California Library Award news

The California State Library wants to spotlight award-winning California libraries.  If your library has received an award, please email CSL Connection editor Sarah Dalton and we will include an article about your achievement in an upcoming issue of CSL Connection. 

Livermore Friends newsletter wins Friends of Libraries USA Award

Friends of Libraries USA recently awarded the Friends of the Livermore Library the “Best Friends Award” for its newsletter, Friends Footnotes.  The Livermore volunteer group, a member of Friends of Libraries USA, won in the print category for medium-size libraries.

Footnotes editor Joan Boer says that the award-winning newsletter is a “fairly collaborative” project on which the Friends president (currently John Hogan), the Friends Bookstore manager Gretchen Fuerstenau, and the Livermore Library director Susan Gallinger “always have something to say.”  The newsletter team keeps members up-to-date on Friends activities and Livermore Library’s programs and services that the Friends underwrite.  Boer reports that the newsletter’s “standing features” such as "Good Reads” and book reviews are particularly popular with readers.  The newsletter team also compiles a calendar of events and promotes the library’s Authors and Arts lecture series, as well as concerts, and demonstrations which the Friends sponsor through funds from bookstore sales.

Though the award-winning newsletter is not available online, selections from the newsletter are up on the Livermore Library’s website. Editor Joan Boer says, “Check-out Swashbuckling hero comes to Livermore and Good Reads for winter  by Julie Casamajor and me on the Friends of the Livermore Library website.”

For more information on Friends of the Livermore Library, please visit or call the bookstore at (925) 373-5520.

Tuolumne County Library Tech-Know Rodeo wins CSAC award

The Tuolumne County Library has won a challenge award from the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) for Tuolumne ’s spring 2007 one-day outreach exposition, the Tech-Know Rodeo.

The Tuolumne County team, partnering with volunteers the college and the county schools, created the Tech-Know Rodeo to help older county residents use the library’s newer information technologies.  The all-day exposition included demonstrations, prizes, food and fun.

Reaching Tuolumne ’s over-50 crowd

Since Tuolumne County, like most libraries, has abandoned card catalogs in favor of a computerized system, many of the library’s faithful users have been at a loss about things as basic as finding books.  The library’s website now boasts wonderful features, from magazine articles, to live homework help, to links for social security, tax forms and medical information, which customers shouldn’t miss.  With 30% of residents over the age of 50, Tuolumne County’s team knew it had a big group to reach and teach.

Tech-Know Rodeo team to the rescue

In planning Tech-Know Rodeo, library staff and local educators aimed their presentations on online library services and basic computer literacy.  To make their audience comfortable, the team chose the rural county’s honored springtime ritual, the rodeo, as its theme.  Presenters in western garb encouraged people to “ride the library website” and discover how to request books from home.  Presenters explained the computer in “Boot Up at Tech Support,” and covered topics that included search tips, Internet safety, e-mail tricks, how to get free software downloads, and how to try out newer gadgets such as ipods.    

The community college and county school volunteers joined database vendors to demonstrate homework help resources, safe websites for children, classes for learning software applications, and local human services.

Budgeting for success

Raffle tickets (which lured visitors to exhibits) included prizes donated by local businesses and Friends of the Library (FOTCL). Winning ticket holders left the Rodeo with a casino night, a year of Internet service and an mp3 player.  

FOTCL provided $500 for publicity and marketing.  Businesses contributed cash prizes and in-kind donations valued at over $2000, and library staff spent approximately 200 hours on Tech-Know Rodeo valued at over $4000.

Tech-Know Rodeo produced tangible positive results. At least 200 people attended the exposition, and 100% of returned participant comments said it was useful.  Requests on library’s web-based catalog increased 27% the month after the Rodeo, and presenters said their participation was worthwhile.  Library staff is planning to provide a continuing series of single-topic workshops based on people’s requests. 

For more information about the Tech-Know Rodeo please contact Connie Corcoran, Director of Library Services, Tuolumne County Library at (209) 694-2711 or email at  For more information about Tuolumne County Library please visit their website at




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