Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Salinas Update

"Salinas Mayor Anna Caballero will unveil a plan later this week aimed at keeping the city's libraries open and also bolstering other city services. . .
Complete details will be available Thursday night, when Caballero has scheduled a 6 p.m. news conference at city hall to officially unveil the plan."

New San Jose Branch

"Tully neighborhood residents are celebrating today the opening of the Tully Community Branch library.
The 24,300 square-foot branch has 42 public computers, a community room, a Family Learning Center and one of the largest collections of Vietnamese language materials in the city."

LAUSD'S Libraries

"Unsure how many library books the district really has, Los Angeles Unified plans to spend about $8 million this year to install a computerized tracking system at 614 school libraries. . . .
By October, the Los Angeles Unified School District should have its first true picture of its inventory, and officials don't expect the news to be good. It's expected to show that the district has fewer than eight books per student, half the state average and a third of the national average of 22 books per student at public school libraries. . . .
The district relies on state funding for resupplying its libraries. While California's per-student library allocation reached $28 a few years ago, it has since dropped to 70 cents per student annually. . . .
The district relies on state funding for resupplying its libraries. While California's per-student library allocation reached $28 a few years ago, it has since dropped to 70 cents per student annually."

Limiting Dissent

"The Organization of American Historians, the foremost scholarly organization for the study of American history, has been looking into charges of widespread harassment and repression in our institutions of higher education as a result of the government’s attempt to stifle dissent. And their findings are disturbing. . . .
According to the committee’s report, foreign students who are not enrolled full time are subject to arrest and deportation: 'In California at least, some of those students have simply disappeared. Privacy rules block any attempt by their teachers or friends to investigate what happened to them.'"

Cool Science Resources

Contained within this opinion piece on teaching science are a selected list of free and fee-based online resources. I thought that some of them might prove useful on the Reference Desk.

Dismayed About Salinas Libraries

"A new instructor at Hartnell College came to the United States as a 5-year-old refugee from Cambodia. . . .
Moth got her start in astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley, where she earned a bachelor's degree, but her interest in learning began much earlier.
'My family is very supportive," she said. "When we would go to the library, we could get as many books as we wanted. But our father told us we must check out at least three non-fiction books.'
Moth always chose books about space. She said she's dismayed by the prospect of closing libraries in Salinas.
'I think libraries are very important,' she said. 'That's what helped me get where I am. I think closing libraries is the worst thing you can do. It's restricting access to knowledge.'"

San Diego Surfer Update

"Attorneys for three voters will ask a federal judge today to issue a preliminary injunction stopping the Registrar of Voters from certifying the votes in the San Diego mayor's race.
Attorneys for Shan L. McDonald, Jerri Walters and Jennifer Cassidy argue in a lawsuit that the results of the mayor's race should not be certified because city officials conducted an unlawful election by allowing Donna Frye's write- in candidacy. . . .
Frye has not decided whether to challenge Murphy's win in the mayoral race. The registrar did not count an unknown number of ballots with her name written-in, but without a bubble shaded in next to her name. Her supporters believe the uncounted votes would put her ahead of Murphy.
On Nov. 16, Gonzalez refused to issue a restraining order to stop the certification process but agreed to hear more arguments on the matter.
Over the past two weeks, two retired judges have rejected two lawsuits filed in San Diego Superior Court -- one asking to stop the vote count and one asking that all write-in votes be counted, even ones in which the "oval" next to the write-in's name was not filled in."

Five Local Libraries Get Grants

"Among the 12 statewide winners were the Ingleside and Richmond branches in San Francisco, the Castro Valley Library, the Lafayette Library and Learning Center and the 81st Avenue Branch Library in Oakland.
Losers included Antioch and Walnut Creek, a city that staked its civic future on the project. . . .
The biggest award went to Castro Valley, which will use the nearly $14 million grant to improve its library, which Assemblywoman Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, said has only one restroom and nowhere to park. It was the third application for by grant by the community, which backers stressed is close to BART and other transit systems. Supporters brought 3,000 signatures of support and 600 letters to show to the state board. . . .
It was the last cycle of grants of the $350 million bond that California voters passed in 2000. Under the library bond act, the state pays for 65 percent of the project, while the city, county or library district pays the rest. . . .
In 2006, Californians will vote on another bond measure that would give an additional $600 million to the Office of Library Construction. As much as $300 million could be awarded quickly to projects that were not funded Monday."

More Regarding Salinas

"A community group concerned about having a safe place for kids to go after school urged short-term solutions to keep the libraries open at a City Council subcommittee meeting Monday.
The group's approach contrasts with that of Friends of the Salinas Public Library, which is focusing on finding long-term funding for the libraries.
About 30 people attended the subcommittee's meeting, which has the aim of saving the city's three library branches, scheduled to close between January and June."

Salinas Update

"In the wake of two ballot-measure failures that virtually ensured the closing of all three public libraries in Salinas, California, the city council voted November 16 to assign a special subcommittee to explore its options. The group has scheduled its first meeting for late in the afternoon of November 19, the Salinas Californian reported." Private funding might save one branch, but the outlook is poor.
"In a November 18 statement, American Library Association President Carol Brey-Casiano called national attention to the situation in Salinas and Buffalo, New York, where a severely slashed budget may force the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library to close all its facilities. 'Your ability to get information shouldn’t depend on your ability to pay for it,' she said. 'Free access to the books, ideas, resources, and information in America’s libraries is imperative for education, employment, enjoyment, and self-government. While the ALA has tracked library funding cuts in more than 40 states, this is the first I’ve heard of residents losing all access to public library services.'"

Palo Alto May Close Branch Libraries

"Palo Alto Library Director Paula Simpson's plan to close small libraries in favor of operating one central branch will face an uphill battle for approval, if Monday night's City Council meeting is any indication. . . .
During the meeting, Simpson also laid out a series of other options, including a proposal to pass a parcel tax to increase library funding to adequately staff all existing libraries. Next year alone that would cost $850,000, she noted.
But the option that's gotten the most attention was a proposal to build one central library, probably near California Avenue. The reason the library director supports that plan is that by staffing numerous libraries, and filling them with duplicate copies of books and magazines, the city is not getting the most bang for its buck."

Funding Update

"In California, several communities were able to gain the two-thirds approval for library funding. The extension/renewal of parcel taxes was approved in Altadena (77.26 percent), Blanchard/Santa Paula Library District (71.8 percent), Fresno County (71 percent), San Jose (66.92 percent), and Sacramento (72.38 percent). Berkeley's electorate rejected an amendment to the city's formula for library funding that would have raised the average cost per household to approximately $292. Support was at 50.5 percent. In the city of Martinez, a $30 million bond for improvements, including the renovation of its library, was rejected--only 60.6 percent approved the measure."

Promoting Libraries in the Bay Area

For National Library Week, "a tight collaboration leverages company support and ad dollars to get the word out about libraries." The word goes out on the backs of buses, in supermarket circulars, television spots and on a digital mall sign by the freeway. This year's theme is: "Discover the Bay Area's best value…your library". Look for it!
Library Journal

Berkeley Wants Tax Revenue

"Homeowners will be asked to pay an extra $310 a year on their property tax and utility bills to keep City Hall open full time, avoid police and fire service cuts and keep school programs and public libraries afloat during the next few years."

Sacramento County Won't Ask for Library Tax

"For years, Sacramento County's libraries have lagged behind the city's in manpower, materials and money, and that gap could widen further after November's election. . . .The Board of Supervisors decided in July not to try a third time for a tax to support the county's 16 libraries after a January poll showed only 55 percent of voters would support it, a level well below the two-thirds necessary to pass a new tax."

Santa Clara County's Budget Blues

"Budget problems have forced all Santa Clara County libraries to close on Mondays starting next month.
Facing a $1.1 million budget shortfall and possibly much more next summer, library officials announced Tuesday the service cutback would start Oct. 11. . . .The county's libraries may have to endure further cutbacks in the future. In March, county voters failed to extend a benefits assessment tax that brings in $5.3 million for the county library system."

Succeed @ Your Library

"September is the month during which librarians across the nation try to convince Americans - especially young Americans - to join them in the never-ending search for knowledge. . . .It's also a way communities come together to promote literacy. . . .Getting a library card is simple. . . .And it's free! . . .The Resource Literacy Center of California reports that only about 8 percent of the population visits a public library as often as once a week. Nearly 15 percent say they never go to a library. How all of our lives might be changed if those who don't now go to a library for information or relaxation did go.
Information literacy is the key to so many good things in life. It allows you to find, evaluate and use information effectively to solve problems and make decisions.
It could be argued that you cannot fully live the American dream without just the kind of information so easily obtained at your friendly neighborhood library."

Cell Phone Use in Library Costly
"City leaders (in Huntington Beach) adopted an ordinance, which takes effect Sept. 15, that bans all cell phone use in libraries, including talking, text messaging and ringing tones of any kind.
First-time violators will be warned, then fined $250 if they don't comply. A second offense gets a $500 fine and a third offense gets a $1,000 fine."

No Tax Raise

"...Schwarzenegger's steadfast refusal to re-examine how schools are funded or to raise taxes means that important programs will be eliminated, and that the losses will disproportionately fall on poorer districts. A recent Los Angeles Times editorial said of the budget, 'the only losers, aside from California's future, are cities, counties and local schools, which were fleeced in return for promises of future protection.'"

What's Up With Lack of Bids On Alameda?

"The new Alameda library project should offer the stuff contractors dream of: a high-profile location in the glamorous San Francisco Bay Area and a fairly handsome $24 million budget, $15.5 million of that for construction.
But only one construction company has bid, according to those working on the project. And the sole bidder, S.J. Amoroso Construction, came in about $5 million over budget."

I'm Back

I don't know if anyone noticed, but I have not posted anything for a about a month. I woke up early this morning and decided to rectify that. Now that the California budget is resolved (not in an optimal manner), perhaps we can just get on with life. Actually, that's already happening and I notice that some frozen positions are getting filled.
I put InfoPeoples's new blog on the list of local weblogs today and will be adding more content soon.

Masking Budget Shortfall

"Libraries throughout San Mateo County have endured financial struggles for nearly a decade, but they're finding creative new ways to keep users from feeling the pain. . . .The financial crunch has presented a seemingly endless sense of uncertainty for librarians. And with the number of patrons rising 37 percent over the past three years, the question remains whether the local libraries can accommodate a growing number of users while dealing with a sinking financial outlook."

What's Up with the State Budget?

"California will end the fiscal year without a budget approved by the Legislature for the ninth time in 11 years and appears set to start the new year without even a handshake budget deal between legislative leaders and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger."

"Libraries the San Jose Way"

"Taking a cue from nearby startups and venture capital firms, Silicon Valley's award-winning library is launching a consulting business to help librarians think like entrepreneurs. . . .The 10-month-old library charges $1,500 for half-day consulting sessions, which explain to librarians in other communities how San Jose's institution came to national prominence."

Great SF Earthquake Photographs

There is a great online exhibit of photographs from the University of California Riverside/California Museum of Photography about the 1906 earthquake. It is divided into six browsable sections: Destruction; People; Amidst the Rubble; The Hungry; The Homeless; Recovery. Photos may be viewed in a small format, in a detailed view, as stereograms or, wearing red/blue glasses, as 3D images.

Bad Budget Bite

"Russo, the immediate past-president of the League of California Cities, spoke more generally on how the state government is negatively affecting county, city and local district governments.

Jokingly referring to Sacramento government as the "fourth axis of evil," Russo said that 25 years ago it was inconceivable for Californians to worry about their local libraries struggling or keeping park services open."

News from the Capitol

"...With regard to the Public Library Foundation, Governor Schwarzenegger has proposed a reduction of $1.4 million. His message states, "The 2004-05 expenditures reflect the Department's response to the Administration's
request for 3 percent reductions, thus the May Revision proposes to reduce Public Library Foundation grants to local libraries by $1,406,000. This leaves a total of $14,360,000 in remaining foundation resources ..."
(Note: Without the detail available, we assume a 3% cut was made to the State Library budget, including the PLF with the entire reduction made to
the PLF - about 9%.)

You will recall that Governor Davis aggressively reduced the Public Library Foundation over 72 percent in two years, and liberally made cuts to the PLF in his May Revise, or utilized his so-called "blue pencil" to make further reductions. Given the seriousness of the Budget crisis, we were hopeful that Governor Schwarzenneger would try to protect the baseline for the PLF program as best he could. . . .


The proposed $350 million property tax shift from special districts for each of the next two years does not include the independent special district libraries or the so-called
"orphan" special district libraries. As mentioned previously, we have been working with some of the parties involved
with the "special district package," and have thus far succeeded in getting these libraries exempt from the property tax reductions. We have argued that libraries were "clobbered" by the 1992 and1993-94 property tax shifts, which ultimately led to the enactment of SB 1648-Dills, sponsored by CLA in
1994. That measure, almost forgotten, prohibits the future ERAF reduction from libraries. While one legislature cannot bind a future legislature, having the Dills bill on the books has been helpful in making our argument to exempt libraries from the proposed shift. It is important to note that
the Governor's proposal must be enacted by the legislature. However, at this point, we are cautiously optimistic that the legislature will go along with our library exempt language."
Source: An email message to the Calix listserv from Mike Dillon, CLA Lobbyist; Christina Dillon, CLA Lobbyist forwarded by Susan Negreen
permanent link
May 14, 2004
Cuts To Buy Future Financial Stability
"A deal included in the governor's spending plan has East Bay officials swallowing hard and preparing for painful cuts in exchange for long-term financial stability. . . .

Under the agreement, cities, counties, special districts and redevelopment agencies will give the state a combined $1.3 billion in property taxes each of the next two years. That translates to $9.5 million for Contra Costa and $15 million for Alameda County both years, or around 6 percent of each county's total property tax revenue.

Local governments use the money to pay for services such as police and fire protection, parks and libraries."

Cuts To Buy Future Financial Stability

A deal included in the governor's spending plan has East Bay officials swallowing hard and preparing for painful cuts in exchange for long-term financial stability. . . .

Under the agreement, cities, counties, special districts and redevelopment agencies will give the state a combined $1.3 billion in property taxes each of the next two years. That translates to $9.5 million for Contra Costa and $15 million for Alameda County both years, or around 6 percent of each county's total property tax revenue.

Local governments use the money to pay for services such as police and fire protection, parks and libraries."

California Budget Calls for Cuts

"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger released a $102.8 billion budget plan Thursday that calls for less severe across-the-board spending cuts than he first proposed in January.

His revised plan relies on billions of dollars of additional borrowing and one-time savings -- and the hope for more money from Washington."

Schwarzenegger Cuts Deal with Counties and Cities

"Continuing his march toward what he says he hopes will be an on-time budget, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Wednesday unveiled a pain-for-gain plan for local government -- and good news for California car owners.

The proposal, informally endorsed by city, county and other local officials, proposes a tradeoff in which local governments give up $1.3 billion a year for the next two years to help the state balance its struggling budget.

In return, the governor throws his support behind a constitutional amendment for the November ballot that would prevent the state from taking additional local money in the future.

The ballot measure also would freeze the car tax, a controversial source of local revenue."

Revised Budget Expected Thursday

Cities and counties throughout California are hoping that the cuts will will be less severe than those that Schwarzenegger proposed in January.

Investors Want CA Bonds

Astonishingly, investors appear to be banking on California. "Bond investors appear eager to buy a stake in the biggest municipal bond sale in U.S. history -- a $12.3 billion package that California voters approved in March to patch the state's budget crisis.

Investors have been ravenous lately for California bonds, but the so-called
Economic Recovery Bonds are especially enticing for both the investment potential and the unusual way the state will repay the debt, some experts say."

California Digital Library

"This struck me as very interesting from the overview page for the California Digital Library : The California Digital Library is the University of California's 11th University library. It was established in 1997 by University of California President"

California Senate OKs Bill To Limit RFID Use

"SB 1834, introduced by state Sen. Debra Bowen, seeks to prevent stores and libraries from using RFID to collect any information beyond what a customer is buying, renting, or borrowing. . . . A spokeswoman for Bowen said getting the bill through the Senate--which approved it in a 22-8 vote--was relatively easy because the senators as a group don't have a thorough grasp of the technology. Conversely, the Assembly committee tends to be more tech-savvy and business friendly--and thus is less likely to want to place limitations on a technology that's in its infancy."

A Librarian in Every School

An opinion piece by Patricia A. Ohanian, library media teacher, addresses the importance of libraries to education. "Research has shown that the best way to increase student achievement and thus test scores is to have a well-stocked school library with a full-time credentialed librarian. And while the city of San Jose is doing a great job with the public libraries, our public schools are not. . . .If California is really serious about raising student achievement, we will listen to the educational research and put a full-time credentialed librarian in every school."

Furlough in Santa Cruz; Hours Cut in San Anselmo

"To help balance the $10.7 million budget, California's Santa Cruz Public Library's nine-member oversight board approved closing the library April 6–10. . . .Councilors in the cash-poor California town of San Anselmo agreed to eliminate Monday hours, to have begun March 1."

My Bias

I don't think the State should be taking funds from local governments. I work at local libraries which may soon have to reduce staff, hours, and funds spent on materials. There is no upside to this in terms of public service.

Counties Attempt to Save Tax Dollars

"After being spurned by Gov. Arnold Schwar-zenegger and lawmakers Wed-nesday, counties battling another big cut in funds for basic services said they will soon have enough petitions to take their plight to the ultimate authority -- voters. . . .If lawmakers curtail local funding anyway, the measure would require the state to reimburse local governments for the lost money. . . .The initiative effort follows a decade of revenue diversions from local govern-ments. Proponents said the cash-strapped state government has siphoned more than $40 billion -- money that pays for everything from public safety programs to libraries.

Alameda County alone has lost more than $1.9 billion in the past 10 years, including $230 million this year. Officials have laid off staff, eliminated positions and cut programs as a result."

Berkeley Libraries to Cut Staff and Hours

"Facing a record budget shortfall for the 2005 fiscal year, trustees of the Berkeley Public Library reluctantly approved yesterday a cost-saving proposal that would lay off 16 employees and reduce operating hours at all five of Berkeley’s public libraries.

The plan to make up the library system’s $1.2 million deficit, set to take effect in July, is designed to spare social services the library system provides for the Berkeley community, such as adult literacy and child education programs.

But the proposal also calls for $300,000 in cuts to the library’s materials budget, which is reserved for the purchase of new books, magazines, videos, music and other publications."

Lost Local Tax Dollars

From an opinion piece by Mike Rotkin, vice mayor of Santa Cruz and a member of the Board of Directors of the Santa Cruz Public Library.
". . .Since 1992, the state has transferred an astounding $268,405,611 of local property-tax money away from these local public services in Santa Cruz County. During this period, the public libraries in our county sent more than $14 million into state coffers.

In the current year alone, the County Library Fund will send $1,636,664 to Sacramento, of which $1,283,963 belonged to the Santa Cruz Libraries (the remainder was transferred from the Watsonville Library). In addition to these funds, the governor now proposes to take another $418,000 from county libraries in north and south Santa Cruz County. The Santa Cruz Public Library’s share of the total estimated take of $418,000 is 78.45 percent (population-based formula), or $327,921.

For a library that is already reeling from shortfalls due to declining sales-tax revenues, this is not good news. The only alternative will be unhappy choices between further cuts to open hours, reductions in the book budget, and/or eliminating special programs serving low-income, senior and rural populations. All of these choices involve laying off additional employees and reducing service to local residents.

These problems are not unique to Santa Cruz County. The big question is whether Californians will wake up and begin to challenge the shell game that has been going on in Sacramento. "

Local Taxpayers and Public Safety Protection Act

"The 2004 Local Taxpayers and Public Safety Protection Act would require a majority vote of the people before the state government would be allowed to take and use local government funds in the future." This has been endorsed by many local goverments and emergency service agencies throughout California.

Counties Try to Reduce Cuts

"Eager to avoid staggering losses, county leaders have been quietly meeting with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's inner circle to craft a compromise that could temper a new state raid on local property taxes. . . .Cities, redevelopment agencies and special districts likely will protest because the proposal would take more money from them to cushion the blow on counties. . . .Meanwhile, cities and counties continue to collect signatures to place an initiative on the November ballot barring the state from raiding local revenues without voter permission. . . .While local governments are united behind the initiative, there are deep divisions over strategy in this year's budget battle. County supervisors tomorrow will consider endorsing a compromise that calls for counties, cities, special districts and redevelopment agencies to each absorb $200 million in cuts statewide during the next fiscal year only. Libraries would lose $16 million in state funding."

Proposed Layoffs in Berkeley

"Berkeley gets another sobering look at the reality of the Era Of Diminishing Budgets tonight (Tuesday, March 9) when the director of the Berkeley Public Library is expected to propose laying off 16 employees and closing the main library on Sunday."

Cutbacks Ahead for Morgan Hill

"Hard times are ahead for Morgan Hill’s library since a request for an additional $8.34 a year for property owners to keep the doors open and books on the shelves was deemed too expensive for many voters. The parcel tax is currently $33.66. . . .Morgan Hill City Librarian Nancy Howe is bracing for bad times because of Tuesday’s vote. 'We’re expecting layoffs and reduced hours,' said Howe. 'It’s unknown at this point at what level the state cuts will be but one scenario has us looking at a 30 percent budget cut. Morgan Hill’s hours will probably go from 54 down to 30 hours a week.'

Howe said it’s likely that the library will remain closed one day besides Sunday and there would be reduced hours on all other days.
. . .County head librarian Melinda Cervantes’s week wasn’t any better than Howe’s and her predictions are the same. 'There will be layoffs. Books and materials budgets will be reduced,” Cervantes said. “This is a library system that has been through this before. We’ll have to go through it again.'"

Bonds, Taxes and Fees

"State leaders are enjoying a bit of financial relief this week thanks to a $15 billion bailout passed by California voters, but cities and schools had mixed results in their varied requests for new local taxes, fees and bonds. . . .Six of nine hotel taxes succeeded, although voters in San Diego rejected a proposal to raise their hotel room tax by 2.5 percent to 13 percent. The new tax would have brought in about $34 million more a year for emergency services as well as libraries, arts, parks and tourism promotion."

Gilroy Not so Lucky

". . .the Santa Clara County library system’s attempt to stave off a 21 percent cut in funding failed. . . .Gilroy librarian Lani Yoshimura was hard-pressed to describe her feelings as disappointing Measure B results poured in Tuesday night. . . .The measure was aimed at restoring a $42-per-parcel tax used to maintain community library levels of service. It failed to garner the two-thirds voter approval required for it to pass. Only 60.7 percent of voters supported the measure.

'From what we could gather from our volunteers there was a very positive reaction to the measure,” Yoshimura said. “We were anticipating 66 percent of the vote.'

Failure to pass the bill means Gilroy’s library will likely cut back its hours of operation from 54 hours a week to 30 hours a week."

Thank You, Oakland!!!!

". . .a tax measure to boost services at the city's beleaguered library system also won. . . .Measure Q was placed on the ballot by the City Council in order to avoid further cuts to the library system, which has had its budget slashed twice since 2002. The measure should generate enough revenue to keep library branches open more often and buy new books and other materials.

The libraries measure will cost each Oakland homeowner $75 a year, or $6. 25 a month, to restore funds for the city's library system. It is expected to raise about $9 million a year through 2024."

End State Raids on Local Revenue

"Volunteers statewide are working on a petition to get an initiative on the November ballot that would prohibit the state government from taking local revenue from local governments without a public vote."

Counties and Cities Join to Keep Funds

"In a surprise show of solidarity, the County Supervisors' Association recently joined with the League of California Cities in preparing a measure they hope will end up on the November 2004 ballot.
It would offer voters the final say whenever Sacramento asks for money their city and county have earmarked for parks, fire departments, libraries and social-service programs."

Piracy or Fair Use

This issue continues to spawn dispute.
Diane Feinstein has cosponsored a bill with that protects the rights of the movie industry against camcorder copying and peer-to-peer distribution of films. "There are two main points: First, the bill makes it a federal crime to videotape movies in theaters without authorization. . . .Second, the bill makes it easier for prosecutors to convict individuals who put pre-released material on the Internet or for aggrieved parties to file lawsuits."
Source: Senator Feinstein's press release
There is also an article in today in today's Christian Science Monitor questioning the ethics (and possibly, the legality) of Amazon's Search Inside the Book feature. "The proliferation of online media has made the long-contentious topic of what constitutes a copyright violation and what is only a "fair use," excluded from copyright law, even more complicated."

Links to Presentations I Went to at Internet Librarian

Top Tech Trends for Internet Librarians
Tuesday, November 4th • Opening Keynote
Elizabeth Lane Lawley, Rochester Institute of Technology;
Rich Wiggins, Michigan State University;
Stephen Abram, Micromedia ProQuest

Tuesday Evening Session
Saving Ourselves: Alternative or Adventuresome Funding Strategies
Moderated by Rebecca Jones, Dysart & Jones Associates
Panel - Steve Coffman, VP, Business Development, LSSI
Helen Kennedy and Jim Lewis, Partners and Co-Founders, Lewis Kennedy Associates
Stephen Slade, Elkhorn Slough Foundation, &
Caroline Punches, San Jose State University Library

California's Political Climate 2004?

A survey from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press will probably not raise any eyebrows in ranking California as as progressive state.

Internet Librarian 2003

I just got back from Monterey. Overall, the Conference was interesting. Tomorrow I will put links (if available) to the programs I attended.

Slavery Archive To Go Digital

"California State University, Sacramento is building a new one-of-a-kind archive that will draw visitors from around the world. But those visitors will never step foot on campus. Instead they’ll click their way through digital holdings—letters, journals, photographs, documents, newspapers, ephemera and more—that tell the story of African American slave experiences in California and the state’s little-known involvement in the Underground Railroad. The digital archive will hold high-quality images of original source material carefully cataloged for use by scholars and the curious public."

Overabundance of Info

Peter Lyman and Hal Varian, professors at UC Berkeley's School of Information Management and Systems found that "their first project to quantify the world's information in 2000 attracted so much interest that they decided to count it all over again this year. They found twice as much new information had been created in 2002 as in 1999, the last year they studied."

Cell Phone Manners

"California, Oregon and Washington residents were more likely to disable their phone’s ringer while in libraries, movie theaters, restaurants and schools."

Lockyer's Free Speech Guidelines Vary from FBI's

" California law enforcement officers should not spy on
citizens exercising their constitutional rights of
speech, religion and association unless they have
reason to think a crime has been or will be
committed -- no matter what John Ashcroft says.

That's the gist of one of a series of legal guidelines
that state Attorney General Bill Lockyer sent to every
police chief and sheriff in the state this week in the
form of a book titled, 'Criminal Intelligence Systems:
A California Perspective.'"

Spam Banned in California

"California took a tough stand against spam e-mail on Wednesday after Governor Gray Davis signed a law prohibiting anyone from sending unsolicited commercial e-mail advertisements to a California e-mail address."

"Federal Probes of Libraries Have Long History"
"Beginning in 1973, FBI agents visited libraries to track the reading habits of people from communist countries, people with foreign-sounding names and people with foreign accents."

When the Feds Knock
"Across the nation, librarians and bookstore owners have taken to warning patrons that their records are vulnerable to FBI searches under the USA Patriot Act, and many have joined local groups in condemning the law's reach."

New San Mateo Library Will be Green

San Mateo City Librarian, K.G. Ouye said “'Green is a good for a lot of reasons.' That sentiment is the driving force behind construction of the new public library, which will be triple the size of the old structure at 55 W. Third Ave. As a result, the city may soon find itself with the largest certified green public building in Northern California."

Recall Debate - Vehicle License Fees
"Will they (the candidates) be honest and specific with voters in telling them that Californians can't have something for nothing?
That means Schwarzenegger and state Sen. Tom McClintock must be candid about cutting the vehicle license fee. If they again say they want to eliminate it, voters should listen to hear if they also tell us that California must do without the local police, fire and library services now supported by that tax."

Santa Cruz Trys to Avoid Cuts in Service
"The director of the city-county library system has come up with a plan to eliminate a $700,000 budget deficit without closing branches, cutting hours or laying off employees. Library chief Anne Turner, who designed the plan, will present her solutions to the nine-member oversight board Monday night."

Democracy Exhibit
"Eighteen-year-old Emma Sandoe is not letting voter apathy and disillusionment -- prevailing themes among her peers -- stop her from taking part in the democratic process.

Sandoe, who graduated in June from Washington High School, is putting the finishing touches on the (Fremont) Museum of Local History's first exhibit on democracy, voting and the electoral process.

"Democracy on Exhibit," which features local and historical elections as well as campaign memorabilia, opens today. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and the second weekend of each month through December."

"Latinos' Numbers Exceed Their Clout"

"While comprising 30 percent of the Valley's overall population, and nearly 40 percent in the eight Valley counties south of Sacramento, Latinos make up about:

* 6 percent of its state judges. Twelve of the 18 Valley counties have no Latino judges, and three more have only one.

* 6 percent of Valley physicians and 5 percent of its lawyers.

* 11 percent of Valley schoolteachers, school counselors and school librarians.

* 19 percent of its police and firefighters.

Without representation that at least approaches their share of the population, some social analysts say, Valley Latinos will be relegated to second-class status despite their growing numbers."

Amendment to Prevent CA from Taking Cities' Money
"The League of California Cities wants to initiate a constitutional amendment that would make it mandatory for the state to get voter approval before it takes money designated to local governments."

The Patriot Act, Section 215
"'It allows the federal government to do vast fishing expeditions into user activity,' said (Karen) Schneider, who chairs an intellectual freedom committee of the California Library Association. . . .Section 215 illustrates the kind of secretive, unrestrained policing emboldened by the Patriot Act and other anti-terrorism laws, said Elizabeth Schroeder, an associate director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California.
People may be investigated and never know about it. Schroeder said agents can look not only at a suspect's library records but also at documents detailing everything from psychiatric history to membership in Greenpeace."

Gale Celebrates Hispanic Heritage
From September 15 through October 15, Gale is supporting Hispanic Heritage Month with the free, Celebrating Hispanic Heritage site, offering "history, biographies, literature and activities to help families and students learn more about Hispanic Americans."

Perhaps it's the proximity of Mars or the interruptions caused by worms, I haven't posted any thing lately. Is nothing going on with California libraries? If you have a news item you would like me to post, send it to me.

California Supreme Court Upholds Free Speech in DVD Case

"The California Supreme Court ruled today that publication of information regarding the decoding of DVDs merits a strong level of protection as free speech and sent a key case back to a lower court for a decision on whether a court can prevent Andrew Bunner from publishing this information, whether on the Internet, on a T-shirt, or elsewhere."

Oakland's Budget Crisis

"Budget woes are forcing Oakland officials to close
City Hall and other city buildings from libraries to
recreation centers once a month.

The closures and unpaid furloughs of 1,400
maintenance and clerical workers are expected to
save $2.2 million in fiscal 2003-2004. They will begin next Friday, August 29, and city facilities also will be
closed on Tuesday, September 2, effectively extending the Labor Day holiday for Oakland employees."

Stump the Librarian

"Victorville reference librarian June Cline uses the San Bernardino County Library's reference system to answer tough questions from the public" for this column published in the San Bernadino County Sun.

Website Redesign for UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

"The UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) has launched a redesigned website,, offering greater online resources on art and film than any other museum website in the Bay Area — and more than most museums in the United States."

"UC Berkeley Web Site Explores Recall Issues"
Covering "the history and legal basis of the state recall provisions, an overview of the key developments in the effort to oust Gov. Gray Davis, links to websites and polls, information on candidates and a summary of the legal challenges to the recall effort, ...
the first version of the site appeared in April 2003."

Buffett Questions Keeping Propery Taxes Low
"The result of all the initiatives has thus been to concentrate immense spending power in the state's hands, taking away power and funds from local governments, which provide many of the most heavily used services, from parks to libraries and senior centers.The result of all the initiatives has thus been to concentrate immense spending power in the state's hands, taking away power and funds from local governments, which provide many of the most heavily used services, from parks to libraries and senior centers."

"Monterey PL Budget Cuts Reduced"

"The Monterey, CA City Council voted August 5 to reduce a proposed budget cut for the Monterey Public Library from $491,000 to $379,000."

Millbrae Library Construction Webcam
"Want to keep up to date with the construction of the new Millbrae library? Check out the library’s Webcam at"

More on California's Budget
Yesterday Library Journal reported that "the California state budget recently signed by Gov. Gray Davis slashes support for public libraries to $15.8 million, a sum that is half of last year's allocation." Yes, it's going to impact libraries adversely, but aren't we relatively pleased that we got that amount. "Susan Negreen, executive director of the California Library Association, concurred, adding that 'what we're hearing is that people are grateful they got anything.'" Library Journal failed to point out the lingering possibility that funds could be further reduced by the California Director of Finance.

Insurance Industry Watches Pending California Bills

"Several bills of interest to the California property/casualty insurance industry - including proposals to reform the workers' compensation system and address privacy issues - are pending on the Senate and Assembly floors. . . .The (financial privacy) bill (SB 1) passed the Senate earlier this year, but has been rejected twice by the Assembly Banking and Finance Committee. It would create the country's most restrictive privacy standards, according to the Association of California Insurance Companies (ACIC)."(first two sets of parentheses mine)

Pleasanton Asks Congress to Monitor Patriot Act

"The Pleasanton City Council adopted a resolution this week that stops short of condemning the bill, but urges Congress to monitor its implementation to ensure that civil rights are not abridged." The vote was 3-2.

Sample Oral Histories Online

The Regional Oral History Office (ROHO), is a division of UC Berkeley's Bancroft Library directed Richard Candida Smith. "The Bancroft Library's oral history archives date back to the library’s namesake, Hubert Howe Bancroft, who recognized that his vast collection of books, journals, maps, and manuscripts on western North America failed to include the living memories of many of the participants in the development of California and the West. In the 1860s he began interviewing pioneer Westerners; the resulting volumes, called 'Dictations,' remain a valuable primary source for historians."

"And since ROHO was formed in 1954, staffers have added 2,000 interviews related to the history of California to the Bancroft's archives and to more than 700 libraries worldwide for use by historians and other scholars. Within general categories like the Arts and Community History are fascinating interviews with the major players of the Free Speech Movement, black alumni, and the instigators of the Disability Rights Movement."
Listen to online samples.

San Diego Opts to Filter

Without opposition from the public or from any Council members, the San Diego City Council unanimously voted to install filtering software on all public computers that can access the Internet. Filters already exist on 115 children's computers.
The installation should be complete by the beginning of next month.
Source: San Diego Union-Tribune

Pleasanton City Council to Consider Patriot Act

On Tuesday the Council will meet to debate taking a stand on the Patriot Act. The Council refused to hold this debate in May.
Consideration of the issue at this time is due to the urging of the Library Commission...."Last month, the Pleasanton Library Commission decided to tackle the issue -- in part because of fears that provisions of the Patriot Act could be used to monitor citizens' use of the library or to track bookstore purchases.
Now, the council is being asked whether it supports the Library Commission's actions."

More on New San Jose Library

"Friday's inaugural run felt like a festive community celebration as elated library workers helped people navigate the eight-story building and jazzed patrons swept through the vast array of books, videos, DVDs and computers that awaited them."
Source: San Jose Mercury News with thanks to jwang
permanent link

Financial Industry Trying to Outmaneuver Privacy Ballot Initiative

Now that activists for financial privacy have gathered enough signatures to put a ballot initiative on the March 2004 ballot, they have demanded that the State pass a financial privacy law by august 19.

However, "even as California moves forward on a possible law to protect financial privacy, political maneuvering in Washington, D.C., might undercut it.

Congress is currently considering one revision to the Fair Credit Reporting Act that potentially could limit states' rights to enact tougher financial privacy laws.

That's something the financial services industry would like. Banks, insurance companies, brokerages and other firms say that having a variety of different state regulations is expensive and cumbersome. They want a single national law."

Hayward City Council Opposes USA Patriot Act

"The city has joined 138 other local governments in passing a resolution that opposes at least part of the USA Patriot Act."

New San Jose Public Library Opens

"San Jose's new Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library opened its doors to the public Friday, the culmination of a seven-year joint-development effort between the city of San Jose, San Jose State University and the San Jose Redevelopment Agency.

The $177.5 million library is the first of its kind in the nation to be funded, managed and operated by a city and a major university."

Library, Bookseller, and Personal Records Privacy Act

"On July 31, 2003, Senator Feingold (D-WI), joined by Senators Bingaman (D-NM), Kennedy (D-MA), Cantwell (D-WA), Durbin (D-IL), Wyden (D-OR), Corzine (D-NJ), Akaka (D-HI), and Jeffords (I-VT), introduced the Library, Bookseller, and Personal Records Privacy Act. The bill would amend the PATRIOT Act to protect the privacy of law-abiding Americans and set reasonable limits on the federal government's access to library, bookseller, medical, and other sensitive, personal information under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and related foreign intelligence authority."
Source: ALAWON: American Library Association Washington Office Newsline, Volume 12, Number 70
via Karen Schneider on CALIX

California Budget

I've been in the Midwest and visited the library of my childhood, but was unable to post to this blog from within the library's web interface. I returned to find that the Assembly has passed a budget (AB 1765). Inspired by a note on CALIX (the California Library Association listserv), I wrote to Gray Davis urging him to maintain the full $15.8 million funding for the Public Library Foundation.

Copyright and Fair Use

Stanford University Libraries' Copyright and Fair Use website has apparently been redesigned and contains resources arranged in categories including: Copyright Overview, Primary Materials, Current Legislation, Web Guide, For Librarians and a subscription newsletter.

Now for Something Completely Different: Paleontology

The University of California Museum of Paleontology has a wonderful website "organized in three major 'exhibit halls': geologic time, phylogeny, and evolution. The exhibits are heavily interlinked, offering browsers of all levels opportunities to pursue concepts of particular interest. Background sources, authors and dates of publication are documented throughout the site."

UC Libraries Face Cuts/Student Fees to Rise

The University of California Board of Regents will vote today on a recommendation of its Finance committee to increase student fees of up to thirty percent. In addition, all non instructional (my italics) programs, including libraries, are being cut "and employee layoffs are being planned or implemented in most of these areas."

Lockyer and ACLU Agree to Ban Political Surveillance

"After meeting with ACLU representatives in Sacramento, Lockyer said he would issue guidelines to state and local law enforcement agencies making it clear that they shouldn't spy on political protesters without reasonable suspicion of criminal activity."

Electronic Government Information

This is a report on permanent public access to online government information by the American Association of Law Libraries June 2003. The portion regarding California is by Joan Allen-Hart of San Diego County Public Law Library.

"Is California Addressing Permanency/Public Accessibility of Government
Information on the Web? California has not begun to address Permanent Public
Access of state government web site information. It is mainly in the talking stage and
there is currently no systematic approach to PPA (Permanent public access) of web site information."

Lofgren Takes a Clue from Lessig

"Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) has introduced the Public Domain Enhancement Act (HR 2601), which capitalizes on a proposal by law professor Lawrence Lessig. " This bill would allow more works to come into the public domain by mandating renewal of copyright rather than the current automatic extension. "At the press conference to introduce the bill, Lofgren specifically acknowledged the support of the library community."


"A recent study by the EFF and the Online Policy Group examined the effects of N2H2 and SurfControl's filtering software, two of the popular products on the market. The study involved Internet searches of text taken directly from the state-mandated curriculums of California, Massachusetts and North Carolina.

Testing nearly a million Web pages, the study found that for every page blocked as advertised, the software blocked one or more pages inappropriately either because the pages were miscategorized or because the pages, while correctly categorized, did not merit blocking."

Does the Public Realize the Impact of Budget Crisis on Libraries?

"Tehama County Librarian Ray Schroff . . . consented that all county departments were feeling the pain of stringent budget cuts. However, he doubted that the public was aware of the situation in the libraries. 'People need to be aware of the economic health of their public libraries.'"

Congressman Wants to Correct CA Court Ruling

"Rep. Chris Cox takes issue with "the 78-page opinion dated June 30, the California court said by a narrow majority that the venerable common-law offense of trespass could not be extended to cover an "electronic communication that neither damages the recipient computer system nor impairs its functioning."

Santa Clara County Library Internet Use Unaffected by CIPA Ruling

"A new federal ruling requiring public libraries to filter out Internet pornography or face funding cuts will not affect the Santa Clara County Library System, which includes the Los Altos and Woodland libraries."

"Santa Clara County Library System does not receive federal funding, said Gay Strand, the Los Altos Library finance manager. 'The Supreme Court decision will have no effect on us whatsoever.'"

Looking for Book Donations Online

Oakland Public Library has received more than 600 books since putting its need for donations on Amazon's wish list in early April 2003. "(Dana) Heidrick (adult collection development director) said the Oakland Public Library has received requests for guidance from other libraries around the country, eager to mount their own Buy-a-Book campaigns. Among them are California libraries in Chula Vista, Norwin, Oroville, Oxnard, Roseville and the counties of Marin and Monterey."

Notification of Risk to Personal Data Act

"Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced legislation today to require businesses or government agencies to notify individuals if a database has been broken into and personal data has been compromised, including Social Security numbers, driver's licenses and credit cards. The bill is modeled, in part, on a California law that will come into effect on July 1."

"Tulare County Cuts Hours but Not Branches"

"The Tulare County Library, CA, will cut branch hours but not close branches, as part of an effort to save more than $350,000. The library in July also will discontinue bookmobile service and lose 10 full-time positions, though only four people will be laid off."

Many Libraries Say No to Filtering

"From Los Gatos to Livermore, library directors throughout the Bay Area vowed to continue upholding their patrons' First Amendment rights to free speech and freedom of information. Which means local library patrons should not expect their Internet access to change, despite a landmark ruling Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court requiring libraries receiving certain federal funds to install software filters to block pornography that could reach children.
'We just don't feel we as librarians need to be in the position of telling people what they should read, see or hear,' said Susan Gallinger, director of the Livermore Public Library. 'When you put filters on computers, that's what you're doing.'''

Problems for New San Jose Library

"The SJ Library sounds great, but my guess is that every one of those computers and ports is now going to have to be censored, and if a library has to do it at the server level, there may be no way for a librarian to "unblock" a site for the Supreme Court Justices' mythical person who is willing to get up and ask the librarian to do so."

California Fights Identity Theft

California is the first state to pass a law requiring "companies for the first time to notify their customers if their computerized personal information, including credit card details, has been stolen."

Archives Currently Unavailable

Blogger seems to have rendered the archive unavailable. Hopefully they will soon be accessible.

"Bay Area Profs Comment On Supreme Court Rulings"

"Several Bay area law professors said today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action won't have a dramatic effect on California because the state already has a stricter standard on racial preference.
Meanwhile, however, two other important rulings by the high court will be felt in the Golden State."

Supreme Court Update: CIPA Stands

"In a blow to the American Library Association (ALA) and other opponents of mandatory Internet filters, a sharply divided Supreme Court ruled today that the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) is constitutional. This means that libraries accepting E-rate telecommunications discounts and Library Service and Technology Act funds for Internet access will have to install filters to block obscene and 'harmful to minors' material. . . .ALA, in light of this decision, called for full disclosure of what sites filtering companies are blocking, who is deciding what is filtered, and what criteria are being used--since filtering companies do not follow legal definitions of "harmful to minors" and obscenity."

Supreme Court Internet Filtering Decision

"Of the 11 cases argued in February, only one is undecided and only Chief Justice Rehnquist has not written a majority opinion. The case, United States v. American Library Association, raises the First Amendment question of whether the government can require public libraries to install anti pornography filters restricting Internet access.

If Chief Justice Rehnquist is in fact writing the majority opinion, there is little doubt that the court will uphold the law, the Children's Internet Protection Act. On the other hand, he is one of the court's fastest writers, raising the question of why the decision in what is now the term's oldest undecided case is taking so long. One possibility is that there are many separate opinions, both concurring and dissenting. Perhaps he started out writing a majority opinion but lost the majority along the way."

Making the Library a Destination

"Teams from 36 California public libraries tried to answer that at a conference held May 18-20 at the new Cerritos Library, also known as "The Experience Library." The conference was sponsored by the library's Clio Institute to promote creativity and innovation in libraries."

"Libraries and Liberties"

Here is a transcript from the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer yesterday that featured Anne Turner and Mary Minow discussing the Patriot Act. Links to the streaming video and to the audio version are available.

"East Bay Libraries Quietly Oppose Patriot Act"

"The response here has been relatively hushed, even though many librarians bitterly oppose the provision. County and city librarians say they have tweaked their systems to scrap circulation and Internet records more quickly, but fear loud warnings could scare off patrons.

The Santa Cruz reaction "does inflame patrons. It alarms them unnecessarily," said Linda Wood, director of the Alameda County Public Library.

Contra Costa County library staffers have been trained to notify supervisors before responding to an FBI subpoena. They diligently remove patron data as soon as a book comes back, said county librarian Anne Cain."

And "...after intense debate, Berkeley library officials chose to skip public warnings."

Failure to Protect Privacy Nets Disclosure of Personal Information

Legislators were not pleased by "a decision by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights to post on the Internet partial Social Security numbers of lawmakers who did not support the latest attempt to increase protections on personal financial information."

Legislators Fail to Protect Consumer Privacy

So, consumers can now work to protect themselves by supporting "a petition drive to put financial privacy on the March 2004 ballot....Best of all, an initiative would not be subject to approval of the California Assembly, which has proved incapable of producing a basic privacy protection for consumers."

"State lawmakers slash services but keep driving state-funded cars"

"Pennsylvania and California are the only two states that provide vehicles or lease payments for every state lawmaker."

Melvyl Update

The University of California libraries Melvyl catalog is getting a new interface and improved search capabilities including "keyword searching ability, multilingual character support, and the ability to search across all UC libraries for both books and journals from one database."

San Mateo Library Receives Big Gift

Oracle Corporation is donating $300,000 toward a new main library in San Mateo.

More on Financial Privacy

There is a petition on the website of Californians for Privacy Now to get a ballot initiative concerning financial privacy on to the California March 2004.

San Jose Parents Save Librarian's Job

"Parents at Hacienda Elementary in San Jose, aghast at the San Jose Unified School District's decision to eliminate librarians from its schools, have contributed the $52,000 necessary to keep Dayle Moore on the job. Moore, whose library is the heart of Hacienda's successful reading program, recently was named San Jose Unified's Teacher of the Year for her work in the library and community."

Dutra to Support Financial Privacy

California Assemblyman Dutra of Fremont said he would urge his ``friends'' on the Assembly Banking and Finance Committee, where the bill will face a key vote Tuesday, to support the measure." His support is contingent on getting some "technical" amendments to the bill.

New Rohnert Park Library Opens

Sonoma County's new $8.2 million library was dedicated Sunday. The facility was built with city bond money.

San Jose Libraries Will Keep Open Hours

Thanks to vocal public opposition, Mayor Ron Gonzales has decided against scaling back open hours of city libraries.

Stanford's Lessig Leads Copyright Campaign

Lessig posted an online petition to change the manner in which copyrights are renewed. Rather than just having the copyright automatically extended, copyright holders would need to pay a $1 fee to extend it.

"Rulings to Hit Home for Bay Area"

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide the constitutionality of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Will public libraries that do not use filtering software be ineligible for Federal funds? "...The case is of particular interest to Livermore, which was sued in 1998 by the mother of a 12-year-old boy who used the city library's computers to download pornographic photos."

San Ramon Library Budget Dilemma

"If the library does not close on Sunday, the branch may need to cut a part-time assistant and four operating hours elsewhere as a trade-off."

25 Years of Proposition 13

L.A. Chung reflects, "I think about it when overworked, understaffed county court people are surly to me. And when libraries are closed....Is it time to tinker with Proposition 13? I think so."

Cupertino Library Naming Controversy

Fred Chan proposed to donate $250,000 toward a new library and civic center. In return, City officials offered to name the building after him. Vice Mayor Sandra James remarked, " What do we know about these people?" Racial bias has been construed in the remark and Chan has withdrawn his offer.

Monterey County Against Searches of Library Records

"County supervisors today (June 3 (parentheses mine)) will consider a recommendation by county Librarian Bob McElroy to endorse proposed legislation to roll back the authority" of Federal agents to conduct warrantless searches of library and bookstore records.

Davis Backs Financial Privacy Bill

On Monday, Governor Davis pre-empted a ballot initiative and threw his weight behind a bill which he said would protect consumers without hampering financial companies sales. If passed it would become the strongest financial privacy protection for consumers in the United States and, according to Davis, the model for future legislation.

"CA Takes on PATRIOT"

Santa Cruz students have formed the Bibliothek Liberation Front in opposition to the Patriot Act. Moreover, according to, Santa Barbara "libraries will begin posting signs advising patrons that the federal government now has access to information on books they borrow and Web sites they visit."
Source: LisNews

Digital Rights in California Court

A summary of DVD-CCA v. Bunner with useful links is posted on beSpacific.

Library and Bookseller Protection Act

On May 23, California Senator Barbara Boxer introduced Senate Bill 1158 and it was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. The official title of the Bill is: "A bill to exempt bookstores and libraries from orders requiring the production of tangible things for foreign intelligence investigations, and to exempt libraries from counterintelligence access to certain records, ensuring that libraries and bookstores are subjected to the regular system of court-ordered warrants."

Appropriations Committee Shelves Bond Measures

The California Assembly Appropriations Committee shelved 4.47 billion dollars in library bond measures due to the budget crisis. The State Senate was expected to take similar action today.

Santa Cruz Libraries to Cut Open Hours

Suggestions for coping with a projected $300,000 budget deficit include reducing open hours by 45 among the ten branches. Four branches would then be open only five days each week.

Oakland School to Get Library Grant

Ascend School in Oakland received one of 132 grants awarded by the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries.

Palo Alto Librarians Start Shredding

To protect the privacy of Palo Alto Library patrons, records are being shredded and computer files are being wiped.

Freedom to Read

The Patriot Act has "turned us all of into supects" and "librarians into snoops". The Federal Government may access patron records without a warrant and patrons cannot be told that their reading taste and browsing habits are under scrutiny. "Some libraries have put up signs notifying patrons that their reading habits are no longer considered private." The antidote is Congressman Bernie Sanders' Freedom to Read Act, HR 1157.

Livermore Library Seeks Patriot Act Revision

"The five-member Livermore library board will ask the City Council to support changes to the USA Patriot Act to weaken the government's ability to monitor what library users check out or read online."

California Senate Approves Tough Antispam Measure

"The California State Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would make it illegal to send unsolicited e-mail advertising and allows people to sue spammers for $500 per unwanted message." It will now go to the California Assembly.

Speed Scanning Robot at Stanford

The Digital Line, recently acquired by Stanford University will scan "bound materials at approximately five times the rate of scanning books manually."

"Sample Search Warrant Procedures for Libraries"

Here's another handy resource from Mary Minow of

Davis Drops Plan for Checkout Fee

"The proposal, contained in his original spending plan unveiled in January, was deleted from the May revision of the proposed 2003-04 budget after an ANG Newspapers report on the issue spurred complaints throughout the Bay Area and across the state."

Arcata Criminalizes Patriot Act Compliance

"Starting this month, a new city ordinance would impose a fine of $57 on any city department head who voluntarily complies with investigations or arrests under the aegis of the Patriot Act, the anti-terrorism bill passed after September 11."

California Budget Gloom

The County of Los Angeles Public Library, San Diego Public Library and San Jose Public Library all face likely reductions in service provision because of budget deficits.

Kevin Starr at Benicia Public Library

State Librarian Kevin Starr will be the special guest speaker at a Birthday Celebration for Benicia Public Library Thursday, May 22nd at 7:00 p.m.

Poppy Nymph at Niles Library

An article in yesterday's San Jose Mercury News mentioned the nymph at Niles Library. "The Poppy Nymph was exhibited in the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco during the Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915." Niles Library is a branch of Alameda County Library.

Probable Layoffs at San Ramon USD

Also from the Tri-Valley Herald, San Ramon Unified School District will be voting tonight to reduce hours and/or lay off 70 people. "The list also includes layoff notices for librarians' assistants at San Ramon Valley and California high schools...."
permanent link

"UCSF tobacco archive opens to the public"

The archive has the leaked insider documents that aided States' cases against the tobacco industry. The article is in the Tri-Valley Herald.
permanent link

State Approves

From the Contra Costa Times "The California Department of Education has approved as a Supplemental Educational Service provider, and the California State Library has Live Homework Help in about 95 public libraries around the state."

Menlo Park Library May Reduce Open Hours

According to the San Jose Mercury News, the City Council must trim 14% from next year's budget. "Plans that are likely to be controversial include cutting library hours to 52 a week from 65 and closing the library for two weeks a year...."
permanent link

Californians Voice Objections to Patriot Act

A Washington Times article by Audrey Hudson mentions that "nearly half of the 92 city- and county-passed resolutions (condemning the Patriot Act) come from Vermont and California college towns."
permanent link

Another Plug for Oakland Public Library made Library Link of the Day.

Oakland Public Library Scores

I read on LISNews that an individual had posted news of Oakland's funding cuts on her website. "'She linked the library's Amazon wish lists to her site. See how many people have responded at'"

Webpage Redesign

Keep your eyes open. The Contra Costa County Library will be getting a new look.

Retrofitted Librarian Undergoing Changes

I haven't been posting much lately. It seems that many blogs are covering the same material. I'm thinking that the RL should become more local in character. I'm also going to be working on some formatting and content changes. Check back soon.

Freedom of Information

An uninformed public lacks the ability to dissent. The current administration has been trying to limit information access even prior to 9/11. Now it seems individual states are starting to do the same. From Gary Price's Resource Shelf Ohio's "H.B. 145, the Electronic Government Services Act, would prevent state agencies from providing access to information." Via LIS News

White House Supports Recording Industry Not Privacy

A piece in the Tuscaloosa News notes that "The Recording Industry Association of America subpoena asks Verizon to turn over the identity of an individual who has some 600 files on their home computer." Because Verizon is the service provider, the RIAA hopes to use them to find the horrific criminal. Via Privacy Digest.

San Antonio Public Library Hit with Probable Budget Cuts

To avoid layoffs the Central Library may be closing both the Fiction Desk (where I first worked as a librarian) and the Periodicals Desk. Staff will be reassigned.