internet, but like an animal facing extinction, they’ve adapted, adding computer lounges, e-book lending, searchable data bases and free movie rentals.Now, Altadena Public Library is going to seed. Literally.It is adding a seed library to its collection of books and periodicals. Patrons pay $10 get a lifetime membership. They can take out a lettuce seed or a bean seed or a handful of both, plant them in their gardens and then at the end of the season, collect the seeds and return them to the library. That way, the seed inventory gets replenished. And someone else could “borrow” them.The Altadena Library District formed an agreement with the Venice-based Seed Library of Los Angeles to open a seed-lending branch at the main library, 600 E. Mariposa St. in Altadena. The seed library will be open the first Saturday of each month, starting Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Altadena library’s community room.”

‘Food for Fines’ program returns to Woodland Library

From Daily Democrat

” Find a library book under your bed? Forget to bring a DVD back on time? Now is your chance to clear your library fines while helping others by donating food to people in need during Woodland Public Library’s Food for Fines program.Library Services Director Greta Galindo says the library is now offering a fine amnesty period starting Saturday and continuing to Dec. 21.“During this time, anyone with a Woodland Public Library card can have their fines waived in exchange for nonperishable boxed or canned food, which will be donated to the Yolo Food Bank,” stated Galindo.Food items should be brought to the check-out desk during open hours. There is no minimum food donation requirement or limit to the amount of overdue fines that can be waived per account; however, food donations will not waive any accrued collection or lost material fees. Perishable, expired, beyond sell by date and homemade food items will not be accepted.The most desired food includes tuna (canned or vacuum packed), peanut butter, beans (canned or dried), canned soup, stews, chilis and pastas; canned fruits and vegetables, rice, pasta, cereal (boxes and bars; whole grain and low sugar), and juice (canned, plastic or boxed).”