My California Home Page State Library Home Page Connection Home Page The California State Library CONNECTION ~ Library of California
California State Library ~ Founded 1850
Return to Table of Contents
State Librarian Update
Impact of budget on the California State Library
State Spotlight: Climate Change portal
Part One: Library and Courts I renovation
New and renovated library openings around the state
A conversation with Dean Misczynski
Reaching troubled young people through literacy
Statewide Reference: Think-Tank update
California Library awards
CCHE corner: Preserving California Lighthouses
Braille and Talking Book Library revives newsletter
California wins 3rd out of 50 States in 'Best of the Web' competition
Field Feedback
Return to CSL Connection Home Page
Contact Information

  Printable Version

California Library awards

Butte County ELF program a CSAC 
2008 Merit Award winner

The Butte County Library Early Learning with Families (ELF) program has been selected for a 2008 Merit Award by the California State Association of Counties (CSAC). Out of 255 submissions, the Awards selection panel chose 35 Merit Award winners (and 10 Challenge Award winners) statewide to honor innovation in county government. 

ELF at play in Butte County. Left to right: Susie Mesecher, Oroville Branch Senior Library Assistant and Americorps Member Lynn Rich. 
Also pictured, David Jewell, another staff member.
[Photo courtesy Ozzie Serrano]

Early Learning with Families (ELF) at the 
Butte County Library

ELF partners with parents and caregivers to support young children’s early learning and literacy skills development. At the Butte County Library the ELF program includes Library Playtimes and Babies Love Books lap-sits.

Butte’s Library Playtimes welcome families into the library to play together with developmentally appropriate toys, while specialists from the community (such as speech pathologists, public health nurses and nutritionists) also “play” with the children and chat with parents in the library’s positive, informal environment.

The library’s Babies Love Books lap-sits fully engage parents with their very young children, and include interactive playtimes with rhymes, songs, bouncing and books, followed by children choosing a board books to take home and enjoy.

Butte County’s ELF program has received positive feedback not only from the hundreds of parents and caregivers who have attended the programs, but also from numerous partners, local media, and service clubs. The First 5 Butte County Children and Families Commission also showed its praise by generously providing a $55,000 grant to sustain ELF through 2010. Further, in-kind contributions of time by community resource specialists have added thousands of dollars worth of support. Butte County Library staff has shared their experiences with other libraries through presentations at the CLA Annual Conference and the Association of Rural and Small Libraries conference, as well as on the ELF project website at

Butte County Library Director Derek Wolfgram says, “I hope this award serves to further California libraries’ awareness of the difference they can make in improving the lives of the youngest members of our communities. As one of the original ELF pilot libraries funded by the California State Library in 2006, the Butte County Library is grateful to the California State Library, the Butte County First 5 Commission, and colleagues throughout the state who provided inspiration and support.”

For more information about the Early Learning with Families (ELF) program, please contact Suzanne Flint at the California State Library at (916) 651-9796 or email at

Santa Monica Public Library’s book cart drill team wins 
the gold at ALA

Book cart drill team rookies, Santa Monica Public Library’s “Well Stacked Scibrarians,” won the gold at the American Library Association’s (ALA) fourth annual Library Book Cart Drill Team Championship at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim.

According to the ALA, teams such as Santa Monica’s “shatter” the myth of the conservative librarians. And shatter the “Scibrarians” did, to a sold-out ALA crowd of over 2000 on June 29.

Well Stacked Sci-brarians perform at the Book Cart Drill Team World Championship competition in Anaheim.
[Photo courtesy Chuck Rokosz]

The winning ensemble, a cast of mad scientists cum zombies, made swirling book carts, mixing potions, and moon walking look easy. But like all great performers, the “Well Stacked Scibrarians” had done some serious rehearsing. SMPL Youth Services Librarian Shana Johnson, a former Stanford cheerleader and the team captain, says SMPL practiced three hours twice a week for two months. “Because ALA was right down the road this year - we were determined to do Southern California proud,” she says.

SMPL’s team decided their first ALA routine would be a nod to the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s chart busting “Thriller” album. After studying previous winners on YouTube, Shana Johnson says the crew came up with a story arc, songs (“Weird Science,” “Somebody is Watching Me,” and “Thriller”) and the Jackson-like moves for the grand finale.

In Johnson’s opinion the competition says to people “librarians are cool…It shows we can do something that is completely not buttoned-up and straight-laced.”

Well Stacked Sci-brarians receiving their winning scores 
from the judges.
[Photo courtesy Chuck Rokosz]

In addition to the “Well Stacked Sci-brarians” who took home the gold DEMCO grand prize book cart, California’s myth-busting teams were the “Bibliotechies” of St. Margaret's Episcopal School in San Juan Capistrano, “California Girls” of the California School Library Association’s Southern Section, “Call Number 007” of the Riverside County Library System (west), the “Dancing Raisinettes” of the Fresno County Library, and the “Palm Desert Library Cart Attacks” of the Riverside County Library System.

To watch SMPL’s Norma Angel, Diane Bednarski, Rachel Foyt, Lana Fukushima, Shana Johnson, Simran Khalsa, Christa Muscatine, Donnae Tidwell, Ann Wagner, and Ivy Weston perform their routine, visit the official YouTube link at

For more information about the Book Cart Drill Team World Championship competition, visit the American Library Association’s website at

Center for Bibliographical Studies and Research/UC Riverside receives Sautter Award for the California Digital Newspaper Collection

On July 20, the Center for Bibliographical Studies and Research at the University of California, Riverside received a Larry L. Sautter Silver Award for Achievement in University Computing for development of the California Digital Newspaper Collection. This University of California system-wide award recognizes “innovative deployment of information technology in support of the University's mission.”

CBSR staff with Sautter Award. From left to right: Charles (Chuck) Boucher, 
CBSR Systems Administrator; Brian Geiger, Assistant Director, CBSR; 
Allan Crosthwaite, CBSR Digital Projects Coordinator.
[Photo courtesy Amber Dobson]

The software developed for the California Digital Newspaper Collection (CDNC) incorporates unique features for processing and displaying digital newspapers. The Center for Bibliographical Studies and Research (CBSR) is currently beta testing the software and plans to make it available to libraries next year.

The CDNC is an on-going program of the CBSR to digitize historical California newspapers and make them freely accessible to the public. The CBSR has digitized over 200,000 pages of California newspapers spanning the years 1846-1911. They include the Alta California, 1849-1889; the Sacramento Union, 1851-1895; the San Francisco Call, 1900-1910; the Amador Ledger, 1900-1911; the Imperial Valley Press, 1901-1911; the Los Angeles Herald, 1905-1907; and very early California newspapers from 1846-1851: the Californian; the California Star; the California Star and Californian; the Sacramento Transcript; the Placer Times. Additional titles and years will be added to the collection as funding permits.

The CDNC builds on the California Newspaper Project, a 17-year effort by the CBSR to catalog, union list and preserve California newspapers. Close to 9,000 California newspapers were inventoried in over 14,000 repositories throughout the state, 1.5 million pages of California newspapers were preserved and made available on microfilm, and 100,000 rolls of negative microfilm rolls are being processed for permanent storage.

The California Digital Newspaper Collection is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities; the California State Library; and the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, under provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act administered in California by the State Librarian.

The Project team consists of: Benjamin Arai, Software Developer, TABBEC; Chuck Boucher, Systems Administrator, CBSR; Craig Boucher, Software Developer, TABBEC; Allan Crosthwaite, Digital Projects Coordinator, CBSR; Jeanne Gahagan, Digital Archivist, Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley; Brian Geiger, Assistant Director, CBSR; and Andrea Vanek, Assistant Director of Newspaper Projects, CBSR.

For more information about the CDNC, please contact Andrea Vanek at or (510) 643-7680.

Redwood City Public Library’s Project READ wins Kent Award, Congressional Recognition

Redwood City Public Library’s Project READ, in collaboration with Cañada College, received the San Mateo County School Boards Association’s J. Russell Kent Award in May, an honor that earned Project Read a Certificate of Recognition from the California Senate and a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from the U.S. House of Representatives.

The school board singled out Redwood City’s Project Read program (funded in part by California Library Literacy Services ) for its Inmate Peer Tutor Program, a project in which Project READ volunteers tutor inmates who in turn earn college credits for tutoring their peers. Kathy Endaya, Director of the Redwood City Project READ, says, “Almost 89% of incarcerated people read or write below a 5th grade level. Because of our successful and close alliance with Canada College, we not only have the Kent Award, we have also started breaking the cycle of low or non-literacy in a correctional institution.” In addition to boosting reading levels, Endaya reports that the program is building self-esteem in both the inmate tutors and the learners.

Because Redwood City partners with Canada College on the award-winning program, the inmate tutors earn one college credit for their work. Many of the participants, now “college students,” continue their education by taking additional classes while still incarcerated. These new readers are then able to participate in recovery programs and GED classes, and achieve other educational goals.

“We earned the Kent Award because of our work with Canada College. The State Senate and Congressional Certificates honor both Project Read and Canada College. We are so very proud to share it with our wonderful partner!” Endaya says. California Library Literacy Services (CLLS), she says, does “a great job” supporting community collaborations, work that “expands and enhances our services to our learners.”

For more information please contact Redwood City Project READ at (650) 780-7077 or visit   

California State Library’s Research Bureau wins national Legislative award for Homeless report

The California Research Bureau (CRB) at the California State Library is one of nine national winners of a 2008 “Notable Document Award” from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Legislative Research Librarian staff. The CRB won in the “Innovative Study” category for Voices from the Street: A Survey of Homeless Youth by Their Peers.

Nell Bernstein and Lisa K. Foster wrote March 2008’s Voices from the Street: A Survey of Homeless Youth by Their Peers as part of the California Homeless Youth Project, a major research and policy initiative the CRB and California Council on Youth Relations, with support from The California Wellness Foundation, undertook to bring attention to the serious issues facing homeless youth in the state.

For more information about the Voices from the Street: A Survey of Homeless Youth by Their Peers please contact Lisa Foster at the California State Library at (916) 653-6372.





  © 2004 The California State Library.  All rights reserved.

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