California Library Association Honors Pasadena’s Ann Longyear

From Pasadena Now

“The Central Library is one of Pasadena’s architectural and cultural treasures. Designed by renowned architect Myron Hunt and listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the building is also a busy, working library. It houses a collection of nearly 800,000 items, and more than 55,000 people visit the Central Library each month.Since 1984, the Pasadena Public Library Foundation (PPLF) has raised nearly $4 million for the preservation of the building and the upgrades necessary to operate a modern library. One of the library’s most dedicated supporters and champions – Mrs. Ann Longyear – was honored recently with the California Library Association’s President’s Award, selected by Michelle Pererra, the 2019 CLA president and Pasadena’s library director. The CLA President’s Award “recognizes outstanding contributions, leadership and achievement in support of California libraries by a Trustee, Friend, Elected Official, or other layperson who has given his or her time and talents to further the advancement of California libraries.”One of Mrs. Longyear’s most enduring legacies is stable funding for the Central Library.”

http://www.pasadenanow.com/main/california-library-association-honors-pasadenas-ann-longyear/#.XjSmoWhKhaQ

County Civil Grand Jury Reports on the Homeless in Pasadena Libraries

From Pasadena Now

“The increase in homeless people is pressuring public libraries beyond the provision of books and information into services typical of “social infrastructures” and the Los Angeles County Civil Grand Jury has some recommendations for Pasadena’s libraries to navigate the transition.The Grand Jury’s report is scheduled to be examined by Pasadena City’s Council during Monday night’s meeting.The report concludes with recommendations. Some of them applied to Pasadena’s City libraries and require responses, which city staff prepared for approval in anticipation of the Council meeting.The Civil Grand Jury is watchdog for the citizens of Los Angeles County. Its members are drawn from all five supervisorial districts and work as a committee in choosing the issues it investigates and reports on.The document on the homeless is one of nine included in a final report submitted to the Superior Court. The report being heard Monday at Pasadena City Hall is called “The Impact of the Homeless on Public Libraries.”“The library has become a shelter for the homeless to get out of the cold and to escape from the heat; but it is not the ideal sanctuary for their predicament,” the report said.As social infrastructure, the report said, libraries have taken on the function of community hubs where library users discover access not only to books, “but to companionship with other patrons as well, busy parents find virtual childcare; language instruction for immigrants, and welcoming safe space for the homeless and the young.” Parks, playgrounds, schools and other government-supported public spaces also fall into the category of social infrastructure.”

http://www.pasadenanow.com/main/county-civil-grand-jury-reports-on-homeless-in-pasadena-libraries/#.Xa3zfhR7nmE

‘Catch Up and Sneak Ahead’ Program Aims to Give Pasadena Students Help to a New Brighter Future

From Pasadena Now

“A come-from-behind victory could be waiting in the wings for those who enroll in the summer “Catch up and Sneak Ahead” program. The summer program at the Pasadena Public Library’s La Pintoresca Branch helps give students in the area the skills necessary to assist them with entry into advanced-level AP courses.The Catch Up and Sneak Ahead program works to increase the grade levels of disadvantaged kids by tutoring them in math, science, art and literature in a fun and creative way. Rosa Cesaretti is the volunteer coordinator at the library who heads up the program. Catch Up and Sneak Ahead has received the support of the community and in particular has outstanding volunteers.“I wanted everybody to know about it and know about the great things that they’re doing,” said Pasadena Vice Mayor Tyron Hampton. “The volunteers are also high school students and college students. So not only are kids learning, but also the kids who are volunteering are learning tons of types of skills.Cesaretti said the program is on the rise, gaining popularity and started organically out of need.”

http://www.pasadenanow.com/main/catch-up-and-sneak-ahead-program-aims-to-give-pasadena-students-help-to-a-new-brighter-future/

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.”

http://www.pasadenanow.com/main/pasadena-public-library-awarded-library-services-and-technology-grant-bolstering-citizenship-and-immigration-resources/#.XRZ1O2N7laQ

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.”

http://www.pasadenanow.com/main/pasadena-public-librarys-new-social-worker-program-partners-to-help-the-homeless/#.WgSeu2es6qx

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.”

http://www.pasadenanow.com/main/library-attack-highlights-homeless-security-issues-in-public-places/

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.”

http://www.pasadenanow.com/main/pasadena-public-library-receives-two-important-learning-grants/#.WXJPt2cj7KY