Contra Costa: After protests, an estimated 500 attend East Bay library’s ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’

From SF Gate

“There were some in Brentwood who felt that a literary event at the Brentwood Community Center on Monday night was inappropriate for kids. Why? The public reading in Contra Costa County featured a drag queen reading children’s books to, well, children.But the 25 or so people who showed up to protest mostly peacefully outside the venue were well outnumbered by the 500 people Contra Costa County Libraries estimated to have attended the event. It was more people than the organization expected to attend to hear Bella Aldama read to young guests, a spokeswoman for the group told SFGATE, but it was nevertheless a rousing success.”


Planned drag queen storytime ruffles some feathers in Brentwood

From Times-Herald

“An upcoming library story hour on inclusion and tolerance is stirring up a commotion in Brentwood.Since the recent announcement that East Bay drag queen Bella Aldama Word will do the reading, social media has gone into a frenzy and people have been calling to express their displeasure or voice their support, according to Brentwood Library staff.The Friends of the Library-sponsored Drag Queen Storytime — the first such one — will be held across the street from the library at the larger Brentwood Community Center at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 11, followed by a heart wand craft-making session. Regular storytimes are held in the mornings at the library.Contra Costa County Library spokeswoman Brooke Converse said some mistakenly thought Aldama is going to give a nightclub-like performance, which isn’t the case.”

Contra Costa: County Library clears outstanding fines for all patrons

From Richmond Standard

“As promised, the Contra Costa County Library system started off the New Year by clearing outstanding fines on all library accounts.Last month, the Library announced its plan to eliminate fines for overdue books and materials and to bring all library cards into good standing. Patrons previously blocked from library services are now able to check out books, magazines and DVDs and use all online services.Library officials hope the decision will attract back patrons who have been avoiding the Library due to the fines. Last month, about 118,450 of the more than 650,000 cardholders in the county, or 18 percent, had blocked library cards.”

Late Fees Eliminated At Contra Costa County Libraries

From Patch Lamorinda

“Do you have a fine for overdue books or other materials from the Contra Costa County Library? Don’t pay it! The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to eliminate overdue fines on all library materials. The new policy will go into effect on Jan. 1. This is the first county library in California and largest in the state to eliminate fines for everyone.Until now, daily fines were charged on overdue books, magazines, DVDs and other materials. Cards that racked up too many unpaid fines were blocked from use. In fact, of more than 650,000 cardholders countywide, 18 percent currently have their cards blocked due to fines. Forty-three percent of youth accounts currently owe a balance and approximately 21,000 youth cards are blocked.”

Contra Costa County: El Cerrito Library opens LGBT book collection

From East Bay Times

“On Sept. 4, more than 110 people came to the El Cerrito Library to mark the historic grand opening of the Contra Costa Count Library system’s first LGBT+ Special Collection, made possible by a donation from The Deloach and Troy Trust.The collection includes fiction and nonfiction books for all ages that relate to gender identity and sexual orientation. While housed at the El Cerrito Library, individual volumes are available to all CCC Library cardholders.”

Around East County: Summer ‘Idea Box’ a hit at Oakley Library

From East Bay Times

“This summer the Oakley library was one of five libraries in Contra Costa County that were chosen to host an “Idea Box.” The “box” is set up like a Rube Goldberg-inspired collection contraption for which children and adults were able to write their ideas on pieces of paper and place them in a ball. The ball is then placed in the box and rolls its way to a storage place for the ideas at the bottom.“We received thousands of ideas,” Oakley Library manager Andrea Freyler told members of the Oakley City Council recently.The box was added before the end of the school year and throughout summer break. Freyler said that the children and adults loved putting ideas in it. Some of the many ideas included story time all day every day, making a huge Lego house, robotic competitions on Saturday mornings and superhero visits. Freyler said the biggest suggestion by far was to make the Oakley Library bigger, for which the council hoped there might be ideas on how to accomplish that goal.”

Contra Costa: Let summer reading take kids everywhere

From East Bay Times

” The Contra Costa County Library on June 4 will kick off its Summer Reading program, the library’s yearly effort to keep kids reading during the summer months, preventing “brain drain.” Summer Reading runs through Aug. 4.This year’s theme is “Reading Takes You Everywhere,” and the program is filled with activities, events and reading lists designed to show you that reading can take your imagination anywhere. Reading and learning help to spark new ideas and flex your creative muscles.For babies, the prereading program is meant to encourage early literacy practices in families while the baby’s brain is still in a critical developmental phase. Summer Reading also includes activities, programming and challenges for teens and adults. Readers of all ages can participate online or use a paper reading record.”