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CONNECTION ~ Issue 46, Summer 2007
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In this issue:

State Librarian of California, Susan Hildreth
State Librarian of California,
Susan Hildreth

Update from the State Librarian

I have had a busy spring! I attended the Public Library Association Spring Symposium in San Jose in early March. This was the first time this great continuing education event was held outside of Chicago and it was a terrific success. The opening keynote speaker was Mary Baykan, director of the Washington County (Md.) Free Library and the Library Journal Librarian of the Year 2007. Baykan, a very effective library advocate in Maryland, is an inspirational speaker. Also congratulations to the California Library Association’s Literacy Services Section for sponsoring a highly successful 1 ½ day literacy training session, “Mining Gold in the 21st Century.” We are getting the word out nationally about the great literacy work we are doing in California. We were honored to have Bob Wedgeworth, former ALA Executive Director, and Gary Strong, UCLA Library Director and former State Librarian, both articulate literacy advocates, as our kick-off presenters for the literacy session.

On Saturday, March 10th, I was pleased to participate in the annual California Association of Library Trustees and Commissioners (CALTAC) spring northern California training workshop at the lovely, new Alameda Main Library. We had a great session with lots of good ideas for further training and service initiatives. I was honored that Margaret Donnellan Todd, County Librarian, County of Los Angeles Public Library, was able to fill in for me at the southern California training session at the Huntington Beach Library on Saturday, March 24th. I was unable to attend because I was in the process of moving but have both the northern and southern California training sessions on my calendar for 2008!

On March 13th, I viewed, with a number of other California State Library (CSL) staffers, Helene Blowers’ “23 Things” webcast. I had met Helene at an executive leadership training meeting earlier this spring and found her to be very upbeat and encouraging for technophobes and technophiles alike! We are taking the “23 Things” challenge seriously here at the CSL and have encouraged all staff to participate in the Infopeople self-guided Web 2.0 learning process. Check it out at

On March 14th, the CSL budget was heard at the Assembly Education Budget Subcommittee; and the letters many folks had sent regarding Public Library Foundation (PLF) funding were duly noted by the Assembly members!

I had my quarterly webcast on March 21st and would love to hear feedback from the field as to the value of this communication medium. It is quite a job to prepare for my webcasts and we don’t have too many viewers, although I know that several folks may be watching from one location. The webcast is also archived at the Infopeople website and hopefully some of you are visiting when you have a free moment. There is lots of information presented there so I hope it is useful to you.

California State Library

California State Library,
Library and Courts II


The CSL is always looking for partners and we believe we have found a good one in the California PBS stations. They had their spring conference in Sacramento; and, on March 27th, we hosted their tour of the CSL with a reception in the State Librarian’s Office. They were honored to be in the lovely office venue and there are great ideas for future partnerships, with the most immediate being our collaboration on promoting “The War,” the landmark World War II series that will debut in September.

In early April, I attended a meeting of the Western Council of State Libraries in San Antonio and checked in with my colleagues west of the Mississippi. Mid-April was very busy. On April 17th, the CSL budget was heard by the Senate Education Budget Subcommittee and again PLF funding was clearly a priority. April 18th was a highly successful CLA Legislative Day, with an exciting Library of California Board meeting in the afternoon including an unveiling of the new model for statewide reference. I traveled to southern California on April 19th for the opening of the new South Oxnard Branch Library. This is a wonderful community facility with a very unique drought-resistant garden. On April 24th, I participated in an invigorating panel discussion on the future of reference, including Rosario Garza, director of the Metropolitan Cooperative Library System and, Jan Sanders, director of the Pasadena Public Library and hostess of the forum. On April 25th we hosted a wonderful retirement celebration for our retiring Deputy State Librarian Cameron Robertson.

I was off to Washington in May for the spring meeting of the Chief Officers of the State Library Agencies (COSLA) and another highly successful Federal Legislative Day. California was well-represented and we did our best to get library information in the hands of all our representatives. On Friday May 11th, Carla Lehn, Library Programs Consultant, and I journeyed to Redding for the North State Cooperative Library System meeting. I had not been able to attend the grand opening of the new Redding Library and it is a wonderful building, including an energy efficient grass room that is adjacent to a wonderful reading room with a view of Mount Shasta. Check it out if you are in the area.

Among the myriad of responsibilities of the State Librarian, one that I really enjoy is chairing the Advisory Committee for the California Civil Liberties Education Program. This initiative was authored several years ago when now-Congressman Mike Honda was in the California Legislature. This program provides funding for activities to provide education focused on the Japanese internment. There is an annual competitive application process to award these funds; and we held our grant discussions with the program Advisory Committee on April 25th. Please check out this great program at

On June 12th, I made a quick trip to the lovely Whittier Public Library where I met with representatives from the Metropolitan Cooperative, South State and Santiago Library Systems to discuss the statewide reference model. This is an evolving process and there will be much more to come in the near future. On June 18th, I attended the luncheon for the Americorps literacy program volunteers who were meeting in Sacramento. What a pleasure it was to meet enthusiastic participants from ages 17 to 85. Now I know what to do when I retire! Check out my quarterly webcast from June 19th – its full of some great information. I hope you have a great summer!!!!

Table of Contents

Update from the State Librarian

Library "champion" Barbara Will

California State Library website better for online customers

California State Library welcomes Aldrich to Sacramento, 
applauds Robertson and St. Mary careers

Transforming Life after 50: Public Libraries and Baby Boomers

Keeping Up with the Eureka! Leadership Program

California State Library offers specialized library service to 
Department of Mental Health

CRB researcher studies middle and high school students' readiness for 
careers in California

New and renovated library openings around the state

California Center for the Book wins 2007 national award for innovative 
reading promotion

State Spotlight: New! Department of Public Health

California Civil Liberties Public Education Program 2006-2007 grant recipients

California Cultural and Historical Endowment project: Angels Flight Railroad

Field Feedback

Contact Information







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The California State Library
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P.O. Box 942837 • Sacramento, CA 94237-0001