Two state officials are on a mission to make libraries the public’s hub for government data

From State Scoop

“News organizations and public-interest groups are skilled at sussing out difficult-to-navigate government data when they need it, but freedom-of-information laws aren’t as friendly to the public in general. Two states, though, are figuring out ways to deliver information sets to regular citizens who want to find things for themselves.In parts of California and Washington, that service is being delivered at public libraries as part of growing program that trains librarians to handle open data requests from their patrons. The program, Data Equity for Main Street, is aimed at making local libraries — especially those in small towns and rural areas — hubs for where people can learn more about how they’re being served.”When trust of government institutions is at an all-time low, you have a government institution that people don’t realize is a government institution that they trust,” Anne Neville, the director of the California State Library’s research bureau, said during a presentation of the open data program at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers Midyear Conference in Baltimore on Tuesday.”

California librarian not a prim post at all

From Pasadena Star News

“A Californian cannot be blamed for not knowing that there is a California state librarian.Or at least for not realizing that there is one who still oversees our books and the places they are kept in the wake of the mightily famous and intellectually imposing person who long held that post, the late Kevin Starr, who wrote the multi-volume history we all know as the key to the lock that is understanding our state from the Gold Rush until today.And yet there is such a person, Greg Lucas, and when I walked into my office the other day to meet him, he was already there, early, tall, burly, bearded, with a pirate’s gold earring.No one’s stereotypical idea of a librarian, that is. But as the son of a librarian myself — one who was elegant, artistic, a lifelong rebel — I knew that the prim cliche is not based on fact.As we walked out for coffee, I knew there was something else simpatico about Lucas, and soon found out why: For most of his career, he was a newspaperman, at the old Orange County edition of the Times and for 19 years as a Sacramento reporter and bureau chief for the San Francisco Chronicle.”

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.”

Sacramento Archives Crawl will celebrate the city’s quirk and oddities

From Sactown Magazine

” City historian Marcia Eymann shows tour participants the 1949 “Casey at the Bat” mural that once hung at Edmonds Field, home of the Sacramento Solons baseball team.In honor of National Archives Month, four local institutions will display rare artifacts and treasures from their collections for the seventh annual Sacramento Archives Crawl on Oct. 7.
During the free event, the California State Archives, Center for Sacramento History, Sacramento Public Library and California State Library will lead visitors on tours of their facilities, including temperature-controlled rooms where artifacts are kept under lock and key. This year’s theme “It Came from the Archives?!” pays homage to the Northern California’s unusual relics.“A lot of people think that archives tend to have serious documents and we do have those,” says Dylan McDonald, deputy city historian at the Center for Sacramento History and a coordinator of this year’s crawl.”

Librarians Learn Mental Health First Aid In San Diego


“Librarians from across the state met in San Diego late last month to learn how to spot warning signs of mental illness. The training, part of a $1 million mental health initiative from the California State Library, certified about 30 librarians as trainers, who will conduct training sessions of their own for local librarians.”

A call to California state workers: Read books and win prizes

From The Sacramento Bee

” Summer bookworming: It’s not just for kids fighting the doldrums.California’s Summer Reading Challenge, which is trying to sign up 1 million state residents of all ages, will get a new crop of entrants this year through a program that is encouraging state employees to participate.State Librarian Greg Lucas said Tuesday that librarians in his department at first talked about encouraging their coworkers to sign up, then thought more broadly about reaching out to the entire state workforce.“Halfway through the first sentence, I said, ‘I’m in,’” Lucas said. “This is cool.”Now his office is sending details to departments statewide, he said, and has posted information on its website.Every reader involved in the state program counts toward the 1 million readers challenge, which can be followed on Twitter, #onemillionreaders.”

Sacramento: Treasures from the State Library on display

From Daily News

“The rarest of the rare from the State Library’s vault are available for public viewing at a new year-long exhibit at the California Capitol Museum, which opened May 28.This is a unique opportunity to view these important pieces of California’s story. The exhibit runs through April 23, 2017. The museum, in the State Capitol, is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.Among the treasures: Original drawings from Audubon’s The Birds of America; California’s first newspaper, Californian, from 1846; map of California as an island circa 1615-1675; first edition volumes of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, White Fang by Jack London, and Moby Dick by Herman Melville; James Marshall’s hand-drawn maps of his discovery of gold in the Coloma Valley; an American Dictionary of the English Language, by Noah Webster from 1828 and an original painting of the city of Sacramento from 1849 by George A. Frost.”