San Jose: Giving Underserved Youths a Chance to Succeed Through Better Access to High-Quality Education

From Next City

“The disparities in access to education have led to dismal outcomes. Students who drop out of high school or college are disproportionately low-income, particularly students of color; black and Hispanic students are 12 and 9 percent less likely than their white peers to graduate from high school in four years. These inequalities have far-reaching consequences, not just for individual kids, but for society as a whole. They hamper social mobility, exacerbate income inequality, and stifle economic growth.More and more, alongside school districts, cities are creating their own programs to ensure that all kids, especially those in underserved communities, have access to a high-quality education and of the many benefits that education guarantees them in the future. In California, San Jose and Oakland are among the cities leading this charge, taking a highly targeted approach that focuses on the students who are consistently being left behind. By developing programs to lower the barriers that students face, these cities are helping reduce disparities in access to educational opportunities.”

San Jose: Free, Fun Math Tutoring Program Is Brainchild Of 2 Bay Area Teen Friends

From CBS Local

” It is summertime and Maya Nayak and Monjish Bhattacharyya could be taking it easy. Instead the two 17-year-olds are teaching younger children math. When Nayak and Bhattacharyya were in 7th grade, the childhood friends saw a need for free math tutoring in their local community.So in 2015 they formed FunMath4Kids, and started teaching a handful of younger students at a single San Jose library branch. Since then, the organization has expanded into a half a dozen libraries, with 40 plus volunteers teaching math to nearly 1500 students.”

Free, Fun Math Tutoring Program Is Brainchild Of 2 Bay Area Teen Friends

San Jose : Annual reading program focuses on caregiving

From The Mercury News

” Although caregiving is typically associated with nurses and hospitals, it’s also something that often falls on the shoulders of a mother, father, daughter, son, wife or husband and can affect an entire family.In recognition of such an important responsibility, this year’s theme for the annual Silicon Valley Reads program, “No What What: Caring, Coping, Compassion,” focuses on caregiving.Presented by the Santa Clara County Office of Education, Santa Clara County Library District and San Jose Public Library, this year’s program asks people to think, discuss and share the perspectives of caregivers through multiple free events such as art exhibits, films and panel discussions.The regional program will kick off on Feb. 1 at the Visual & Performing Arts Center at De Anza College in Cupertino and conclude on April 15.“At some point we’ll be a caregiver in our lifetime,” said Nancy Howe, executive director of the Santa Clara County Library District.About 43.5 million Americans are unpaid caregivers who help family or friends with daily living activities and medical tasks, she added.”

San Jose: Raising a toast to Library Director Jill Bourne

From The Mercury News

“The San Jose Library Foundation showed its appreciation for Library Director Jill Bourne with a reception last Friday to celebrate her selection as Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year for 2017. And while you might think such a party — especially one held at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library — might be a quiet affair, it was anything but.Elected officials and city staff clowned around at a photo booth, munched on cupcakes bearing Bourne’s image and donned stereotypical “librarian glasses” during the party on the library’s eighth floor. The only “Shhh…” heard was when someone ordered a drink with that name. (The best cocktail name of the night was a Bellini called the 398.2. That’s the Dewey Decimal System number for Fairy Tales.)And while the Library Journal issue with her face on the cover was everywhere, Bourne still managed to deflect the praises sung by Mayor Sam Liccardo and City Manager Norberto Dueñas. “As soon as i learned about this honor — it really is huge in my industry — I was in disbelief,” said Bourne, who was wooed last year by the Boston library but decided to stay in San Jose. “The folks that got us this award were my incredible team. And I wanted to have a reception locally to honor the work of our library staff.”During Bourne’s tenure, the library has restored hours, brought patrons back into the fold through fine forgiveness and established new programs like Citizenship Corners and a free summer lunch program for kids.”

San Jose : Grand opening of mobile lab this Saturday

From San Francisco Bay Area News

” A 39-foot mobile lab will soon be traveling through San Jose to give people the opportunity to learn about science, technology, engineering, the arts and math, San Jose library officials announced.A grand opening was scheduled for Saturday for the Maker[Space]Ship, which is equipped with state-of-the-art maker technology such as a 3D printer, laser cutter, telescopes, video cameras and microscopes.The lab, which is inside a custom-designed bus, was in the works for over two years and it’s free for everyone, according to library officials.”

San Jose council approves reducing library fines, amnesty program

From San Jose Mercury News

“Major changes are coming to city libraries after San Jose leaders Tuesday agreed to reduce fines, forgive penalties and welcome back borrowers who have been blocked from the library after accruing debt for late or lost items.The San Jose Public Library is strapped with a stunning $6.8 million in unpaid fines and fees. The debt began racking up in 2009 when city leaders doubled penalties for late or missing items — much more than neighboring libraries in San Francisco, Oakland and Santa Clara County.Nearly 40 percent of all San Jose library accounts — about 187,000 — owe the library money, and three cardholders owe $10,000 or more. But the youngest patrons are the ones hit hardest, officials say, because nearly half the blocked accounts belong to youth.”

San Jose council might put off library changes to ‘explore’ new partnership

From San Jose Mercury News

“With kids owing nearly half of the city library’s unpaid fines or fees, San Jose leaders want to make sure youth still have access to books and are considering working with a nonprofit to replace lost or damaged children’s books.”The library ought to be seen as equal and accessible to all kids that want to learn,” said Emmett Carson, president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. His organization sought out Mayor Sam Liccardo after media coverage in March highlighted a stunning $6.8 million in unpaid fees owed to the library.Carson said discussions with City Hall have been ongoing, but the idea came to light a day before the City Council was set to vote on Library Director Jill Bourne’s recommendations to improve library access, including reducing fees, lowering checkout limits and launching an amnesty program.”

San Jose: Three people owe library more than $10,000 for overdue books

From San Jose Mercury News

” Three people owe the San Jose Public Library more than $10,000 for overdue or lost books, seven more racked up fines totaling more than $5,000 and nearly 130 face penalties of at least $1,000, records obtained by this newspaper show.How book-borrowers could amass such a staggering debt is hard to say — the city refuses to divulge who they are. But San Jose’s highest unpaid individual library fines, as well as the total penalties owed, dwarf those in San Francisco or Oakland.”

San Jose might offer scofflaw library patrons amnesty. Good!

From Slate

” The San Jose Public Library wants its books back. And its CDs and DVDs. Taken altogether, library patrons are holding onto or have damaged 97,000 items and owe the city $6.8 million in fines and fees. The situation is so out of control that about 40 percent of the city’s library cardholders can no longer borrow anything until they return their library holdings and pay what they owe. For a library, this is a DEFCON moment. Maybe not DEFCON 1, but at least DEFCON 3.”

San Jose may forgive fines if library users return long-overdue books and materials

From Monterey Herald

“More than a third of San Jose’s public library users haven’t returned books or other materials checked out a long time ago, and together they owe almost $6.9 million in outstanding fines.But city officials aren’t going to send a posse after them. Instead, they’re thinking about setting up a two-week amnesty program so the literary scofflaws can voluntarily return the books, CDs, DVDs and other borrowed items, no questions asked or penalties collected.”

USPTO Designates San José Library a Patent and Trademark Resource Center


” The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday announced the opening of a new Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library of the San José Public Library system located in San José, California. PTRCs, located across the United States, assist the public in learning more about patents and trademarks with reference assistance and training programs. They serve as the local face of the USPTO and promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.”

San Jose Libraries Waste Money with New Screening of Volunteers

From San Jose Inside

” The San Jose Public Library system received an additional $2 million dollars for the current budget year to hire staff, extend library hours and provide extra funds for existing programs. Instead of using all of this money for pressing library needs, however, the administration decided to fingerprint all library volunteers—including people who have no contact with the public, as well as all of the tutors in the award-winning Partners in Reading program.”

Internal Affairs: Volunteers now welcome at San Jose libraries

from the San Jose Mercury News

“When San Jose Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio wrote a memo four years ago urging that volunteers be used to augment the city staff at libraries, he ran into a buzzsaw of criticism. Union leaders argued that library work was no simple matter. Oliverio’s colleague, Councilman Ash Kalra, said it was “not just about putting books on the shelf.” At the core of the dispute was the fear that volunteers might take away jobs from regular city workers.”

San Jose 2015-16 operating budget proposal released

from KLIV AM

“The proposed 2015-2016 operating budget for the city of San Jose has been released by Interim City Manager Norberto Duenas. The proposed budget is $1.03 billion, which is about nine percent less than last year. The proposal includes adding 169 positions throughout the city including 26 community service officers in the police department. Library services will also see a net increase of 28 positions as branches will be open from 4 to 6 days a week starting in July.”

San Jose libraries: Liccardo proposes full-time operation as city rebounds

from the San Jose Mercury News

“Mayor Sam Liccardo will announce plans Thursday to restore branch library hours drastically cut four years ago, as a half-decade of penny-pinching and a humming economy have allowed the city to finally cobble together a small surplus.”

San Jose: Friends of the Library volunteers asked to pay for book sale insurance

from the San Jose Mercury News

“Friends of the Library groups in San Jose have been told that they may need to purchase outside liability insurance for book sale events on city property.”

San Jose: Public library gets $35k for online privacy literacy prototype

from the Mercury News

“The San Jose Public Library has secured prototype funding for a program that seeks to help residents understand online privacy and their Internet insecurities. One of 22 libraries to receive a grant from the Knight Foundation, San Jose’s library system will get $35,000 to create an all-ages Internet privacy education platform.”

San Jose: Tech-minded teens sought for design project

from the San Jose Mercury News

“The book mobile is going high tech for the San José Public Library’s Maker[space]Ship lab, and library staff is looking for a few good teens to help design it.”

San Jose Libraries: Stepping in to help young people learn computer coding

from the San Jose Mercury News

“Kids today seem to know most of the ins and outs of computers. Their quick fingers dash over desktop, laptop and cell phone keyboards much faster than most adults’. However, computer coding remains a mystery to many, and even high schools–90 percent of which do not offer coding classes–appear to be leaving the teaching to others. San Jose’s public library system is stepping in to fill that gap. Dec. 8-14 was Computer Science Education Week, and nine of the system’s branches, as well as the main Martin Luther King Jr. main library, offered one-hour sessions titled ‘Hour of Code.'”

San Jose: Library hosts ‘Hour of Code’ for Computer Science Week

from the San Jose Mercury News

“The Almaden Library is hosting a one-hour introductory course designed to show that anyone can learn the basics of computer programming. Participants in the “Hour of Code” on Dec. 12 will use tutorials featuring Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies designed to demystify computer science. The all-ages program is part of a global movement in recognition of Computer Science Education Week, Dec. 8-14.”

Santa Clara County: Library 2 Library Bicycle Tour

from NBC Bay Area News

“Explore some of Santa Clara County while learning about your community’s local libraries at the Library 2 Library Bicycle Tour on October 18.”

Santa Clara County: Teens pilot coding courses in libraries

from the San Jose Mercury-News

“Two teens are on a mission to share a love of math and computer programming with other students, some as young as 8 years old, by way of a free library workshop.”

G.I. Joe photo exhibit in San Jose brings to life the real plight of struggling veterans

from Inside Bay Area/Argus

“At first glance, the G.I. Joe action figures who are the subjects of a stark photo exhibit on display at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library look disturbingly real. And that’s precisely the point.”