LA County Library Named 2019 Library Of The Year

From HomeTown Station

” The Los Angeles County Library, which has locations in Stevenson Ranch and Castaic, was recently awarded the title of Library of the Year for the organization’s effort in supporting the communityLA County Library was recently named Library of the Year by Gale/Library Journal for its outstanding community support, equity and inclusion, and creation of innovative services and partnerships that support the Library’s mission.As the 2019 Library of the Year, LA County Library is set to be featured on the cover of Library Journal’s (LJ’s) June 2019 issue, available in print and online, along with being honored at a reception at the American Library Association (ALA) annual conference 2019 in Washington, DC.Established in 1992, each year the Library of the Year Award celebrates the library that most profoundly demonstrates service to the community, creativity and innovation in developing specific community programs or has seen dramatic increase in library use and leadership in creating programs emulated by other libraries.This is the third honor LA County Library has received in the past 12 months from Library Journal following their wins for 2019 Librarian of the Year (given to Skye Patrick, Library Director) and 2018 Marketer of the Year (given to the Marketing & Communications team for its efforts in rebranding the organization).’

LA County Library Named 2019 Library Of The Year

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Los Angeles County libraries allow kids to read away late fees

From CBS News

“At the East Los Angeles Library, even the youngest patrons have to pay their dues – but not the way you think. Card holders 21 and under can literally read away what they owe in late fees at a rate of $5 per hour, reports CBS News correspondent Jamie Yuccas. It’s a new chapter for Los Angeles County, a program called “The Great Read Away.” “We’re not really concentrating on what they’re reading so long as they’re reading,” LA County Library Director Skye Patrick said. He said the idea came about after the library noticed an unsettling trend: Many kids who racked up debt on overdue books or movies would stop coming to the library altogether.”

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/los-angeles-county-libraries-allow-kids-to-read-away-late-fees/

LA County Library Gets $3.3M Digital Upgrade from Microsoft

From SCV News

“The Los Angeles County Library has been awarded a $3.3 million software grant from Microsoft as part of a Digital Alliance agreement.Public access computers are one of the most popular services at LA County Library locations. Nearly 1 million customers used a public computer in the past three years to access information online, work on professional or recreational projects, conduct research, and complete homework assignments.Many communities are highly dependent on these computers, along with the free internet access and wi-fi offered at libraries.The grant will allow LA County Library to complete a system-wide software refresh to upgrade its operating system from Windows 7 to Windows 10, within the next year. With the software upgrade, customers will have the ability to utilize Microsoft Office 365, as well as additional tools to search and access information, like the Microsoft Edge browser and Bing search engine.
The Library will also be replacing many outdated computers with newer models and adding more RAM to slower machines, for a better computer user experience across all locations.”

https://scvnews.com/2018/08/27/la-county-library-gets-3-3m-digital-upgrade-from-microsoft/

Los Angeles County libraries offer reading program to erase account fees

From ABC7

” People 21 and younger can read away any fees they’ve accrued on their County of Los Angeles Public Library accounts.The program, called The Great Read Away, is eligible for library cardholders 21 and under. For every hour a person spends reading in the library, $5 in fees on your account will be removed.Any eligible person who wants to participate in the program just needs to visit an L.A. County library and ask a staff member to register them.Whenever a cardholder visits and wants to do the program, they simply sign in and out with a librarian to track the time spent reading. The fees will be removed once you sign out for the day.The fees that can be waived include overdue fees, lost and damaged material replacements, TTC, and library card replacements. Fees connected to renting out a meeting room cannot be waived.”

http://abc7.com/education/la-county-libraries-offer-reading-program-to-erase-fees/2826135/

LA County Libraries To Launch Fine-Free Cards

From South Pasadena Patch

” he Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to introduce a fine-free library card for students 17 years old and younger.Supervisors Janice Hahn and Hilda Solis co-authored the motion.”By getting rid of late fees and penalties, our student library cards are finally a risk-free way for young people to access the tools they need to boost their education,” Hahn said, pointing out that libraries countywide offer access to computers, printers, research databases and after-school help with homework, in addition to books.Students will be able to check out three printed items at a time for as long as they like, with no fees or fines.Third-graders will be the first to get the new cards. This is a critical age for reading development and only 41 percent of third-graders in L.A. County are currently reading at grade level, according to a statewide scorecard published by nonprofit advocacy group Children Now.”This initiative is really about a challenge put to us by President Barack Obama,” Solis said of a 2015 Library Card Challenge aimed at ensuring that all students have access to library resources. “It is important that every student in the county, regardless of economic status, be able to tap into these services.” County Librarian Skye Patrick said the library has reached out to superintendents in more than 40 school districts in the library service area in planning for the new card.”

https://patch.com/california/southpasadena/la-county-libraries-launch-fine-free-cards

LA County library system in a growing financial hole

From KPCC

” L.A. County’s library system is facing a massive structural deficit and the county has not yet figured out what to do about it.Salaries, retirement, benefits, and operating costs are expected to push the County of Los Angeles Public Library system’s deficit to nearly $10.8 million annually by 2022. At the moment, the system’s operating deficit is about $1.2 million.
“Unfortunately, it’s pretty normal for us to be challenged by resources,” said Skye Patrick, L.A. County’s library director. “This has been going on for many years.”Patrick traced the start of the library system’s financial troubles to Proposition 13, the property tax cap passed by state voters in 1978, which cut off some revenue for libraries. Since then, a patchwork of funding changes have ensued. “We’ve never fully recovered from that,” she said. Current additional challenges include living wage increases, minimum wage increases, and retiree health benefits.”

https://www.scpr.org/news/2017/12/11/78682/la-county-library-system-24-million-in-the-hole/

Los Angeles: In a heat wave, libraries offering the homeless more than just air-conditioning

From KPCC

“Los Angeles libraries are expecting an increase in homeless visitors during the heat wave hitting the Southland this weekend and lasting at least through Friday. Because the homeless are vulnerable if they lack adequate shelter, the Pasadena Fire Department said those on the streets pose a particular concern when temperatures rise into the hundreds. But Lisa Derderian, the department’s public information officer, said the homeless are welcome into area libraries and other cooling centers.”They’re part of our community,” she said. Staffers at the Pasadena Public Library have had homeless patrons for as long as they can remember, and they would always do what they could to help, said Catherine Hany, Pasadena library’s spokeswoman.”We knew who to call first for situations and referrals. We would follow up on our resources, but we just didn’t have the background [to help the homeless],” she said.As homeless numbers have increased and finding themselves on the frontline of serving this population, the library took the step two months ago of hiring case manager Precious Jackson.”

https://www.scpr.org/news/2017/08/25/75037/in-a-heat-wave-libraries-offering-the-homeless-mor/