Saturday, November 18, 2017

Escondido Library :: Private Equity Firm Acquires Rita’s Italian Ice, Now Eying California Public Library

Private Equity Firm Acquires Rita’s Italian Ice, Now Eying California Public Library
Huffington Post: 9.14.2017 by Donald Cohen

January. The outskirts of Philadelphia. 23 degrees. It’s hard to imagine anyone buying Rita’s Italian ice.

But Argosy did just that earlier this year.

Specializing in acquiring companies, cutting costs, and selling them for a profit, the Pennsylvania-based private equity firm added the frozen dessert chain Rita’s to its portfolio of investments, which includes a prison phone company and a handful of Pizza Hut franchises, among others.

And now they’re eyeing the library in Escondido, California. That’s right, a public library.

Well, not exactly. Argosy owns Library Systems & Services (LS&S), the country’s largest library management company, which is trying to sell its services to the small city north of San Diego. LS&S is using the same rap—that privatization saves taxpayer money by bringing “optimization” and “efficiency”—that it’s used to gobble up 83 libraries across the country.

While the Escondido City Council seems to have bought in—they voted last month to outsource to LS&S but have yet to sign the contract—taxpayers aren’t having it. The library’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously against privatization and thousands of residents have signed a petition to keep the library public.

Even the American Library Association has weighed in, writing that after privatization the “community will not know how its taxpayer dollars are being spent.”  READ MORE >>


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Ventura County Library :: New Library Director Named for Ventura County System

New library director named for Ventura County system
VC Star: 11.15.2017 by Kathleen Wilson

A new director for the Ventura County library system has been appointed.

Nancy Schram, 48, succeeds Jackie Griffin, who has decided to retire in mid-December. Schram, who is Griffin’s top deputy, was selected after a nationwide search.

She was approved Tuesday in a unanimous vote by the Ventura County Board of Supervisors.

Schram joined the library system as deputy director last year after nine years as the Thousand Oaks library deputy director. She previously worked for the Los Angeles County library system and holds a master’s degree in library and information science.

In her new job, Schram plans to stress services tied directly to the library system’s mission of education, literacy and lifelong learning. She wants to find innovative ways to deliver those services, expand them and ensure equal access to libraries.

Also on her list is streamlining operations to ensure the best use of funds and resources.

Schram is credited with implementing the advanced technology for the Hill Road library, initiating a training academy for library staff and starting a program to work with homeless patrons at the E.P. Foster Library in Ventura.  READ MORE >>

The READ Program trains volunteers to provide free one-to-one reading and writing instruction.
The Ventura County Library has been offering this program since 1984.
Become a volunteer
Display a READ Program poster at work
Include READ Program information in your office or church newsletter.
Invite READ Program staff to speak at your meetings.

For more information about how you can support literacy and make a difference in someone's life, call (805) 677-7160.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Redlands Library :: Why is the Redlands Adult Literacy Program Important?

Why is the Redlands Adult Literacy Program Important?
Here’s What Some Donors Say
Redlands Daily Facts: 11.11.2017 by Diane Shimota, Adult Literacy Coordinator-A.K. Smiley Library

As we enter into this season of Thanksgiving, those involved with the Redlands Adult Literacy Program wish to express their gratitude to the Redlands community, which supports the program’s mission to help adults improve their reading and writing.

We contacted donors, some of whom also volunteer as tutors, to hear the reasons they thought adult literacy was a core service of the A.K. Smiley Public Library and how it benefited the community. We would like to share some of their responses, as they reflect the importance of adult literacy.

Redlands Mayor Pro Tem Paul Barich said he supports the adult literacy program because he believes “a city that has people who can read is a city that is prepared to make better decisions.”

Robert Dawes, the city’s treasurer, said, “In an age of greed and selfishness, the A.K Smiley Public Library’s adult literacy program stands as an enduring monument to the values of cooperation and sharing. Volunteers with nothing to gain but the satisfaction of helping people in need demonstrate astonishing selfless service. That’s why I donate to the adult literacy program.

“We are so lucky to live in Redlands and have both a great library and an adult literacy program that helps open the doors of the library to every citizen,” Dawes said. “The library is Albert Smiley’s gift to our town, and the adult literacy program is a way for Redlands citizens to prove ourselves worthy of Albert’s gift.”

Kate Pretorius, A.K. Smiley Public Library trustee, said, “We all need help from others at different times in our lives. The potential learners … are people who are taking the initiative in improving their lives and I want to encourage that in any way that I can.  READ MORE >>

To learn more, join us at the next Tutor Orientation, on January 29, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at the A. K. Smiley Public Library Assembly Room. Please call the Redlands Adult Literacy Program office at 909.798.7565, ext. 4138

Friday, November 10, 2017

Ventura County Library :: Trivia Challenge Literacy FUNdraiser :: Nov 15

29th Annual Trivia Challenge
READ Ventura County Library
Adult Literacy Program
November 15, 6 pm 
Wedgewood Banquet Center
5880 Olivas Park Drive, Ventura

Are you a trivia whiz?
How smart are you?
Find out at the annual Trivia Challenge
Tickets may be purchased at the door for $10.00
There will be appetizers, a no-host bar and an opportunity drawing

Sign up, sponsor a team or just come to watch
Donations for our youth teams are very welcome


The READ Program trains volunteers to provide free one-to-one reading and writing instruction.

The Ventura County Library has been offering this program since 1984.
Our administrative costs are included in the Ventura County Library's budget.
Additional funding comes from partnerships with other agencies, state grants and donations from businesses and service organizations.

Tutoring Sites
Instruction takes place in library, school, community and jail facilities throughout Ventura County.
These sites are managed by part-time professional educators, referred to as site supervisors.
Site supervisors are available during specified times to assess learner's reading levels, interview tutors, match students with tutors, recommend teaching materials and provide support for learning partners.


For more information about how you can support literacy and make a difference in someone's life, call (805) 677-7160.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Redlands Library :: Adult Literacy Program in the Spotlight at Fidelis Iota Retired Teachers’ Meeting

Redlands Adult Literacy Program in the spotlight at Fidelis Iota retired teachers’ meeting

Diane Shimota, coordinator of the Redlands Adult Literacy Program, presented the program at the October meeting of the Fidelis Iota chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa.

ADK is an honorary organization for women educators, and Fidelis Iota is the retired teachers’ chapter.

Shimota has been coordinator of the Redlands Adult Literacy Program, based at the A.K. Smiley Public Library, since 2016 and was a tutor for four years.

She said there are 109 learners who meet one and a half hours a week with their tutors. The free program is possible because of volunteer tutors who gave more than 6,000 service hours last year, according to a press release.
Shimota said the volunteer tutors get enrichment, make friends, and watch their learners achieve their goals.

Some learners are mothers whose children have started school. Others are retired and finally have time to work on their literacy goals. Some come to the program because there are changes at work that they want to be able to address.

Learners build confidence and gain independence in the program in addition to learning to read and write, Shimota said.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Literacy Reads: The One and Only Ivan

Join us for Literacy Reads, a book club for beginning adult readers and English language learners! Practice your reading and speaking skills, learn new words, and meet others in this fun and informal book club. Book selections will include a variety of reading levels. The Library will provide extra copies of the selected titles for checkout prior to the discussion. A light snack will be provided. No registration is required.

November 8th: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.
February 7th: From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Kongisburg.


This program is generously sponsored by the Placentia Library Friends Foundation.



Saturday, November 4, 2017

CLA Outstanding Librarian in Support of Literacy Award 2017 :: Ned Branch, Blanchard Community Library

Outstanding Librarian in Support of Literacy Award
CLA: 2017

Ned Branch, Blanchard Community Library

Four years ago, when the Blanchard Community Library in Santa Paula, California, found itself in the midst of legal, financial, and administrative difficulties, the Board of Trustees hired Ned Branch to turn around the library.

Previously, he worked in private post-secondary education for 27 years, having been affiliated with institutions in Northern and Southern California and Oregon.  During that time, he also frequently served as a member of accreditation review teams and worked extensively with state education agencies. His experience enabled him to put the library on solid financial foundation and to build a team of dedicated people to provide for the library’s future success. During the most recent school year, he initiated a partnership among the local school district, First Five of California, and the library to provide daytime ESL classes for parents and preschool instruction for children while the parents were in class. The district, First Five, and the library recently agreed to continue the program in the 2017-18 school year.

Last year the Santa Paula Latino Town Hall honored the library with its annual Community Service award, and this year the local Chamber of Commerce designated the library as the 2016 Non-Profit of the Year. Throughout his career, Ned has endeavored to help individuals change their lives for the better through education.  His commitment to adult literacy stems from his belief that literacy changes not only the life of the learner but also the learner’s children and, in turn, their children.

CLA's Outstanding Librarian in Support of Literacy Award recognizes a librarian who has demonstrated passion, excellence and dedication in support of adult literacy. One award is given each year and the recipient is honored at the CLA annual conference.

Past award recipients
Heather Pizzuto, Carlsbad City Library (2016) 
Jayanti Addleman, Monterey County Free Libraries (2015) 
Natasha Casteel, Roseville Public Library (2014) 
Patricia Noa, OC Public Libraries (2013)
Christy Aguirre, Sacramento Public Library (2012)
Patricia Lorenzo, Santa Clara County Library (2011)
Anne Cain, Contra Costa County Library (2010)
Derek Wolfgram, Santa Clara County Library (2009)
Jean Hofacket, Alameda County Library (2008)
Carol Starr, Marin County Free Library (2007)
John M. Adams, Orange County Public Library (2006)
Sofia Bellos, Oxnard Public Library (2005)
Leslie McGinnis, Oakland Public Library (2004)
Chuck Aston, Redwood City Public Library (2003)

Sponsored by the Library of Congress Literacy AwardsBALitSCLLN, and NCLC