December 2011

Photography Exhibit: Red, Bike and Green: An Art + Photo Exhibition

December 31, 2011

Contact: Michele McKenzie
510-981-6241

The Oakland bicycle collective, Red, Bike and Green (RBG) exhibits photographs and original artwork in Berkeley Public Library’s Central Catalog Lobby, 2090 Kittredge at Shattuck, downtown Berkeley, from January 9ththrough March 11th . RBG: An Art + Photo Exhibition presents the work of nine artists – Africano Photographia, Corinna Nicole Brewer, Ed Nitri, Che Holt, Kwesi InLight, Makeda Rashidi, Gloria “Smokie” Arce, Nick James and Juliana “Jewels” Smith – all unified in their close attention to Black health, economic empowerment and sustainability in Bay Area communities and abroad. The works are in a variety of media – photography, painting, and graphic design – each affirming RBG’s Three Point Plan of Health, Economics, and Environment.  Much like the community rides RBG organizes; the exhibition depicts cycling as intergenerational and recreational, asserting the value of Black healthy living.  Access to the exhibit is available during the library’s open hours: Monday 12 – 8; Tuesday 10- 8; Wednesday - Saturday, 10 – 6; Sunday 1 – 5. In conjunction with this exhibition the library presents a FREE family program which will include hands on crafts and a presentation by RBG founders and exhibiting artists on Saturday afternoon, February 25th from 2:00 – 4:00 pm in the Community Meeting Room on the 3rd floor of the Central Library.  The Children’s Department of the Berkeley Public Library hosts the family craft workshop where participants can create spoke cards and decorate their bike helmets. Supplies will be provided. Please call the Art & Music Department at (510) 981-6241 for more information. See also RBG’s website (www.redbikeandgreen.org) for upcoming family rides and related events. Founded in the fall of 2007 by Jenna Burton, Red, Bike and Green started as a small group of Black urban cyclists in Oakland, CA.  After notifying a few friends of her dream to create a Black cyclists group, Jenna Burton soon drafted the Three Point Plan; giving this cycling group a deep social purpose.  RBG has been recently featured on the National Radio Project’s program Making Contact and in Momentum magazine. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library.  For more information, call 510-981-6241 or connect www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org Berkeley’s Central Library is open Monday 12 noon until 8 p.m., Tuesday 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., and Sunday afternoons from 1 p.m. till 5 p.m. For more info please call 510-981-6195 or visit www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org. Wheelchair accessible. To request a sign language interpreter or other accommodations for this event, please call (510) 981-6195 (voice) or (510) 548-1240 (TTY); at least three working days will help ensure availability. Please refrain from wearing scented products to public programs.

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Identity Theft - A Free Seminar at the Berkeley Public Library

December 21, 2011


Contact: Andrea Mullarkey or Andrea Moss
510-981-6148

Berkeley Public Library invites you to a free financial education seminar on identity theft. Learn what identity theft is, how to prevent it and what to do if you are a victim. This one-hour seminar will be held in the Community Meeting Room at Berkeley Public Library’s Central Library, 2090 Kittredge Street, at 12:00 noon on Thursday, January 19. This is one in a series of seminars brought to you in partnership with the USE Credit Union. There will be one seminar a month through March 2012. Come to one or all. Future events will home loans, investing and more. To learn more about this program or the series, please call (510) 981-6148. Berkeley’s Central Library is open Monday 12 noon until 8 p.m., Tuesday 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., and Sunday afternoons from 1 p.m. till 5 p.m.  For more info please call 510-981-6195 or visit www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org. Wheelchair accessible. To request a sign language interpreter or other accommodations for this event, please call (510) 981-6195 (voice) or (510) 548-1240 (TTY); at least three working days will help ensure availability. Please refrain from wearing scented products to public programs. # # # # #

Berkeley Public Library Announces the Winter Schedule for the BranchVan

December 20, 2011

Contact: Donna Corbeil
510-981-6195

Beginning December 27, 2011 the Berkeley Public Library’s BranchVan book mobile hours will change for the winter season. Wednesday and Thursday evening visits will end at 6:30 p.m. instead of 7:30 p.m., but all other hours will remain the same. The BranchVan schedule will be as follows: St. John’s Presbyterian Church (Garber St. at College Ave.) Mon:     10:00 –   1:00 Tue:       2:30 –   5:30 Wed:      4:30 –   6:30 Thu:      12:00 –   3:00 Fri:        10:00 –   1:00 Sat:        2:30 –   5:30   Live Oak Community Center (Shattuck Ave. at Berryman St.) Mon:        2:30 –  5:30 Tue:       10:00 –  1:00 Wed:      12:00 –  3:00 Thu:         4:30 –  6:30 Fri:           2:30 –  5:30 Sat:        10:00 –  1:00  

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Berkeley Public Library Seeks Your Input on Web Improvements

December 13, 2011

Contact: Alicia Abramson
510-981-6195

Our website. Your way. The Berkeley Public Library is working to bring you a better website. You can help. In working to create a better Berkeley Public Library website, library staff are beginning by getting feedback from you, our library users. Please fill out the short surveys you'll find on tables throughout the library at all library locations, or take the survey online at http://is.gd/bplsurvey. The survey will be available to you for two weeks – until December 20, 2011. Do let us know if you would like to follow up with a longer interview so we can get more information from you about our website and how we can make it better. Just give us your name and contact information on the short printed survey or online version. And thanks for your help! For more information, go to berkeleypubliclibrary.org or call 510-981-6100.  

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South Branch Library Project Construction Bids

December 12, 2011

Contact: Donna Corbeil
510-981-6195

The Berkeley Public Library is pleased to announce that the South Branch Library project is moving forward following an extensive community planning and formal approval process. A new state of the art library will be constructed following the demolition of the current facility located on the corner of MLK, Jr Way, at 1901 Russell Street in Berkeley.  The new library designed by the San Francisco firm Field Paoli Architects is an 8,700 square foot one- story building which will house library operations and the Tool Library.  “This will be a warm and welcoming facility,” said Donna Corbeil, Director of the Berkeley Public Library.  “With improved lighting and ventilation, as well as expanded seating and areas designed specifically for children and teens, the new South Branch Library will be a destination for the whole family.”  The project is one of four funded by Measure FF, $26 million in general obligation bonds, approved by Berkeley voters in November 2008. The full project announcement and invitation to bid can be found on the City of Berkeley’s website, here [http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/contentdisplay.aspx?id=8432]. The City of Berkeley will receive sealed Bids on Tuesday, January 17, 2012, for this public work, advertised as Specification No. 12-10615-C. This contract will be subject to the Community Workforce Agreement approved by the Berkeley City Council on January 18, 2011. Bidders may obtain Contract Documents from ARC (telephone 415-602-8577) after December 9, 2011.  For information pertaining to the Contract Documents, please contact Steven Dewan (Kitchell CEM) at (650) 393-3656.

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Survey Shows How Berkeleyans Stay Connected at the Berkeley Public Library

December 12, 2011

Contact: Douglas Smith
510-981-6195

Every year, millions of people head to their local public library to access the online information they need to pursue their version of the American dream: a better job, a college degree, American citizenship. In today’s challenging economy, even more people – including an increasing number of middle-income families squeezed by the recession – turn to computers at their local public library to seek and find jobs, access training, or apply for government services. Nearly one-third of Americans age 14 or older – roughly 77 million people – used a public library computer or wireless network to connect to the Internet in the past year, according to a national report. The Berkeley Public Library (BPL) provides computer and Internet access to all members of our community. For many people in our community who lack Internet accesses at home, the local public library is the place to get connected. Recently, Berkeley’s Library was a pilot site for the IMPACT Survey, an extension of the U.S. IMPACT Study, organized by the University of Washington Information School. The 2009 IMPACT Study was a nationwide investigation of the ways library patrons access and use computers and the Internet at public libraries, why they use it, and how it affects their lives. The study findings have helped public libraries improve public access services and advocate for better support of public access computing. Berkeley Library patrons provided a strong sampling of 411 responses to the IMPACT Survey. A number of interesting observations can be made:

  • 48% of respondents use the Library’s computers.
  • 34% use the Berkeley Public Library wireless network with their own computers.
  • 88% have regular access to a computer and the Internet outside the Library, but for a variety of reasons still make use of computer resources and Internet access at the Library.

One of the main survey measures was public access technology use within eight general areas of activity. These percentages demonstrate that Berkeleyans are making extensive practical use of the Library's internet connectivity, and confirming that the Berkeley Public Library is "connecting the disconnected":

  • 37% Civic engagement
  • 34% Social inclusion
  • 33% Health
  • 31% Employment
  • 31% eCommerce
  • 30% Education
  • 29% eGovernment

Even more compelling is how the survey drills down into more specific uses:

  • Of the 31% using Library technology for employment purposes, 21% were searching for a job opportunity and 5%--13 individual Library patrons in this sampling alone--were hired for a new position.
  • 10% reported using the Library's tech access to start and manage a business, and reporting successes: 10 persons in this sampling reported their business increased or that they developed business-to-business contracts as a result of connectivity at the Library.
  • Accessing eGovernment services is increasingly taking place in the virtual world, and the Library is providing that link for many citizens: over 17% of users are accessing and submitting online forms, applying for services, permits and licenses.
  • Specific "eCommerce" numbers also demonstrate some of the critical and essential uses of Library Internet access: 11% are finding housing, 15% taking care of banking needs, 13% buying or selling products, and 25% are researching products or services.

Finally, a very large proportion (90%) of respondents feel that it's important that the Berkeley Public Library provides free access to computers and the Internet for the community, a demonstration that Berkeleyans highly value the access to technology they can find at the Berkeley Public Library. The full Berkeley Public Library survey results may be accessed online at: http://impactsurvey.org/_reports/pdf/report.php?fscs=CA0011 Staff will continue to make use the IMPACT Survey results to inform future plans for enhancing digital literacy in the Berkeley community, through the programs and services the Library offers.

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Book into Film: Romeo + Juliet

December 07, 2011

Contact: Debbie Carton
510-981-6236

Book Into Film: Romeo + Juliet Discussion Group at the Berkeley Public Library   Berkeley Public Library invites you to participate in an examination of Australian director Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, based on Shakespeare’s tragedy. Luhrmann updates the star-crossed lovers’ tale with a modern setting of Verona Beach and gun-toting gangs, while preserving the 16th century language. Is it innovative and fresh, or an interesting idea that didn’t quite work? Read the play, and join us for a lively discussion of a bold take on a beloved classic. Discussion group participants will read the play at home and then gather at 1:30 on Sunday, January 22, 2012 in the 3rd floor Community Meeting Room at Berkeley’s Central Library, 2090 Kittredge Street to view the film together. After viewing the film, participants will discuss the play, the movie and the adaptation process. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library, this free Book into Film program at the Central Library takes place every other month and offers adult and teen patrons the opportunity to discuss books, films and the art of adaptation. Participation is limited and registration is required. Please call (510) 981-6236 to register for this program. The Central Library is open Monday, noon-8 p.m., Tuesday, 10 a.m.- 8 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., and Sunday afternoons from 1 p.m. till 5 p.m. For questions and accessibility information, call 510-981-6107, TTY 510-548-1240, http://www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org.

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Financial Freedom! A Free Seminar at the Berkeley Public Library

December 07, 2011

Contact: Andrea Mullarkey or Andrea Moss
510-981-6148

Berkeley Public Library invites you to a free financial education seminar on financial freedom. Get tips to help secure your financial future and learn the steps you should take for financial success. Calculate your net worth, discover where your money goes, develop a personal spending plan, and learn how to use credit wisely and make your savings grow. This one-hour seminar will be held in the Community Meeting Room at Berkeley Public Library’s Central Library, 2090 Kittredge Street, at 6:00 p.m.. on Tuesday, December 13. This is one in a series of seminars brought to you in partnership with the USE Credit Union. There will be one seminar a month through March 2012. Come to one or all. Future events will address identity theft, home loans, investing and more. To learn more about this program or the series, please call (510) 981-6148. Berkeley’s Central Library is open Monday 12 noon until 8 p.m., Tuesday 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., and Sunday afternoons from 1 p.m. till 5 p.m. For more info please call 510-981-6195 or visit www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org. Wheelchair accessible. To request a sign language interpreter or other accommodations for this event, please call (510) 981-6195 (voice) or (510) 548-1240 (TTY); at least three working days will help ensure availability. Please refrain from wearing scented products to public programs.

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Berkeley Public Library receives grant of $15,000 in Library Services and Technology Act funds

December 05, 2011

Contact: Sarah Dentan
(510.981.6195)

Funds will be used to develop services for very young children and their families.

The Berkeley Public Library recently received grant of $15,000 in federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds from the California State Library. This money will be used to develop a Family Place Library Project at the Central Library in downtown Berkeley. The Family Place Library Project includes creating a space in the Central Children’s Room devoted to the needs of children from birth to five, their parents and caregivers. The area will feature books, toys and dramatic play materials that enable and support child development. A collection of parenting materials and local agency information will be available to support parents of young children. A five-week workshop for children and their caregivers, introducing staff from local family-serving organizations, will be held next year as part of the project. “This grant provides us the opportunity to expand our services to very young children and their families,” said Donna Corbeil, Berkeley Public Library Director. “Family Place builds on the knowledge that good health, early learning, parent and caregiver involvement and supportive communities play a critical role in young children’s growth and development. Working collaboratively with others who provide services for families with young children, our staff will ensure that all families have access to the resources and experiences they need.”  

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