Pasadena Public Library Awarded Grant Bolstering Citizenship and Immigration Resources

From Pasadena Now

” The California State Library recently awarded Pasadena Public Library a local Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant of $62,000 to focus on bolstering citizenship and immigration resources at the La Pintoresca and Villa Parke Branch libraries and Central Library. “Libraries try to provide resources on everything including immigration, which is a very complex issue,” said Melvin Racelis, Senior Librarian at La Pintoresca Branch Library who is leading this project. “Recently, there has been an increased interest in this topic. As librarians, it is important that we serve the informational needs of immigrants to our community, as well as anyone interested in the citizenship process.” Newly created Citizenship Corners at each of the three library sites will provide patrons with access to resources and materials to assist them with understanding United States citizenship and related processes, including information kits, which will be available for checkout.”


Pasadena Public Library’s New Social Worker Program Partners to Help the Homeless

From Pasadena Now

“For years, it’s been difficult to visit Pasadena’s public libraries without noticing the homeless.Like many public libraries across the country, Pasadena’s have increasingly become havens for the homeless who take daily refuge amidst the quiet, air-conditioned book stacks and at the reading tables.Now, Pasadena’s public libraries have partnered with the Pasadena Public Health Department and the Department of Housing and Career Services in collaboration with the Union Station Coordinated Entry System program to assist homeless individuals who frequent the City’s libraries for temporary shelter.Through a program called the Library Care Navigator Project, the Public Health Department has assigned one care navigator at the Hill Avenue Branch Library, and is looking to assign another at the Pasadena Central Library at Walnut Street, to focus on assisting the homeless.The position is library-funded, says Angelica Palmeros, Manager of the Social and Mental Health Services Division at the Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD).The project grew out of a need to provide more meaningful assistance to homeless people who visit the libraries to take advantage of the safe space, use the rest rooms and the free internet service.A little over a year ago, Pasadena joined what a handful of other public libraries in California have started – place a dedicated case worker in the libraries to help the homeless and connect them to housing, rather than simply hanging out day after day, and year after year.”

Pasadena: Library Attack Highlights Homeless Security Issues in Public Places

From Pasadena Now

“Public libraries across the country are increasingly facing security issues involving the mentally ill homeless who take daily refuge amidst the quiet, air-conditioned book stacks.A knife attack on two security guards working at the City of Pasadena’s Central Library last Friday has illuminated the issue locally.In Friday’s incident, a library patron reportedly refused to leave the library in the 300 block of East Walnut Street, at closing time, and attacked one of the guards with a bladed weapon. The attack points to the difficulties in managing and protecting public spaces while keeping them safe and accessible to all, said Pasadena Police Lt. Mark Goodman.“The public library is used by homeless individuals throughout the day. Goodman said. “They go in there to use the computer, charge their cell phones, use the restroom, and get out of the heat. It’s a public place so it’s open to the public, not unlike our city parks, so all of our branch libraries attract homeless individuals here and there.“Everyone here is welcome, and as long as everyone follows the rules, then everyone can continue to be welcomed here,” said Pasadena Library Director Michelle Perera. “We want to make sure that our security team and our library staff are always keeping an eye on the library and making sure that kids have a good time here, and that they are learning and everyone who wants to use the library feels that this is a safe and welcoming place for them.”Goodman explained that he was unable to state officially that the problem is mounting, but said, “I think we are starting to feel the full weight of legislation recently passed, such as Prop 47 and Prop 109, (so) many people who are homeless and who are mentally ill would have, prior to the passage of those two bills, perhaps been in jail or another facility more appropriate for evaluation of mental illness.”

Pasadena Public Library Receives Two Important Learning Grants

From Pasadena Now

” The Pasadena Public Library has received new grants that will significantly support two important learning initiatives of the City: its STEAM 18 Initiative that coincides with a major international space science conference in Pasadena next year, and the launch of the “Pasadena as an Early Learning City 2025” movement this September.Pasadena’s Chief Librarian Michelle Perera, Director of Libraries and Information Services, said the public library has been awarded a $100,000 Library Service and Technology Act (LSTA) grant by the California State Library, and another $12,000 grant by First 5 LA, a nonprofit child-advocacy organization that is part of the First 5 California Children and Families Act.In a memorandum to City Manager Steve Mermell Wednesday, Perera said the LSTA grant will be used to fund the STEAM 18 Initiative – the observance of the Year of STEAM in Pasadena – as the City hosts the 42nd COSPAR Scientific Assembly.”

Michelle Perera is Pasadena’s New Library Department Director

From Pasadena Now

” City Manager Steve Mermell announced Friday he has appointed Michelle Perera as the new Director of the Pasadena Public Library and Information Services Department.
Perera comes to Pasadena from the City of Rancho Cucamonga where she has been the city’s Library Director for the past two years. Perera assumes her new duties in Pasadena effective December 19, 2016.Perera will oversee a department of 108 full-time employees and an annual budget of about $14 million. The department,, currently includes the Central Library and nine branches, collectively serving about 1.2 million people per year and about 500,000 online customers. With more than 2,300 on-site programs, free WiFi services and an extensive collection of printed books, periodicals, media and cloud-based eBooks, the Pasadena Public Library serves as a life-long learning center and cultural beacon for the greater Pasadena community.”

Health Alliance of Pasadena Announces Partnership with Library

From Pasadena Patch

” Community Health Alliance of Pasadena (ChapCare), the leading primary healthcare provider in the San Gabriel Valley, announces a partnership with the Pasadena Public Library.The goal of this unique partnership is to bring increased education on the benefits of reading, and to support library card sign-up for the Pasadena Public Library. ChapCare will offer all children ages 0-5 and their families who access medical services at our Lincoln health center in Pasadena a brief educational intervention, a free bag with books and a library card application, and help parents complete the library card application and submit the application to the library for processing.”

Meet the New Director of Pasadena’s Public Libraries

From Pasadena Now

” The week Pasadena’s celebrated Public Library Director Jan Sanders retired after 11 years of service, library officials identified Pasadenan Robert Karatsu, the former Director of the Rancho Cucamonga Library, as the library’s interim director while a nation-wide search for a new permanent Director gets underway.”