Tag Archives: Oakland

Oakland libraries imperiled by budget cuts

“Next summer Oakland could lose as many as six to eight of its libraries, though it’s too soon to tell which branches might end up on the chopping block. Funded partly by the city’s general fund and partly by Measure Q—a parcel tax issued in 2004 to expand library services and add a sixth day of service at all library branches—the Oakland Public Library could face a $2.5-3.5 million deficit in July 2015, nearly a 10% drop in its total budget. “Cities that have low-funded libraries are generally on the losing end,” Director of Library Services Gerry Garzón said in a recent interview. Garzón, who served as interim director before his appointment last year, inherited the library crisis from former library director Carmen Martinez in 2012. “We provide services for the entire gamut of our residents, starting from our young patrons all the way to our seniors,” Garzón said.” (via sfgate.com)

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Innovations in teen services at the Oakland Public Library

“The sound of youthful laughter carries down the hallway as I approach my destination, passing an 8-foot-tall graffiti mural. From the colorful couches, collage posters, and the lively mood, my first guess for the setting of this room would probably not be the Oakland Public Library. Some may imagine the public library as a stuffy, silent echo-chamber staffed by a bunch of out-of-touch old cat ladies.” (via Oakland Local)

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Oakland Public Library Again Serving Free Summer Lunches

“After working at the Oakland Public Library for more than 15 years, branch manager Pete Villaseñor has grown accustomed to kids hanging out in the library all summer long. For some, the library serves serve as ad hoc day care while their parents are at work. For others, the library is a safe place to escape the streets. Many kids show up in the morning and stay all day—but few have food or money to buy a meal. Eating summer lunch at the Elmhurst Branch of the Oakland Public Library. (Photo: Sharon McKellar) “During the summer, kids used to ask me for money,” Villaseñor said. “They wanted to go buy a burrito or tacos. Sometimes they’d ask me for food.” (via KQED News Fix)

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At least 10 arrested in Friday afternoon library cut protest in Oakland

Oakland Tribune – “Police made at least 10 arrests Friday afternoon as a band of more than 50 demonstrators protesting library cuts gathered downtown at 12th and Broadway and began blocking the street. The demonstration opposed Oakland library cuts and other austerity measures and began around 4 p.m. It was uneventful at first, but when the protesters moved to the street, blocking traffic, and refused police orders to disperse, at least 10 were arrested on suspicion of offenses ranging from failure to disperse to battery on a police officer.”

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Oakland Tribune editorial: Assembly Bill 438 is an anti-library measure

Oakland Tribune – “IN EACH legislative session in Sacramento, there is a flood of ill-conceived bills that deserve quick vetoes by the governor. Assembly Bill 438 is one of them. With the prolonged economic downturn, which has hit California particularly hard, cities have been forced to make painful reductions in spending. Among the leading targets are libraries, which often have their hours severely cut back in order to make funds available for basic government services. In some instances, libraries or branches have been closed to save money.”

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Jean Quan’s tax plan riles Oakland library backers

SF Chronicle – “Oakland Mayor Jean Quan has proposed cutting 14 of the city’s 18 libraries, including a venerated African American museum and library, unless unions slash their pay or voters pass an $11.2 million parcel tax. The proposal has riled library supporters, who have come to council chambers en masse to demand that the council place the tax on the ballot.”

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Zombies lurch down Telegraph to support libraries, brains

SF Gate – “Oakland library supporters crawled down Telegraph Avenue Saturday evening in their zombie finest to protest the potential closure of 14 of the city’s 18 libraries. The living dead, organized by the group Save Oakland Public Libraries, groaned “Zombies need brains, keep libraries open!” to passerbys in cars, restaurants, and at Oakland’s Uptown galleries, and urged them to “keep Oakland brains the tastiest in California.”

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Even considering closing Oakland libraries infuriates many

Oakland Tribune – “Henry Delton Williams was outraged when he heard that the African American Museum and Library at Oakland could be on the chopping block under one of three budget scenarios proposed by Mayor Jean Quan. Williams designed costumes for Motown and Hollywood stars, and was one of the first in the Bay Area to sell traditional African dashikis and African clothing in the 1960s. His store, the Original Brothers on the corner of 18th Street and San Pablo Avenue, pioneered designs to fit the new black pride movement and notions of “Black is beautiful.”

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