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CONNECTION ~ Issue 51, Fall 2008
 
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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 travel-filled summer. The American Library Association Conference in Anaheim in late June was a great success: the weather was good, and Disney characters, tasty restaurants, and Orange County hospitality were abundant. California State Library (CSL) staff and California librarians participated in many interesting conference programs, and many CSL staffers enjoyed a fascinating back-stage tour of Disneyland. Several of us also attended the Urban Libraries Council Fast Forward Conference during which we focused on imagination, learning and innovation for libraries.

In early July I traveled to Washington DC where, by participating in an exciting meeting on the future of libraries and museums and potential collaborations, I was fortunate to meet library and museum professionals from all over the country. California’s own Gary Strong, UCLA’s current Library Director and the former State Librarian, was an adept co-chair of the collaboration advisory panel in DC. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) plans to commission the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to do a study on collaborations. It will certainly be a landmark effort as highly respected studies from the NAS often serve as the basis for future legislation. On a personal note, while on the East coast, I attended my 40th high school reunion in upstate New York. Yeah class of 1968! I know some of you celebrated your 40th reunions this year as well!

In early August I had the honor of giving a hearty California welcome to the International School Librarians Conference in Berkeley at which I heard the keynote address by Dr. Stephen Krashen, a University of Southern California professor and passionate reading advocate. Krashen is an entertaining and inspirational speaker, and I encourage everyone to attend one of his talks. On August 7th, the Library of California Board met and approved consolidating of a number of public library systems into three major units – greater Los Angeles (including Orange County), greater Bay area, and the far north. Models that we saw in the initial Library of California legislation are evolving naturally as time goes on.

Although I did not travel as much in August, I worked on many upcoming CSL initiatives and projects we’ll be rolling-out soon! Here are just some. We’ll shortly announce a new volunteerism initiative and a partnership with Family Place, a model early learning program. Our partners at the Gates Foundation, whom we have been advising, will soon be implementing a new investment phase which will expand broadband connectivity for rural and low-income areas. We have been meeting with staff from the Drexel University Information and Library Science programs. Drexel, with its main campus in Philadelphia, is opening a graduate level campus in Sacramento, and will offer a Master’s in Library Science beginning in January 2009. Finally, we have been preparing for our move from Library and Courts I (LCI) in early 2009 which will be quite an effort! The building’s restoration will make all the work worthwhile.

California State Library,
Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building

In late August I could luckily zip down to Pasadena to participate in the Statewide Information Services Think Tank. Thanks to Stacey Aldrich, Deputy State Librarian, Rosario Garza, MCLS Executive Director, futurists Michele Bowman and Sandy Burchsted, and all the participants, for an exciting two days. We really pushed ourselves to envision the library world in 2020. We’ll expand on this process at CLA in November.

At Google’s Mountain View headquarters in early September, I participated in an enlightening discussion on social networking. Although I hadn’t been to Google’s “main campus” before, the place felt oddly familiar to me - maybe I will come back in another life as a Googler! The Google presentation was developed for the expert advisor panel (of which I am a member) of the California Emerging Technology Fund, the entity responsible for allocating $60 million from telecommunications mergers slated to increase broadband connectivity in California.

I was proud to attend the opening of the Redwood Shores Branch of the Redwood City Public Library on September 6th, a long-awaited event for that community. The branch is “nautical chic” with lots of green, sustainable features! Redwood Shores is a winner on all counts and is a great investment of Library Construction Bond funds.

Also in September, I returned to Washington, DC for a meeting of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Advisory Committee. This committee is providing input to library consultants Bill Wilson and Ethel Himmel who are analyzing the use of LSTA and identifying trends as part of a review required by IMLS. This information will be useful in preparing for the reauthorization of LSTA which is anticipated to occur in early 2009.

September 19th through the 21st was the Association for Rural and Small Libraries Conference in Sacramento, a “western” first for this event which is usually held in Ohio. We had great attendance and everyone enjoyed the conference. A real highlight was the reception in Library and Courts I in Sacramento, one of the last big soirees in this historic building before it closes for renovation.

As I write this column, the Governor has just signed the 2008/09 budget; and the California State Library’s funding has been reduced by 10% in both operations and local assistance (Public Library Fund, Literacy, Direct Loan/ILL). In light of some of the scenarios that had been suggested, we are glad to still be here and to have a budget in place.

Have a great fall and holiday season!
 

Table of Contents

Update from the State Librarian

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

California Cultural and Historic Endowment (CCHE) corner
   Preserving California Lighthouses

Braille and Talking Book Library revives newsletter for customer base

Field Feedback

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