Planning a legacy for the library

[She] frequently used the Santa Clara Libraries for over 35 years and believed in the freedom to read, educate, and inspire. She felt those to be human rights and knew the public libraries were a vital key in providing those resources and more. This [bequest] is her way of saying thank you for all your facility had to offer and to help ensure it can continue its vital purpose in the Santa Clara community.

This is a quote from a letter we got along with a bequest someone had made to us, and something we thought was lovely. If you are thinking about including the Library in your will or trust, please take a look at our Planned Giving information.

Hackathon at the Library

On Sunday March 12, the Library and the Wilcox High School Programming Club hosted its first 12 hour hackathon, SCHACKS. The content of this event was organized entirely by the WHS students. They also worked the whole 14 hour day and recruited the judges.

Despite the 8:00 a.m. start time, made even earlier because of daylight savings, thirty teens showed up ready to program and code.

Eight teams were given the choice of two specific challenge prompts and an open topic. Challenge #1 focused on creating an online resource to combat cyberbullying.

Challenge #2 focused on creating an app or website that would encourage the use of our Library’s resources.

A software engineer from Oracle, a Google programmer and AP computer science teacher from Wilcox, and another Wilcox CS teacher acted as judges. Gift cards were given out as prizes.

Overall Winner: MOUZE
A team of two 14 year old boys created an app that turns a smartphone into a wireless mouse. They used their iPhone mouse during their presentation to demonstrate the app. Seemed that they had a problem with their original mouse and came up with a solution and project for the hackathon at the same time.

Challenge #1 Winner: CHANGE
A team of three high school girls created an impressive webpage to fight and bring awareness to cyberbullying.

Challenge #2 Winner: RentIt
A team of two high school boys created an app that allows users to rent books that the Library doesn’t readily have available. Integrating the Library’s catalog, Google Maps, and accounts for users, this app allows readers to find a needed book close to their location and without having to buy it. It also allows readers to rent out their books…for the right price, of course.

Even though it was a long day, it was an awesome event. The Programming Club members acted as mentors trouble shooting and helping with problems, Charity’s husband, Scott, was also here as an adult mentor, teens happily ate and snacked on food all day long, and proud parents watched the presentations. They worked hard and lots of great ideas were presented. It was really inspiring to see so many teens being creative and creating. Now that this 12 hour hackathon is in the books, a 24 hour event is our goal.

Thank you to the Yahoo Employee Foundation for supporting this event.

The library is the place to be

Did you see the Santa Clara City Library in the Merc this weekend? There were lots of great quotes about all the wonderful things that the library does, including support from the Foundation & Friends:

These expanded programs are accomplished partly through city funding, but generously supplemented by “friends of the library” foundations, plus grants, volunteers and partnerships. In Oakland, the library works with AARP tax specialists to offer tax-prep assistance, and with pro bono attorneys from the Alameda County Law Library to offer free legal consultations each week. Mountain View partners with the YMCA for fitness classes with beginner-level strength training. Santa Clara brings in Silicon Valley tech innovators to inspire young people in STEM programs (science, technology, engineering and math).

“Our city is so supportive of the library,” Sims says. “We spend city resources on books and staff and core programs, but it’s our Foundation and Friends support that allows us to do the extras. They know our communities are really thirsty for different, enriching real-life experiences.”

We wouldn’t be able to support our library without people like who, who donate their books, shop at our book store, become Friends of the library, come to Librarypalooza, or simply donate. Thank you so much for helping our library become such a thriving, vibrant place!

Libraries Need You!

We are library lovers, and we know you are too. Please share your love of libraries with your representatives to ensure they are the best they can be.

Please call your senators and congressperson today!! The President’s proposed budget would eliminate all federal funding for libraries of all kinds. As this ALA press release says, the return on investment from federal funds is enormous. Your state library provides interlibrary loan, all kinds of information databases, and consulting services through Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) funding. Your library WILL suffer if these funds are cut.

SCA 3 by Senator Bill Dodd is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee on Wednesday, March 29. The bill, which is sponsored by the California Library Association, seeks to lower the local vote threshold for library construction bonds from the current two-thirds vote to 55%. This bill would bring libraries in line with the same 55% vote threshold that is currently afforded K-12 schools for local construction bonds.

As of March 13, the author’s office informed CLA (California Library Association) that they are in receipt of only 8 letters of support for the measure. The last time a similar bill was heard in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee (SCA 7-Wolk – 55% vote for library bonds and special taxes), the Senators received upwards of 100 support letters each. It is essential that library supporters demonstrate their enthusiasm for SCA 3-Dodd so that the legislature understands this is a priority issue for libraries and their communities.

Please take a moment today to send your letter of support for SCA 3-Dodd. Below are the Senators who should receive your letters no later than March 20th. This deadline will ensure that your group or community is appropriately listed in the official Senate Governance and Finance Committee analysis that is made available to the legislature and the public.

In your letters, please indicate how important public libraries are to your community, the many services you provide to patrons daily, and the critical need to have the infrastructure that will support these vital services. Please stress how essential it is to give your local community the tools and the authority to decide if they would like to levy a library bond for new construction, renovation, or expansion by a 55% vote. (For your ease of use, here is a sample letter.)

Senate Governance and Finance Committee – Hearing: March 29, 2017
The Honorable Mike McGuire, Chair (D-Healdsburg) Note: Co-author of SCA-3
California State Senate
State Capitol, Room 5061
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Fax: (916) 651-4902

The Honorable Janet Nguyen, Vice Chair (R-Garden Grove)
California State Senate
State Capitol, Room 3048
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Fax: (916) 651-4934

The Honorable Jim Beall (D-San Jose)
California State Senate
State Capitol, Room 2082
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Fax: (916) 651-4915

The Honorable Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina)
California State Senate
State Capitol, Room 2080
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Fax: (916) 651-4922

The Honorable Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys)
California State Senate
State Capitol, Room 4038
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Fax: (916) 651-4918

The Honorable Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens)
California State Senate
State Capitol, Room 5050
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Fax: (916) 651-4933

The Honorable John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa)
California State Senate
State Capitol, Room 2048
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Fax: (916) 651-4937

And SCA 3 author:
The Honorable Bill Dodd (D-Napa)
California State Senate
State Capitol, Room 5064
Sacramento, CA. 95814
Fax: (916) 651-4903

Also please reach out to your local representative in support of this bill.

Thank you for making a difference at your library!

Our March Book Sale is tomorrow!

Our March Book Sale is this weekend! We’ll have over 150 boxes of books for sale, full of computer, kids, foreign language, and fiction books for you to peruse.

This is a great time to find books for your Spring Break vacations or find another book to read or movie to watch just because.

10am – 11:45am – sales are per item
12pm – 2pm – sales are $5/grocery bag

Doors open at 9am for Friends members. (Not a member? Become one today!)

Margie Edinger Room, Sycamore Room, and on the front patio at Central Park Library. Make sure to hit all three places!

Celebrating Ruth Colvin and Adult Literacy

Come and celebrate Ruth Colvin on Saturday March 18th at the Santa Clara Senior Center! Ruth is an amazing woman who has had a huge impact on the adult literacy movement. She’s the founder of Literacy Volunteers of America, has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and is a member of the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Ruth has written several books and traveled the world to share the gift of literacy.

We’re so proud to host this talk and panel with Ruth and some of our Read Santa Clara adult learners. We hope to see you there!

Dinner with Chef Cory

Dinner with Chef Cory at the Yan Can Bistro in Northside is always one of our most popular Librarypalooza auction items. So it’s always fun to see him pop up on TV around Lunar New Year time!

Do watch him cooking wontons and Chinese Hot Pot. It’s always fun!

Join us for STEM Central

STEM Central is an all-day, family-friendly event celebrating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in heart of Silicon Valley. Visitors will come face to face with every manner of technology, from printing presses and glassblowing to virtual reality, robots, and drones. A full day of speakers includes panels from women in STEM fields, wildlife experts, and a planetary scientist from SETI. Younger visitors will get hands-on at interactive Innovation Stations throughout the library, where children and adults can work together to build circuits, learn to write code, and launch their very own rocket. Santa Clara City Library has partnered with local tech companies to create an experience that will inspire our students and community. STEM Central will take place at Central Park Library from 10:00am to 4:00pm on Saturday, April 29th. Get more information about this exciting upcoming event and reserve your free tickets at

A huge thanks to the Yahoo Employee Foundation for being the main sponsor of this event. We hope to see you there!


charging station

You can charge your phone at the Central Park Library now! There are twelve charging stations for both iPhone and Android devices scattered around the library. So when your battery is running low, you can swing by and plug in your tablet or phone or mobile device and charge up.

The library will add a larger charging station at Central Park Library and smaller stations at Northside and Mission soon, so keep an eye out.

Smoke Gets in your Eyes

The library will be using Smoke Gets in Your Eyes as a basis for a series of classes and sessions about death acceptance and end-of-life issues in late March and early April. This is a fun book about a heavy topic. Right now, the library has a small number of copies to give away! Just go up to the reference or customer service desks at Central Park Library and ask. I’m not sure how long they’ll last.

The classes currently on the Library’s event calendar include:

This is a wonderful opportunity to explore an important subject.