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CONNECTION ~ Issue 49, Spring 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

Despite some challenging moments, it’s been a good year so far. On January 9th, our Deputy State Librarian, Stacey Aldrich, and I were pleased to attend one of the first screenings of American Idealist: Sargent Shriver at Sacramento’s historic Crest Theater. First Lady Maria Shriver was the executive producer of this moving film about her father’s life. Watch for it on your local PBS station.

I was off to the American Library Association Mid-winter Meeting in Philadelphia on January 10th when the Governor released his proposed 2008/09 budget. Library staff gave me the budget news while I was stopped in Las Vegas, which is ironic because both Las Vegas and the budget revolve around give and take. On the one hand, the January numbers included $4 million dollars for the California State Library (CSL) to support implementing a new online library system and relocating CSL staff now in historic Library and Courts I to a temporary facility during two years of renovations. On the other hand, all library programs that the State’s general fund supports were slated with a 10% decrease. This 10% decrease means reducing funds that support the CSL’s actual operation by $1.6 million and reducing local assistance by $3.4 million, including $1.4 million each from the Public Library Fund (PLF) and Transaction-based Reimbursement (TBR) Program. Because the budget did not allocate the operations reductions, we are still determining how to cope with the reduction.

On January 22nd, I presented a California library financing overview in Sonoma County with my articulate colleagues, Ann Cousineau, Director of the Solano County Library, Anne Cain, Director of the Contra Costa County Library, and Jane Light, Director of the San Jose Public Library who joined us via telephone. I enjoyed being in the beautiful wine country, and visiting a library system hard at work projecting its long-term facilities needs, an important task I know many in our state have done already!

My staff and I spent time in January and March strategizing with staff from Libraries for the Future (LFF) about collaborative projects. Our partnership with LFF began with the Transforming Life after 50 Initiative; and now we are pursuing ways we can leverage LFF and CSL strengths and capacities to offer great new service opportunities for our libraries. There’s more to come on this developing joint venture in the future!

California State Library,
Library and Courts II

On January 27th, Carla Lehn and I went on an exciting jaunt to Monterey County where we participated in a lively public meeting at the Pacific Grove Public Library which is sadly facing some difficult budget times. The interest and commitment of the citizens to library services was exciting to see. On January 28th, we both participated in a literacy planning event at the beautiful new Monterey County Marina Branch Library. The Community Foundation for Monterey County which has made literacy a Foundation priority for several years is in the middle of its program and wants to develop plans to make sure this important initiative is sustainable. It was wonderful to see this commitment to literacy in Monterey County.

Senator Joseph Simitian, a great library supporter, has a keen interest in radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. Senator Simitian requested that the California Research Bureau analyze the literature and determine recommended best practices for implementation of RFID identification documents. I am chairing an expert advisory panel which has met twice this year to assist in developing these recommendations. The final report should be issued within the next few months and will be posted on the CSL website.

On February 13th, I attended a lovely lunch in the Grand Ballroom in Sacramento in honor of the visit of the President of Mexico Felipe Calderón and his wife Mrs. Margarita Zavala. The Governor and First Lady and legislative leaders all attended the distinguished event. I participated in another great lunch on February 20th when I met with staff attending CSL Literacy program training. I am very proud of all the good work that is done in our adult literacy programs.

On February 26th I attended the California Association of Museums Conference in Fresno and participated in a panel discussion on organizational models and support for cultural activities at the state level. Leveraging our cultural resources in California is a challenge because libraries, archives, museums and other cultural organizations are not together in one structure…yet!

At the February 28th Library of California Board meeting in Sacramento, Stacey Aldrich updated the Board on statewide reference activities; and the Board reviewed the resource-sharing budget reductions. Of course, the budget is a great concern to the Board which will express its reservations to the Governor and the Legislature.

March is California Association of Library Trustees and Commissioners (CALTAC) annual training month. On March 1st in San Mateo and March 15th in Orange, I provided updates on happenings in Sacramento and was fortunate to hear the great presentation done by Dr. Ken Haycock, Dean of the San Jose State School of Library and Information Science. Dr. Haycock shared a dynamic view of engaged and strategic trustees making the library a player in its community.

On March 14th I attended the South Pasadena Library’s event honoring Ray Bradbury, a true literary and library hero, and it was a privilege to see him. Because I am traveling to the Public Library Association Conference in Minneapolis in late March, I will be able to give you a conference briefing and a good weather report (I hope) in the next column. Have a great spring.

Table of Contents

Update from the State Librarian

2007's 23 Things Experience: View from an Infopeep and CSL Staff

New and Renovated Library Openings Around the State

Statewide Reference Project Update

State Spotlight: California State Railroad Museum Library

Ninety Years of Health Insurance Reform Efforts in California

Customer-Centered Services in the Making at the California State Library

CCHE Profile: Reviving a Gold Country Relic - the Knight Foundry

California Library Awards

Rincon Branch of the Livermore Public Library to present 
"It's a REEL World After All: Teens Making Movies" at ALA Poster Session in June

USC Shoah Foundation Institute Website Powerfully Enhanced

Field Feedback

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