February 2014

The Great Animal Orchestra with Bernie Krause at Berkeley Public Library

February 18, 2014
Contact: Michele McKenzie
Art & Music Librarian
Berkeley Public Library
The Great Animal Orchestra with Bernie Krause at Berkeley Public Library
Berkeley, February 18, 2014—The Art & Music Department of the Berkeley Public Library presents a multimedia author talk with Bay Area musician and naturalist Bernie Krause at the Central Library in the 3rd floor Community Meeting Room on Saturday, March 8, 2014, at 2:00 pm.
Dr. Bernie Krause has spent the past forty years recording and preserving wild soundscapes from around the world. His hugely popular 2012 book, The Great Animal Orchestra: Finding the Origins of Music in The World’s Wild Places, exposed a new audience to the significance of the endangered sounds of our natural environment. For questions regarding this program, call 510-981-6241 
Dr. Krause’s vast bioacoustic archive, Wild Sanctuary, includes recordings of more than fifteen thousand species and four thousand hours of wild landscapes, over half of which no longer exist in nature due to encroaching noise and human activity. Selections from his catalog of recordings of rare and threatened habitats are included in the Berkeley Public Library’s circulating CD collection of sound effects.
In his most recent book, The Great Animal Orchestra: finding the origins of music in the world’s wild places, Krause reflects on his lifelong pursuit to record natural music in its purest form and focuses on the multiple ways in which animals have taught us to dance and sing. While emphasizing the importance of the aural habitat to the animal kingdom, Krause also provides insight into its role as the origin of language and music. 
During the 1950s and ‘60s, Krause devoted himself to music and had the honor of occupying the Pete Seeger slot in the folk group, The Weavers. A pioneer of electronic music, his seminal album In a Wild Sanctuary, recorded in 1968 and 1969 was the first to incorporate natural soundscapes as an integral part of the orchestration. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Krause and his musical partner Paul Beaver were credited with helping to promote the use of the Moog synthesizer in popular music and film compositions and has performed on recordings with Mick Jagger, Van Morrison, The Doors, George Harrison, and many other artists. Films include Apocalypse Now, Rosemary’s Baby, Castaway, Shipping News, and 130 other major features.
As one of world’s leading experts in natural sound, Krause has been a featured speaker at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco and TED Global in Edinburgh Scotland. His other books include Notes from the Wild: The Nature Recording Expeditions of Bernie Krause, Into a Wild Sanctuary: A Life in Music & Natural Sound and Wild Soundscapes: Discovering the Voice of the Natural World.
This free program is sponsored by the Friends of the Berkeley Public Library (www.berkeleylibraryfriends.org).
Wheelchair accessible. For questions, 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 five working days will help ensure availability. Please refrain from wearing scented products to public programs. www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org 

Berkeley Public Library Launches New Website

January 31, 2014

Contact: Alicia Abramson
Manager, Information Technology & Technical Services
Berkeley Public Library


Berkeley Public Library Launches New Website

Features Include Improved Navigation, a New Visual Identity and Community Focus


Berkeley, January 31, 2014 – Berkeley Public Library has launched its new website, www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org, showcasing the Library’s connection to the community while providing easy access to its dynamic print, music, film and digital collections. As part of the development of the new site, the Library’s web team involved staff and members of the community from the beginning: soliciting input, conducting user testing and collecting and analyzing survey data. As a result of this invaluable feedback, the site expresses Berkeley Public Library’s commitment to meeting our users’ wide range of interests as well as providing convenient access to:

  • Downloadable ebooks and audiobooks

  • Streaming music

  • Discover & Go, a service providing free or reduced price tickets to Bay Area museums and other cultural venues

  • Digital magazines

  • Kids and Teen focused content

  • Personalized book recommendations—tailored to patrons—created by our librarians

  • Information on reserving  our free community meeting rooms

  • Calendar featuring the diverse range of  Library events 


With an increasing number of people accessing the Library while on-the-go, the site was made with mobile users in mind and adapts to tablets and mobile devices easily, without requiring an app. Built on the open-source Drupal platform, the site was constructed with a responsive design approach, with usability and accessibility as top priorities. Accessible features include a high contrast color palate, a usable font, an 18 minimum pixel size for menu headings, placement of the most important interactive elements at the top of the page, keyboard only navigation through use of the tab key with logical and sequential tab-order, and required ALT tags for all images. (ALT Tags are used by screen readers to verbally describe photographs or other images to sight-impaired computer users. If there were no ALT tags on the site, the screen reader would just say “Image” or give a file name.)

 “We really want to get away from the monolithic redesign process and have the ability to adapt the navigation and presentation of our site when we get feedback from our users, and this new site allows us to do this easily”, said Alicia Abramson, Manager of Information Technology and Technical Services for the Library. The Library will continue to collect user feedback about the new site through an online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BPL2014redesign. For questions regarding the website, call 510-981-6131.



Berkeley Public Library Annual Report for 2013 Released

February 03, 2014

Contact: Library Administration

Donna Corbeil

Berkeley Public Library



Berkeley Public Library Annual Report for 2013 Released

Berkeley, February 3, 2014. The Berkeley Public Library annual report covering the 2013 fiscal year is now available electronically on the library’s website. The report, in narrative and photographs documents the various programs and activities of the library and a fiscal summary. This year’s theme is a year of progress and innovation.

Much has occurred in the last fiscal year, including the re-opening of two branches following renovation to complete the voter mandate of Measure FF. Berkeley Public Library continues to be one of the most heavily used library systems in California, with an increase in the number of checkouts last year of over 10%. The report gives more detail on how we serve the community and the array of programs presented throughout the year. To read more about the library go http://www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org/about/planning


Our 2013 year in review is also accessible from the library’s website at: www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org in a user-friendly, photo-rich, all-digital format.