September 2012 Report


Library Director’s Report- September 2012

A Sequoia High School student project on safe and unsafe places in the community features the Downtown Library as one of the safe spaces in the city for teens.

Redwood City Public Library is partnering with the Redwood City School District and the San Mateo County Office of Education to give every public school in the county the opportunity to get a library card in the hands of every student. We of course will still do our KinderCard Campaign this year.

We have consistently held programs for job seekers this past year. A recap of the activity:

  • More than 1,000 community members have participated in 38 intensive programs at the Downtown Library.
  • One [Phase2 Careers] program participant said, “Thank you so much for scheduling me for mock interviews today. I received great resume and interviewing feedback…This was a great experience. I am now one step closer to achieving my career goals.”
  • Programs like “Job Search Review” give participants practice with public speaking and networking. Panelists addressed their particular situations, such as dealing with career expiration, and sometimes, there is a job lead offered by the panelist. These offers provide some of the most rewarding moments in programming for job seekers.
  • JobTrain and PeninsulaWorks partnerships have allowed us to introduce bilingual resume help, reaching out to more people in the community.
  • Topics have ranged from social networking, interviewing, resume help, career development, employment roundtable panels showcasing Bay Area companies and opportunities to access government services, such as EDD.
  • How we make it happen – Our Primary Partners:
    • Friends of the Library – Our Funders
    • Phase2 Careers – The mission of Phase2Careers is to assist the “Over 40” Worker in the Bay Area with finding new career opportunities through job search/career development workshops, networking / recruitment events, and special career presentations.
    • JobTrain – JobTrain typically offers daytime vocational programs, evening classes, and an assessment Center, as well as job placement counseling to our trainees, assistance with developing skills for conducting a job search, and help individuals learn the computer skills they need to find and keep a job.
    • Job Lab – staffed by volunteers with human resources experience, Job Lab offers help for adults with job searching, online applications and resume coaching.
    • JobScout – JobScout is an online learning platform that teaches basic Internet skills needed to find a job.
    • PeninsulaWorks, especially TOOLS programs – employment and training solutions in San MateoCounty. Our passion is helping job seekers and laid off workers, and those businesses that are in need of tapping into a diverse pool of talent to remain competitive.

The contract has been approved to hire an architect who will help design a more efficient lobby layout at the Downtown Library. more efficient lobby layout at the Downtown Library.

The Library Foundation held a benefactor’s circle donor event in September, kicking off their new campaign to raise funds for Project READ’s Kids in Partnership program. Several youth who are in the program spoke about their experience and I spoke about the importance of literacy including these points:

  • Being able to read is an essential skill for all learning and school success which in turn makes it better for public safety, jobs, the local economy, etc..
  • Reading begins at birth when parents and caregivers read to their babies.
  • By 2 years old, the brain has developed all the language capability needed for life—indeed, the cells and synapses where language is stored begin to die off after 2 years of life if not used!
  • The older the child (or adult) the more resource intensive it is to get them to reading proficiency.
  • One of the indices used by prison planning officials when estimating how many beds, cells, jail/prison space will be needed in the future is how many kids are proficient at reading by 5th grade!
  • There is a direct relationship between illiteracy and incarceration.
  • The illiteracy rate in our local jail is 90%! (that’s why the library works with inmates on this—both male and female).
  • This past year’s test scores show that only 42% of our Redwood CityPublic School 3rds graders reading at grade level!

The Friends of the Library voted to allocate $80,000 to fund various programs this year including adult author events, discover and go to museums, job help, children’s author events, online homework access, teen programs, family programs, the summer reading club, traveling storytime materials and the new baby and me program. The Library Foundation is funding additional author events and storytimes as well as raising funds for Project READ.

September was a busy month for Project READ’s Family Literacy Instructional Center, with over 50 youth learners dropping in for tutoring on our busiest nights. It’s a dynamic environment filled with positive energy from our families and tutors. This semester over 20 teen tutors are helping our youngest learners each week with reading and homework. Along with our community tutors and our Junior League partners, our families and youth learners are able to receive services throughout the week.

Project READ Teen Tutors

This month 10 new teen tutors graduated our training program and began tutoring right away, adding to the collaborative learning center. Many of our teens have been referring Project READ to friends and peers—an exciting way to start the school year! We are able to see siblings helping other siblings and families working alongside each other. Our teen tutors have become the core of FLIC and inspire others around them

The Atherton Town Council voted recently to approve a ballot measure on the plan to build a new Atherton Library in Holbrook-PalmerPark. Essentially Measure F asks residents to decide if they want a new library to replace the Main House in the park. The Town and Council is divided on this issue. Some residents that are opposed to the new library in the park have started a conversation about other options for library service. These include a mix of: privatization, withdrawing from the JPA, remodeling the current structure, having no library, and utilizing neighboring libraries. Information on Measure F is available at (the YouTube video has the information about utilizing Menlo Park and Redwood City Libraries):


According to current research, shortly after birth a baby’s brain contains more nerve cell connections (synapses) than he or she will ever use.

  • By the age of two, a child’s brain contains twice as many synapses as the brain of a normal adult.
  • Over time, the brain eliminates synapses that are seldom or never used.
  • It’s also been discovered that by the time babies reach their first birthday, they will have learned all the sounds needed to speak their native language.

Given those points, it’s therefore crucial to maximize the development of these young children during these important periods in their growth. And the best way to do this is through an early literacy program that encourages parents to take the time to read to their babies, beginning at birth.

The Traveling Storytime program has always attracted a number of young volunteers that go out to local preschools and home daycare centers in Redwood City to share their love of books and reading. Recently, there have been several young volunteers that have taken their involvement with Traveling Storytime to a much higher level. One 7th grader spent last year reading to the children at John Gill Elementary as part of her Mitzvot (“good deed”) for HebrewSchool. She also raised $150 as part of her program that she gave to the Traveling Storytime program to buy books for the new “Baby and Me at the Library”. Girl Scout Troop 61796 read at FootstepsChildCareCenter as part of the requirements for their Bronze Award. This summer they held a garage sale which resulted in a $250 donation to be used for the “Baby and Me at the Library” program and to develop a book bag on “Community Helpers” for the Traveling Storytime program. The third teen volunteer, a Boy Scout, started with the program two years ago and reads at a local preschool. He also organizes his troop each year to volunteer at the Kindercard program. Currently, this Boy Scout is planning his Eagle Scout project around the Traveling Storytime program. He is researching ways to raise enough money to buy books to distribute to groups of deserving Redwood City children that he reads to. It has been such an honor to be involved in the lives of these amazing and generous young adults. Hopefully this is just the beginning for them and that they continue to experience the joy of volunteering in their community!

San Mateo County is remodeling their side of the Fair Oaks facility and here is the latest update.

  • The project will start in early October 2012
  • It will take a couple of months and should be completed by mid December 2012.
  • They lobby area will be totally remodeled.
  • The public bathrooms will also be getting an upgrade and made more family friendly.
  • The Team will check with the FOCC to see if our customers can use their bathroom facilities during the time of the remodel.
  • The meeting rooms will be left in place for the moment.
  • The camera and monitor are on the list to get upgraded and replaced.

The Zoppe Circus will once again set up adjacent to the Downtown Library for two weeks in October. Parking Lot A will be closed.

PLS is researching bandwidth increases. There was a discussion on the impact ofwireless usage, the feasibility of user authentication for wireless, and the implications of providing wireless after hours and for other city/county facilities. PLAN staff will provide data regarding wireless and wired use across the system. Currently PLS is using up to 60% of the internet traffic share with SMCCD. There are pending requests from libraries for increased bandwidth, and we need to have an appropriate cost structure in place that reflects future needs. Also, There have been requests for extending the wireless signal to community buildings as well as leaving the signal on all night. Pat asked that a task force be formed to review the issues and make recommendations to the Council. The Council agreed that in the meantime, there will be no additional wireless access after hours.

We will be implementing a new mobile app called, Boopsie which allows access to features outside the ILS which will be maintained by local library staff for better local control. Boopsie provides each jurisdiction their own setup with their own colors and branding Each jurisdiction can market their jurisdiction’s information sitting under the PLS umbrella (purple branding page).

Boopsie Mobile App Info

  • Catalog Search Provides patrons with real-time access to your collection
  • ILS Integration for My Account Features Gives patrons the ability to manage their accounts, including placing holds and renewals Library Locator GPS-aware technology shares branch locations, hours of operation and contact information.
  • Ask a Library, with direct connection to staff via text, email or phone, customers can reach us from any location.
  • Calendar and Events anytime, anywhere access to your calendar of events, classes and computer lab schedules.
  • Additional Content Instantly connects customers to reading lists, homework resources and other content.
  • Easy access all other online services including and Mango.
  • Customers can stay up-to-date with the latest news via Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, or blog posts, while interacting in real time by commenting, “liking” or re-tweeting directly from their mobile devices.
  • Customers can instantly check out a book, DVD or CD from anywhere within your library using their mobile devices, making any mobile device a self-checkout terminal.
  • One-click access to OverDrive titles, making it more efficient to find and download titles.
  • Customers can easily enter or scan the ISBN barcodes of books they find in bookstores, or even at a friend’s house, to see if they’re available at the library.
  • Directly access licensed services such as publisher reviews, bibliographic information and crowd-sourced sites, like, from within the app.

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