October 2013

Two Authors, Two Road Trips, Two Americas

October 24, 2013

Contact: Collin Weber (Tel: 510-981-6151)

Authors Bill Steigerwald and Ethan Casey will be presenting “Two Authors, Two Road Trips, Two Americas” in which they’ll discuss their respective American road trip books Dogging Steinbeck and Home Free: An American Road Trip on Saturday, November 2, 2013 from 3:00-5:30 PM, PST, at the Central Library at 2090 Kittredge St., Berkeley, in the 3rd Floor Community Meeting Room.

Both authors have written first-person accounts of their separate coast-to-coast travels and their impressions of America and its people. They will be presenting photos and stories from their travels in addition to discussing the topics covered in each of their books.

In his investigative road book Dogging Steinbeck, Bill Steigerwald used John Steinbeck’s classic book Travels with Charley as a map for his own cross-country road trip in search of America which turned into a case of literary detective work as he attempted to set the record straight on this beloved but unreliable travelogue.

In the fall of 2012, Ethan Casey drove clockwise around America during the election season which resulted in Home Free: An American Road Trip, an entertaining and illuminating work of personal reporting in the spirit of his previous travel narratives Alive and Well in Pakistan and Bearing the Bruise: A Life Graced by Haiti.

For more program information call 510-981-6148 or connect to www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org.

The Central Library is open Monday, noon-8 p.m., Tuesday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday afternoons from 1 p.m.-5 p.m.  For questions and accessibility information, call 510-981-6195, TTY 510-548-1240, http://www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org


Berkeley Public Library launches new program series, “Mining the Library: Local DJs Dig the Music Collection!”

October 23, 2013

Contact: Dayna Holz or Michele McKenzie
Art & Music Department


Berkeley Public Library invites you to join us for a series of listening parties at the library hosted by an eclectic array of local disc jockeys from Bay Area public and community radio stations.  Meet the radio personalities behind some of your favorite weekly music programs and learn more about the Berkeley Public Library’s music collection.  Each DJ will dig through BPL’s vast collection of vinyl records and compact discs to uncover musical gems that will expand your appreciation of a range of genres.

The three part series kicks off on Tuesday, November 19th, with San Francisco DJ Dore Stein of KALW’s Tangents radio program.  Dore has been presenting his tangential radio program in the Bay Area since 1995, exploring  the bridges connecting various styles of music, including world and roots music, and creative jazz hybrids.  An avid world traveler, Dore leads annual group music tours of Turkey and Morocco, taking visitors off the beaten path to be immersed in the culture and landscape that influences and inspires the local music and musicians.  His legendary Bay Area house parties give participants an opportunity to enjoy intimate performances with world music artists from around the globe.  Dore brings his mission to stretch listeners’ boundaries and open their ears to the Berkeley Public Library’s Central Community Meeting Room on Tuesday, November 19th at 6:30PM.  Find out more about Dore Stein and Tangents at http://www.tangents.com/.

Stay Tuned!

The series continues on December 10th when Rickey Vincent, author and host of KPFA’s The History of Funk show, brings The Funk along with his knowledge and charm to the library for an evening of deep grooves and funky good times. Rickey has just published a new book about the house band for the Black Panther Party called Party Music: The Inside Story of the Black Panthers’ Band and How Black Power Transformed Soul Music. Learn more about Rickey Vincent: http://www.rickeyvincent.com/

And on January 12th, the series concludes when KALX’s very own Rubberband Girl(a.k.a. Erin Prunchak), brings “Music for a Bachelorette’s Pad,” setting the mood with a mix of Lounge, Psychedelic, and Space-Age Pop music. Rubberband Girl has developed a local following during her seven years on KALX. Her current show can be heard on Friday mornings, where she makes connections between a wide variety of eras and styles, and loves surprising listeners with the best songs they’ve never heard.  More about Rubberband Girl: https://www.facebook.com/lachicaelastica

All programs are sponsored by the Friends of the Library (www.berkeleylibraryfriends.org).  For more information, call 510-981-6241 or connectwww.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 visitwww.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.


The Library and the Future: Jaron Lanier in Conversation with John Gage

October 21, 2013

Contact: Library Administration
Donna Corbeil, Director of Library Services

Berkeley Public Library Foundation
Kirsten Cowan 510-981-6115


The Berkeley Public Library, in conjunction with the Berkeley Public Library Foundation and the Harry Weininger Family, invite you to join us for a special evening at the South Branch Library, 1901 Russell St. on Friday, November 15, 2013, at 6 pm.This is event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited.

“The most important thing about a technology is how it changes people.” – Jaron Lanier, You Are Not a Gadget.

How is technology transforming the library and the people in it?  Author Jaron Lanier, who The New York Times calls a “mega-wizard in futurist circles,” sits down with scientist and philanthropist John Gage to answer that question, and investigate how the frenetic pace of technological change and information technology are fundamentally altering our libraries, our communities, and us.

Jaron Lanier is a computer scientist, composer, visual artist, and author, named byTime Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2010. Lanier’s name is also often associated with Virtual Reality research.  He either coined or popularized the term ‘Virtual Reality’ and in the early 1980s founded VPL Research, the first company to sell VR products. Since 2009, he has been a Partner Architect at Microsoft Research. Lanier writes and speaks on numerous topics, including high-technology business, the social impact of technological practices, the philosophy of consciousness and information, Internet politics, and the future of humanism.  His writing has appeared in The New York TimesDiscover (where he has been a columnist), The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Harpers Magazine, The Sciences, Wired Magazine (where he was a founding contributing editor), and Scientific American. He has edited special “future” issues of SPIN and Civilization magazines, and his most recent book is Who Owns the Future?, which The New York Times calls “terrifically inviting.” Lanier was an Honored Author at the Berkeley Public Library Foundation Authors Dinner in 2009.

John Gage was previously the Chief Researcher and Vice President of the Science Office, for Sun Microsystems, Inc. From 2008-2010 he was a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers focusing on green technologies.  He is also well known as one of the founders of NetDay, which calls upon high-tech companies to connect schools, libraries, and clinics worldwide to the Internet. Since 1995 over 500,000 volunteers have wired over 50,000 schools and libraries in the United States.  He has served on scientific advisory panels for the US National Research Council and the National Academy of Sciences, and has been a member of the Board of Regents of the US National Library of Medicine, the Board of Trustees of Fermi National Laboratory, the External Advisory Council for the World Bank, and the Board of Trustees of the Internet Society (ISOC).

This event is underwritten by the Berkeley Public Library Foundation, through the generosity of the Harry Weininger Family. The Harry Weininger Family celebrates the life and generosity of Harry Weininger, who was a well-known figure in the Berkeley community and a long time supporter of the Berkeley Public Library. Harry was involved in a number of community organizations and played a peace-making role in the city’s political scene. He served for many years on the board of directors of theBerkeley Democratic Club and was the club’s president in 1983 and 1986. Mr. Weininger was always interested in the law and received a law degree from theUniversity of San Francisco in 1988 when he was 54, then volunteered his legal services through the Berkeley Public Library’s “Lawyers in the Library” program. This evening represents the second annual public event to be sponsored as a memorial by the Weininger Family.

The Berkeley Public Library Foundation brings together donors and supporters to make our great libraries extraordinary. For 20 years the Foundation has raised private contributions to augment strong public funding. Generous donors to the recent Neighborhood Libraries Campaign gave more than $3 million to outfit the renewed Claremont, North, South and West branches.

To find out more about this event, as well as how you can contribute to the Foundation’s work in support of our public libraries, please contact the Berkeley Public Library Foundation at: info@bplf.org, by calling 510.981.6115, or visit us atwww.bplf.org.

Please join us for this memorable event. For questions regarding this program and accessibility information, call 510-981-6195, TDD 510-548-1240,http://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 in advance to ensure availability.

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Central Library Space Planning Call for Design Services Released

October 11, 2013

Contact: Donna Corbeil
Director of Library Services


The Berkeley Public Library is pleased to announce that a Central Library Space Planning effort will begin in early 2014. These limited area improvements will build on the work completed at the Central Library, located at 2090 Kittredge Street in downtown Berkeley, as part of the 1996 Measure S renovation and expansion, and a refresh of the first, second and third floors completed in 2009. Areas of focus for the effort will be to create an inviting and functional space for teens; and lighting, collection layout and public seating improvement on all five floors of the public areas; with the goal to increase visitors comfort and usability of library services.  Requested design services will encompass developing alternatives and innovative solutions to improve interior public spaces within the existing square footage, while respecting the features and improvements, including historical elements made during past renovation. The selected design team will engage both staff and community stakeholders to develop a plan and options to ensure the library’s continued ability to meet patron needs into the future.

The full project announcement and invitation to bid can be found on the City of Berkeley’s website,http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/Finance/Home/Current_Bid_and_Proposal_Opportunities.aspx

The City of Berkeley will receive sealed Bids on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, for this public work, advertised as Specification No. 14-10812.  A pre-bid tour and question and answer meeting for consultants will be held on Friday, November 1, 2013 at the Central Library, attendance is not required to respond to the RFP.   For information pertaining to the Request for Proposal process contact Henry Oyekanmi, General Services Manager at the City of Berkeley (510-981-7320) and for library specific questions contact Donna Corbeil, Director of Library Services (510- 981-6195).



Berkeley Public Library Expands Branch Hours

October 10, 2013

Contact:  Sarah Dentan
Manager, Neighborhood and Children’s Services

Beginning December 2, 2013 the Claremont, North, and South Branches of the Berkeley Public Library will be open later on Tuesdays and earlier on Wednesdays, raising the total number of open hours to 52 hours per week at each branch.

The new schedule for branch libraries is as follows:

Monday 10 AM - 6 PM
Tuesday 10 AM - 8 PM
Wednesday 10 AM - 8 PM
Thursday 12 Noon - 8 PM
Friday 10 AM - 6 PM
Saturday 10 AM - 6 PM
Sunday Closed


Expanding library hours has been an ongoing priority for the Board of Library Trustees; hours at the Central Library were expanded in October 2006.  The extension of hours at the branch libraries coincides with the completion of the Measure FF Branch Improvement Project.

“We are happy to be able to provide expanded access to our beautiful new branches,” said Donna Corbeil, Library Director, ”we hope lots of our cardholders will take advantage of our new Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning hours.”

The West Branch Library is currently closed for construction. We anticipate reopening it later this year with the expanded hours. Stay tuned for further details. The Tool Lending Library’s hours, which expanded in May, will remain unchanged. The Central Library’s hours are not affected.

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Being Here: an Introduction to the Art and Science of Being Present

October 07, 2013

Contact: Shani Leonards,


Change your brain!  Be happier!  Mindfulness is receiving increasing scientific support as a means to manage stress and promote health and well-being. On Saturday, November 2 at 10:30 AM in the Claremont Branch Library we’ll be learning about mindfulness with Neesha Patel. Please join us for this introduction to the art and science of being present and how it can help you. This event is free and open to all ages.

Neesha Patel, PhD is a psychologist who has offered guided meditation sessions and led workshops and classes on mindfulness, mindful eating, mindfulness in the workplace, cultivating compassion, and mindfulness based stress management. Learn more at www.drneeshapatel.com.

Wheelchair accessible. To request a sign language interpreter, real-time captioning, materials in large print or Braille, or other accommodations for these events, please call 510 981-6195 (voice) or 510 548-1240 (TTY) At least three working days’ notice will ensure availability. Please refrain from wearing scented products to public programs.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Berkeley Public Library (www.berkeleylibraryfriends.org)

The Claremont Library, 2940 Benvenue Avenue, Berkeley CA 94705,  is open Monday and Tuesday, 10:00 a.m.-6:00p.m., Wednesday and Thursday 12p.m.-8 p.m.., and Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., For questions and accessibility information, call 510-981-6195, TDD 510-548-1240, http://www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org.



Berkeley Public Library Staff Art Show

October 07, 2013

Contact: Debbie Carton

For Immediate Release
For an event occurring October 16 through November 10, 2013


Come see what the talented employees of the Berkeley Public Library do when they’re not at work! The 8th Annual Berkeley Public Library Staff Art Show will take place from October 16 through November 10, 2013 at the Central Library, 2090 Kittredge Street in downtown Berkeley.  Original artwork will be on display in the Kittredge Street windows and on the first, second and fifth floors. The show includes painting, collage, photography, ceramics, fiber arts, woodworking, beading and other unique arts.

Meet the artists at the reception on Saturday, October 19, from 12-1 p.m. in the first floor Catalog Lobby.  Light refreshments will be served.  Immediately following the reception, join the artists in the construction of Living Book Art: a Community Project, from 1-2 p.m. on the first floor near the entrance.  All are invited to help create an artful arrangement of pre-selected books.  Working together, we’ll sort by size, color, or other possibilities to make an ever-changing display for the public to enjoy.  The book art installation will be up from October 19 through October 26.

Enjoy the creativity of the library staff on your next visit to the Central Berkeley Public Library.  Central Library hours are Monday 12-8, Tuesday 10-8, Wednesday through Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 1-5.

This free event is sponsored by the Friends of the Library (www.berkeleylibraryfriends.org).  For more information, call 510-981-6241 or visitwww.berkeleypubliclibrary.org.

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Authors of The Forbidden Book: The Philippine-American War in Political Cartoons and Twenty-Five Chickens and a Pig For a Bride at the Berkeley Public Library for Filipino American History Month

October 06, 2013

CONTACT:  Isobel Schneider
Berkeley Public Library


Authors Jorge Emmanuel, Abraham Ignacio, Jr. and Evangeline Canonizado Buelwill present their books: The Forbidden Book: The Philippine-American War in Political Cartoons and Twenty-Five Chickens and a Pig For a Bride with a slide show and discussion at the Berkeley Public Library,  Central Branch, on Saturday, October 26, 2013, 2:00-4:00 pm in the 3rd Floor Community Meeting Room.

The Forbidden Book uses over 200 political cartoons from 1898 to 1906 to chronicle a little known war between the United States and the Philippines. The war saw the deployment of 126,000 U.S. troops, lasted more than 15 years and killed hundreds of thousands of Filipinos beginning in February 1899.

The book’s title comes from a 1900 Chicago Chronicle cartoon of the same name showing then-President William McKinley putting a lock on a book titled “True History of the War in the Philippines.” Today, very few Americans know about the brutal suppression of Philippine independence or the anti-war movement led at that time by the likes of writer Mark Twain, peace activist Jane Addams, journalist Joseph Pulitzer, steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, labor leader Samuel Gompers, and Moorfield Storey, first president of the NAACP.

Twenty-five Chickens and a Pig for a Bride was the dowry author Evangeline (Vangie) Buell’s Buffalo Soldier grandfather paid to her grandmother’s family in the Philippines. Vangie recounts her grandfather’s experiences as a Buffalo soldier, a U.S. army Black segregated regiment in the Philippine-American War. She recounts growing up as one of the few Filipinas in West Oakland during the 1930s and ’40s. Vangie was born in 1932 and remembers seeing, “No Filipinos or Dogs Allowed” signs on restaurants.  Today she is the co-founder of the Filipino American National Historical Society’s East Bay Area Chapter and is the retired Events Coordinator of the University of California-Berkeley International House.

This program is presented in conjunction with Eastwind Books, 2066 University Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704 (510) 548-2350.

For more information, please call 510-981-6148.

The Central Library is open Monday, noon-8 p.m., Tuesday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday afternoons from 1 p.m.-5 p.m.  For questions and accessibility information, call 510-981-6195, TTY 510-548-1240, www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org

The Forbidden Book

Twenty Five Chickens and a Pig for a Bride