Need a sous vide machine? Or electric mixer? Berkeley Public Library to begin lending kitchen tools

From BerkeleySide

“By the spring of 2020, if you need an exotic and expensive kitchen gadget, you won’t have to buy it. You can just take it out from the Berkeley Public Library.The city’s popular Tool Lending Library is expanding its offerings to include kitchen appliances, making it one of the few libraries in North America — and the first in California — to lend items like canning tools, sous vide machines, instant pots, slow cookers, pans, and more.The decision to add kitchen implements came after more than 4,000 Berkeley residents filled out a survey indicating they were interested in food items, according to Aimee Reader, who handles communications for the library.”

Need a sous vide machine? Or electric mixer? Berkeley Public Library to begin lending kitchen tools

Berkeley: Yes, You Can Borrow Cake Pans at the Library

From Eater

“Three years ago Megan Waugh started taking her family to Bristol Public Library in Bristol, Indiana. Before long, they fell into a routine: Her kids would pick out their books in the manga section while she waited by a cluster of tables the library set up for group discussions and meetings. Last December, while she was waiting for her daughter, Waugh noticed a shelf in the corner. Instead of the expected books, magazines, and newspapers libraries loan out, this shelf was lined with cake pans. There was a bundt pan and a skeleton pan, an Elmo pan, and a Christmas tree pan, all available with just the swipe of a library card.Waugh works as a cook, and had lately been frustrated with the dietary restrictions she had to adopt for her health. “I used to love baking,” she says. “And then I went gluten free a couple of years ago and was actually very resentful of it.” Standing in front of the shelf of cake pans, she thought back to a recent gluten-free cake mix she bought at the grocery store. “If they can make a boxed mix that tastes good and is gluten free, there is no reason I can’t bake yummy things that don’t make me feel bad,” she thought. While she and her daughter rifled through the cake pans, she had an idea — she was going to bake her way through all 33 pans in Bristol Public Library’s cake pan collection.’

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.”