Contra Costa County: Arson suspected in fire at El Sobrante library

From The Mercury News

” The two-alarm fire that damaged a local library branch Tuesday night may have been arson, a fire official said.“You’ve got an exterior burning after hours, and it goes into concealed area under the roof that’s fully combustible,” spokesman and Fire Capt. George Laing of the Contra Costa Fire Protection District said on Wednesday. “Very suspicious.”The library at 4191 Appian Way needed repairs from smoke and water damage after fire crews put it out Tuesday in about 1 hour, 20 minutes, Laing said. The fire, which started around 8:20 p.m. Tuesday, was burning hot enough when crews arrived that it ignited roof material overhanging the outside library wall, Laing said.”


New Antioch librarian strives for community involvement

From East Bay Times

” Her motto may well be: “The library card is the best deal in town.”And, now Ruth Boyer will get to put her slogan into action as the new community library manager for the two Antioch branches (18th Street and Prewett).“I am always interested in strengthening and growing library programs and services,” Boyer said. “I’m especially excited about trying to get library cards into the hands of more people in the community and letting them know how much their card and their local library has to offer.”For the last two years, Boyer has led the way at the Martinez Library. She has been with the Contra Costa County Library since 2005 and a librarian since 2011. She said she enjoys learning about the communities in Contra Costa, and Antioch was “high on her list.“When I saw the opportunity come up, I jumped at the chance to serve a community I’ve always wanted to learn more about.”Additionally, Boyer is focused on social service organizations in the city.”

New Pleasant Hill Library: ‘If you build it, they will come’

From East Bay Times

“The line “If you build it, they will come” is from one of my favorite movies, “Field of Dreams,” and refers to the building of an iconic baseball field in the heartland of Iowa. I’m using it to refer to the building of an iconic new library in the core of Pleasant Hill.When I first ran for City Council in 2002, one of my primary goals was to get a new library for our community. I wrote, “Pleasant Hill deserves a modern state-of-the-art library that will meet our future needs.” I’ve been committed to that goal ever since. Some 15 years later, that dream is going to be a reality!For more than three years Pleasant Hill has been working to replace its aging library. Although the Pleasant Hill Library is the most popular in the county with over 1,200 daily visitors, the building is 66 years old and well beyond its shelf life. The county estimated it would cost more than $10 million to make repairs and upgrades.”

Contra Costa: Pleasant Hill taps Apple store architect for new library

From East Bay Times

” The award-winning architectural firm behind the flagship glass cube Apple store in New York City will design Pleasant Hill’s long-awaited new library.The City Council selected the San Francisco office of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson from among 11 candidates. In addition to Apple stores, the company has designed high-profile commercial, academic, corporate and civic projects across the country, including Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, a branch of the Seattle Public Library and the Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business and Public Policy at Mills College.The council is scheduled to approve the contract with the firm on Oct. 16.In its proposal, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson identified themes that will guide its work for Pleasant Hill — encouraging community engagement; designing a signature building that includes flexibility; and taking into consideration the physical features of the site.”

El Sobrante Library’s new Mini-Park set for ribbon-cutting

From The Richmond Standard

” The community is invited to a ribbon-cutting on Sept. 9 for extensive new improvements of the public space surrounding the El Sobrante Library. Enhancements include a new Mini-Park, small amphitheater and improved parking lot, according to Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia’s office. Right after the ribbon cutting, a community volunteer planting event will take place at noon.The improvements were funded by East Bay Regional Park District Measure WW funds, county park dedication funds, county Public Works Department and Contra Costa County Library.”

East Contra Costa: Grants extend library services

From East Bay Times

“East County libraries will benefit from some extra funding in the form of grants received over the last few months.One grant, from the California Endowment for the Humanities, provides funds for programs that will reach out to immigrant populations in East Contra Costa County. Specifically, we will be extending our annual Brentwood Library CityRead program to include the communities of Antioch and Oakley as well. We are calling the read this year “East County Reads: An Immigrant’s Journey,” and the book we’ve selected is the autobiography called “The Distance Between Us” by Reyna Grande. It tells the story of Grande’s early life growing up in poverty in Mexico, her crossing the border into California when she was 9, and her struggles growing up as an undocumented immigrant in California. We will be giving copies of the book away at the Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley and Prewett libraries beginning Oct. 2 (Oct. 3 for Oakley and Prewett.) More about programs around this theme in next month’s column.”

Martinez: Library program filling minds and stomachs

From Martinez Tribune

” The Martinez Library’s Lunch at the Library program continues next week with Mayor Rob Schroder and Police Chief Manjit Sappal scheduled to serve as special guest readers.The local lunch program is designed to combat hunger and fill the summer nutrition gap among area youth as part of a statewide collaboration between the California Library Association and California Summer Meal Coalition to unite libraries and summer meal providers.”