Berkeley Public Library expands access to resources for homeless people

The Daily Democrat

” Residents who previously experienced obstacles in obtaining access to Berkeley Public Library resources and items will no longer face this issue with the implementation of a new Easy Access Card, which allows those without a permanent address to use and check out library resources.The Easy Access Cards were implemented by the library Saturday and will most benefit people who cannot provide proof of residency, including homeless people, foster children and people in the transition of moving to a new residence, according to acting director of library services Elliot Warren.The Easy Access Cards allow patrons to check out up to three items at at once. Patrons with the new card can also use library computers and in-house laptops, and have full access to online databases and services, according to the Berkeley Public Library website. Those who wish to obtain an Easy Access card do not need to show proof of residence — a valid photo ID is required, however.”


Berkeley Public Library worker alleges employee retaliation, sues library, city

From The Daily Californian

“Berkeley Public Library employee Lisa Hesselgesser filed a lawsuit against the library and the city of Berkeley on Nov. 19, alleging age discrimination, retaliation on the basis of her union affiliation and the intentional infliction of pain, among other charges.The suit comes after a prolonged dispute between the library and a number of staff members. According to the lawsuit, the contention originated with a 2015 “weeding” effort, during which the library removed outdated books from its racks. The weeding prompted pushback from multiple staff members, and Hesselgesser alleged that the library subsequently retaliated against her because of her “outspoken belief that the library engaged in fraud, abuse, and misuse of public resources” in connection with this process, according to the suit.Hesselgesser is a library specialist and has been employed by the Berkeley Public Library since October 2001. She could not be reached for comment as of press time.”

Berkeley: You’ll never be charged a late fee again at these California libraries.

From Sacramento Bee

” If you check out a library book and forget the due date, most of us expect late fees. But in one Northern California city, you won’t have to worry.The Berkeley Public Library says it will no longer charge daily late fees for books and other materials like CDs and magazines beginning July 1, according to a news release. Why the change? Many lower-income residents don’t use the library because they’re scared they’ll be charged late fees they can’t afford, said Elliot Warren, acting director of library services.”Public libraries are the people’s university, and we need to make sure they are accessible to everyone,” he said in a statement. “The current practice unintentionally tells some people they are not welcome.”Charging late fees was originally intended to encourage people to return the materials on time — but it’s become an obstacle, Warren added.”

¡Viva la Fiesta! at UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library Explores a Variety of Mexican Celebrations

From East Bay Express

” The popularity of Disney/Pixar’s animated film Coco has brought a newfound appreciation for the indigenous Mexican celebration of Día de los Muertos. While this November holiday has been getting attention, there are plenty of other Mexican fiestas and rituals worth talking about. And you can learn all about them at ¡Viva la Fiesta!, an exhibition now on view at UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library.This is the first solo-curated exhibit of José Adrián Barragán-Álvarez, who has been the curator of Latin Americana at the Bancroft Library for roughly a year. The exhibit is also personal to him — his family is from the Mexican state of Michoacán.The Express recently caught up with Barragán-Álvarez during a visit to the exhibit, which is rich in historical details.”

Berkeley Public Library heals with appointment of acting director

From The Daily Californian

“The Berkeley Public Library Board of Trustees recently took action to appoint Elliot Warren, current deputy director at the Berkeley Public Library, or BPL, as the acting director of library services.The deputy director fills in when the acting director is absent. Warren has been fulfilling the role of director since the resignation of his predecessor Heidi Dolamore two weeks ago.Dolamore’s resignation — which came less than a year after her appointment — goes into full effect Sept. 22. No reason was given as to why Dolamore resigned.Board of Library Trustees, or BOLT, member John Selawsky called Warren a good choice, stating that he will maintain continuity for the library. Selawsky also emphasized the importance of BOLT’s role in supporting Warren.“He’s personable, he’s a good communicator — I think he’ll work well with the board and with library staff and with the community,” Selawsky said.Councilmember Sophie Hahn — who also serves on the Board of Library Trustees — and Councilmember Kriss Worthington expressed similar sentiments, acknowledging Warren’s past involvement in the library.”

Berkeley library board to hire new director from San Jose

From Berkeleyside

“The Board of Library Trustees is poised to hire Heidi Dolamore as the new director of the library at their Wednesday meeting, a move they hope will start to quell more than a year of turmoil.Dolamore is currently the assistant director of the San Jose Library, a position she has held since January 2015. She has worked in libraries around the region for 15 years, including stints in the Solano County Library, the Contra Costa County Library, and the San Mateo County Library, according to her LinkedIn page. If BOLT confirms her appointment, Dolamore will be paid $180,000 annually.Dolamore will take over the five-branch system by the end of September, 13 months after the previous director, Jeff Scott, resigned under pressure after the controversial book culling process he oversaw called his integrity into question.”

Berkeley library board to hire new director from San Jose