More honors for Sac Library system

The "Read & Feed" garden at Colonial Heights Library
The “Read & Feed” garden at Colonial Heights Library

This time it’s Colonial Heights branch in the spotlight, being named by the Urban Libraries Council as one of the Top 10 Innovators of 2013. Specifically, the branch was recognized for “Sustainability” for its “Read & Feed Garden”:

The library and garden are located in an underprivileged South Sacramento neighborhood where one quarter of the population is at the poverty level and seven out of ten neighborhood children are eligible for free or reduced-cost lunches. The area is referred to as a “food desert” because of the lack of access to fresh produce.

I have been to some events in the library, and enjoyed some fresh fruit harvested there. It’s a really special thing.

Continue reading “More honors for Sac Library system”

Sacramento Public Library boasts big web redesign

The Sacramento Public Library’s website got a big facelift today and is looking pretty hot. The new design by local firm PMC is a big step up from SPL’s former ’90s era design.

I’m loving the big showoffy Locations pages and the responsive design (the layout modifies itself in mobile browsers instead of forcing you to squint). The catalog section of the site does not appear changed, but it had already gone through a recent change.

What do you think? Will you finally break down and read a book now, doofus?

The Harvest is in at Colonial Heights Library – Photos

I visited Colonial Heights Library with my family on Saturday, and we and several other families were treated to a hands-on visit to the library’s Demonstration Garden, which in the rear of the property. Though the garden is not typically open to the public, staff do regularly open the back doors to allow patrons to enjoy the garden. In addition, the garden is part of a “Read & Feed” program to highlight planting and nurturing of crops as well as nutrition and literacy.

On this particular visit we got to help harvest some cherry tomatoes! I have posted a few photos after the break… Continue reading “The Harvest is in at Colonial Heights Library – Photos”

Book Swap Sunday at Shine

Book Folk. by Orin Zebest. Flickr

Need a place to beat the apocalyptic beatdown we are getting from the weather? (I guess Father Sky’s furious anger has subsided a bit from earlier in the week when I started writing this post, but still.) One of Sacramento’s best alternative library blogs, alt+library, is putting on a book swap and meet & greet Sunday at Shine, a unique coffee house/restaurant/arts venue in Downtown that is just about to celebrate its 2nd anniversary.

If you’re the kind of person who would want to attend a book swap, it seems like a gathering of alt+library devotees and Shine patrons would be your ideal combination of people. If you don’t know all these people already, what better way to get to know them. Continue reading “Book Swap Sunday at Shine”

Sac Library has LHS kids’ science kits with free passes

With school around the corner you may be looking for fun science projects to do with the kids, either to supplement the science/tech curriculum or to actually have one. Obviously the Sacramento Public Library is a great place to start, and its offering got even better recently with the addition of these “Check Out Science” kits from Lawrence Hall of Science.

Each kit includes a “Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading” book, a full activity notecard, and a “Check Out Science” observation notebook that is your child’s to keep. And another awesome thing about these kits is that they come with one free kids’ pass to Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science. Continue reading “Sac Library has LHS kids’ science kits with free passes”

McClatchy Library getting more space! (By getting rid of books)

Yeah, it doesn’t look like this anymore.

The Sacramento Public Library branches are all closed today for staff furloughs, which is tough when the hours are already pretty terrible. Trying to find a branch open near you after business hours is like trying to find swim trunks once Summer has already started (amirite?). Wednesday night, though, the family and I visited McClatchy Library, the only central city branch open past business hours on that day.

At the moment the branch looks less like a library and more like the house of a book-loving couple (with a really pretty house). The pleasantly (IMHO) cramped quarters are less cramped these days, because almost all the books are stored on wall shelves with only 2 freestanding shelves. We saw an excited young patron park her bike out back, stroll through the branch for about 10 seconds before storming out, muttering something like “Not even worth it!”. Continue reading “McClatchy Library getting more space! (By getting rid of books)”

Colonial library closing for remodeling

Colonial Heights Library

Wife just came from Colonial Heights Library and reports that the branch will be closed July 23-September 23 for remodeling. With the Sac Library hours cuts that started last week, this really puts a damper in library hours as this was one of the only branches open until 8pm three nights a week.

However the library had apparently not had a revamp since it opened in 1986. I wouldn’t say it was desperate for an update–it was just sort of a serviceable “your library here” look. Unless of course they are updating the exterior entrance pictured above which really shows its age. But the children’s section at Colonial has already gotten a refresh and it is looking really nice.

Voetbergs swing the crowd at Library Galleria

The rain finally broke Sunday and this was almost as welcome a sight as the Voetberg Family Band filling the stage in the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria. And when I say filling the stage, I mean it literally. As promised, the Voetbergs put on a high energy show full of traditional music to a standing room only audience on Sunday. The crowd seemed bigger to me than last year’s show in the same space, but my wife pointed out this was mostly due to it being a Sunday afternoon and not probably due to the overwhelming popularity of my music journalism. Also, having been to the Camellia Symphony concert the previous weekend I saw almost all of the same people. It’s a really diverse crowd that comes out to these library events, from young hippie couples to old hippie couples and everyone in between.

The next time you get an opportunity definitely come check out the awesome Voetberg Family Band!

(l to r) Annie, Elisha, Vance, Tucker (on drums), Deter, Liddy, Rudy, Lilja. All bass players should be required to be named Deter.

Sac City Superintendent’s reading challenge aims high


Join Superintendent Raymond’s SUMMER READING challenge and Get Caught Reading a great book!

Read two or more books this summer and record the titles on a Reading Log. (Emphasis mine)

Two books! In just one calendar season?! “Get caught reading”?! Not to mention, judging at least by the 1st-2nd grade suggested list, the reading level is not exactly reaching for the stars either. It includes mostly picture books and “easy reader” type books.

Fortunately the Sacramento Public Library offers several literacy programs this summer. The Make a Splash reading contest aims to get kids to complete at least 5 literacy related activities. They also have a program with Fresh Choice that I believe encourages kids to read 5 books with a free meal as a reward. I cannot find anything about it online but it definitely is a thing — ask your librarian!

Natomas Unified school library closures

The Sac Bee brings out the sad news that Natomas Unified School District has closed all of its elementary school libraries. It certainly seems like things are spiraling out of control, doesn’t it?

The article includes a foreboding quote from Martha Rowland, district coordinator of library services for Sac City Unified:

“I’m proud of our superintendent and his vision” … “I don’t know how that vision will be funded, but he has the right idea – that libraries are important to kids.” (emphasis mine)

Sac City parents are dreading the dropping of the other shoe on that one …