Measure to double Kern County Library funds won’t make November ballot, but supporters remain hopeful for other options

From Bakersfield.Com

“For two months, a group of about 250 volunteers has been out in Kern County collecting signatures for the Library Tax Measure, also known as the “Library Initiative for Everyone.”This grassroots coalition of educators and supporters of the Kern County Libraries is advocating once again for a 1/8 cent sales tax that would double the libraries’funds — and even though it’s too late to get it on this November’s ballot, they’re still collecting signatures.In 2016, a similar tax initiative received a vote of 51.68 percent, falling short of the two-thirds vote requirement. After a California Supreme Court decision in August changed the rules so that tax increases proposed by citizens only need a simple majority to pass, the library supporters decided to try again.”

https://www.bakersfield.com/news/measure-to-double-kern-county-library-funds-won-t-make/article_97dca52c-862b-11e8-a81c-4f1c44b9c04a.html

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Board of Supervisors names new Kern County library chief

From The Daily Independent

“The Board of Supervisors today appointed Andie Apple as Kern County Director of Libraries, effective immediately. Apple has served as the Kern County Library’s interim Director since December of 2016.Apple has more than 19 years of library experience, serving as Assistant Library Director since 2011. She has developed and coordinated several countywide events and projects including the One Book Project, the Summer Reading Challenge, the Summer Lunch Program, and the Thank-a-Vet Art Card Project. Apple has also been integral in developing annual Library budgets and has supplemented County library funds by securing grants to develop literacy and digital literacy in Spanish speakers, veterans, job seekers, children, and early learners.Community partnerships that Apple has fostered have helped to strengthen library programming and outreach. Partnerships with Employers’ Training Resource, Kern County Department of Public Health, California State University, Bakersfield and the City of Shafter have expanded the Library’s role as a provider of learning and literacy.

http://www.ridgecrestca.com/news/20170921/board-of-supervisors-names-new-kern-county-library-chief

Grand Jury report: Kern County libraries ‘headed for extinction’

From The Daily Independant

” A Kern County Grand Jury committee didn’t mince words when it released a report on the state of the library system in June.In short, the report states the Kern County Library system is headed for extinction.“An inspection of the Kern County Library (KCL) revealed a frightening truth: The continued ability of KCL to serve the residents of Kern County is in serious jeopardy,” the report states. “Management’s approach of ‘this is how we’ve always done it,’ does not allow for a vision for the future of KCL; past practices have generally led to greater costs and manpower requirements, without commensurate increases in services or utilization.The committee inquired about the 2016-2017 operation and management of the library system prior to releasing its report on June 1. The report notes that KCL isn’t following national trends. The committee cited Wall Street Journal contributor John Christopher Farley’s argument that libraries need to become innovative so they don’t fall victim to the Internet Age.“He believes librarians should help patrons’ access to digital technology. He also contends that librarians should not completely eliminate books,” the report states. “Libraries around the country are facing a decrease in usage and need to change with the times. This includes changing mission statements to include new technology and better use of the libraries’ space.”In traditional Grand Jury format, the report goes through its process, including findings, recommendations, background and facts during its investigation of the 24-library system.”

http://www.ridgecrestca.com/news/20170719/grand-jury-report8200kern-county-libraries-headed-for-extinction

Kern County Libraries Face Uncertain 2017

From Valley Public Radio

” Most counties and cities in California have seen their budgets recover from depths of the Great Recession. That’s not the case in Kern County though, which relies heavily on taxes from oil. That tension has put a popular public asset in the middle of a years-long fight over its future. In the end, 2017 could be a year a big change for the Kern County’s public libraries.The list of issues facing libraries in Kern County is lengthy.They, like every other department in the county, are in the process of yet another round of budget cuts. Six months ago, a tax specifically to support them failed to reach the required two-thirds majority it needed. People are also asking whether county supervisors could revisit a previously shelved plan to privatize the system. And their current director, Nancy Kerr is leaving.”

http://kvpr.org/post/kern-county-libraries-face-uncertain-2017

Supes name interim Kern County library director

From The Daily Independent

” The Board of Supervisors on Dec. 13 appointed Assistant Library Director Andie Apple as Kern County Interim Director of Libraries, effective on December 23, 2016. Apple will replace Nancy Kerr, who is resigning this month to take a librarian position in Bellingham, Washington.Apple has more than 19 years of library experience, serving as Assistant Library Director since 2011. She has developed and coordinated several countywide events and projects including the One Book Project, the Summer Reading Challenge, the Summer Lunch Program, and the Thank-a-Vet Art Card Project. Apple has also been integral in developing annual Library budgets and has supplemented County library funds by securing grants to develop literacy and digital literacy in Spanish speakers, veterans, job seekers, children, and early learners.”

http://www.ridgecrestca.com/article/20161215/NEWS/161219837

Kern County Library gets $75K tech grant

From KBAK

” The Kern County Library has received a $75,000 grant for technology projects.The money, from the California State Library, will be spent on digital literacy workshops, portable chargers and Chromebooks for in-house checkout, and wired furniture.The improvements will take place at the county’s busiest branches: Beale Memorial Library, Ridgecrest Branch Library and Southwest Branch Library.”

http://bakersfieldnow.com/news/local/kern-county-library-gets-75k-tech-grant

Kern County: Library’s Future Draws Crowd

From The Mountain Enterprise

” It was a love-fest in the public seats at “The One 21st Century Library in Kern County” last Thursday.That is what Kern County Administrator John Nilon called the Frazier Park Library. The nickname mirrors the devotion the public in the Mountain Communities shows for the beautiful—and much-used—facility. Local residents and former Director of Kern County Libraries Diane Duquette struggled for over 20 years to make this library a reality, members of the public reminded Nilon. Now it is a center of community life, and widely appreciated.”

http://mountainenterprise.com/story/librarys-future-draws-crowd/