Self-checkout kiosks installed in all San Diego libraries

From The San Diego Union-Tribune

” San Diego has completed installation of self-checkout computer kiosks across the city’s 36-branch library system, and officials say users are embracing the new technology.The city has been adding a credit card feature to allow payment of overdue fines directly at the machines.The goal of the $1.6 million project is to eliminate long lines, free workers up for other tasks and make inventory more efficient and accurate.Library officials said usage rates at the branches have averaged more than 80 percent. Patrons reluctant to use the new technology can still check out their items in the traditional way with a library worker.“Our main objective is to enhance our customer service,” said Misty Jones, head of the city’s library system. “The self-check machines are simple to use and allow our staff to focus more time on helping patrons with library materials or developing new, innovative programs to serve our diverse communities.”While no positions have been eliminated, the new technology could eventually allow the library system to shrink its staff. The kiosks could also allow branches to stay open more hours with the same personnel.”

San Diego libraries to celebrate Great American Eclipse with Sky Party


” If you’re looking for a way to celebrate the Great American Eclipse in San Diego, consider joining in a “Sky Party” at your local public library.Even if San Diego isn’t on the path of the total eclipse, residents are still excited to see about a 60 percent eclipse and the San Diego Public Library has planned family-friendly offerings leading up to the unique event on August 21. First, on Saturday, Aug. 19, libraries will hold workshops featuring Scripps Institute of Oceanography scientists, who will help prepare families to observe and experience the eclipse. Participants will learn about the solar system, how and why eclipses occur and build pinhole cameras to help view the eclipse.”

San Diego: UCSD brings prep classes to city libraries for area students

From The San Diego Union-Tribune

” Students throughout the city will be able to take free classes that can help them get into college or land good jobs through a program that is being expanded by the San Diego Public Library and UC San Diego.“Every child in San Diego deserves a chance to go to college and get that great job,” San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said Tuesday morning during a press conference at the Valencia Park/Malcolm X Library. “But sometimes the price tag puts courses that would give their college applications a boost, like robotics class or test prep, out of reach. This program is going to help kids from all over the city, from Skyline Hills to Rancho Penasquitos, as an opportunity to advance their education for free.”Classes, workshops and counseling sessions started in January in a pilot program at the Central and Malcolm X libraries, and so far have 150 middle and high school students have participated. Since the launch, the program has expanded into branch libraries in Mira Mesa, Serra Mesa-Kearny Mesa and Tierrasanta.On Tuesday, Faulconer and top university and library officials announced that by the end of the year, the classes will be in branch libraries in City Heights, Linda Vista, Rancho Penasquitos, and Logan Heights, where classes begin Aug. 5.Within the next few years, similar classes and workshops could be offered in all 36 of the city’s branch libraries, said Library Department Director Misty Jones.”

San Diego librarians undergo ‘Mental Health First Aid’ training

From 10 News San Diego

” The job description of a librarian goes far beyond recommending books and organizing shelves — they’re often the first responders when someone needs help in the library.”I think there’s a misperception of what librarians would be. Everybody has a bun in their hair and a pocket pen protector,” said Joe Miesner, access services librarian at San Diego Central Library.Miesner has been working at San Diego libraries for 26 years. He and his colleagues say they got into the field to help the community.”We’re a great community link where everybody is welcome,” said Miesner.Most of the librarians have been trained in traditional first aid, but they will soon learn how to address the hidden wounds.Staff with the San Diego Public Library are taking part in the Mental Health First Aid course, learning skills to provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health issue or substance abuse problem or experiencing a crisis.”

At San Diego’s libraries, you can check out bike tools, language classes and Wi-Fi hotspots

From The San Diego Union-Tribune

” Maybe it’s a photo from your family trip to Disneyland, circa 1971. The one where you are rocking a suede headband and a Donny Osmond T-shirt. Or that Beta tape of your 21st birthday party, the one whose contents will be revealed on a need-to-know basis. Or your battered cassette copy of the one album Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks recorded as a duo, which is now selling for $100 on Amazon.These and other treasures can be saved from the technology graveyard thanks to the Memory Lab at the La Jolla-Riford Library, where patrons can use a host of gadgets to turn their various tapes, photos and discs to digital formats.”

Self-checkout coming to all San Diego libraries

From The San Diego Union-Tribune

“Self-checkout computer kiosks are being installed across the city of San Diego’s 36-branch library system this year to eliminate long lines, free workers up for other tasks and make inventory more efficient and accurate.Installation of the kiosks, which began in late December and will conclude in July, is requiring two-week closures of some branches on a rolling basis.The kiosks include a feature allowing library patrons to get a list of other recommended books or videos based on what they’ve previously checked out.The new technology could allow the library system to shrink its staff or allow branches to stay open more hours with the same personnel.But Sheila Burnett, deputy director of the city’s library system, said so far employees are being redeployed to other tasks.”

Rancho Bernardo’s youth services librarian is following in mom’s footsteps

From San Diego Union Tribune

” Rancho Bernardo Library’s new youth services librarian said she wants to make the library a more educational and fun place to visit.Laura Anthony — who began earlier this month — said she wants to increase teen programming, is starting an all-ages chess club that will meet on Tuesday nights, wants to have sensory-friendly events for kids on the autism spectrum through a partnership with RB-based Kids Therapy Associates, and plans to have more “fun” science programs.The Lifescanner insect identification kit available for children to check out through April 8. (-Elizabeth Marie Himchak)The latter includes a new city-wide library program called “The Catalog of Life @ the Library.” It is a month-long project that runs through April 8 and geared to 9- to 12-year-olds. Kids may check out a Lifescanner kit, collect up to four bugs then return the kit and bugs to the library. Each bug is to be placed in an individual liquid-filled vial. Anthony will forward the samples to project officials for study.”