Tag Archives: Berkeley Public Library Foundation

Berkeley library director Jeff Scott was not a ‘good fit’

Berkeley’s Central Library on Kittredge Street: its collection is being weeded and not everyone is happy and how it’s being done. Photo: Kaia Diringer
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Berkeley Library Director Jeff Scott was not forced out of his job but decided to resign after a conversation with Abigail Franklin, the chair of the Board of Library Directors, in which they both agreed he was not a “good fit” for the position, according to Franklin.

Franklin went to see Scott, 38, on the morning of Thursday Aug. 27, the day after a contentious BOLT board meeting in which some Berkeley residents called for Scott’s resignation because of his clumsy handling of a book-weeding process at the central library, and what they perceived as his untruthfulness, among other issues. That was the first time Franklin had had a chance to talk to Scott after the BOLT board held a closed session to consider accelerating the evaluation of Scott’s job performance. Scott took over as library director in November 2014 and hadn’t been scheduled for an evaluation for another few months, but the controversy prompted BOLT to bring up the issue earlier than expected.

“I’ll use his words when we were having one of our final conversations,” said Franklin. “He just admitted this probably wasn’t a good fit. I agreed.” … Continue reading »

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New South Branch library to open in Berkeley on Saturday

Officials will gather at 12:30 p.m. May 11 to officially open the new  South Branch library. This is the entrance. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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It was four days to D-Day and the place was hopping.

Painters rolled on a last coat of paint. IT guys fiddled with computer wire while architects strolled around looking for last minute glitches. Carpenters nailed sheets of plywood to a storage area.

In just a few hours, the new South Branch of the Berkeley Public Library was set to open. And, while the bulk of the construction was done, there were numerous small things that hadn’t been completely finished, like the landscaping, shelving all the books, installing all the computers, and the final build-out of the Tool Library.

“We have a lot to do in the next few days but we are feeling good about it,” Donna Corbeil, the city librarian, said on Tuesday. When pressed, though, about whether it would be finished, she took a long pause before answering with a resounding “Yes!” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley artist Vita Wells makes books fly at main library

Berkeley Library Art Installation 6/10
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Berkeley artist Vita Wells‘s newly installed work, Flights of Mind, spans three levels of the atrium of Berkeley’s main Public Library, and it literally makes books fly.

The installation features some two hundred altered, sculpted books suspended and airborne, as if flying in a spectacular natural formation, throughout a large portion of library building. The work was created for — and much admired at — Saturday’s Berkeley Public Library Foundation Authors Dinner (which we reported on earlier today). And now it is open to the general public to view, for free, for the next two weeks, through Feb. 24. … Continue reading »

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Local stars come out for the Berkeley Public Library

BPLF Authors Dinner 2013 - Berkeley CA.
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By Mal Warwick

Who knew? Former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart isn’t just a musician. It turns out he’s also a musicologist of considerable note, and he’s collaborating with neurologists to conduct research on the potential use of rhythm to reawaken brain function in people with dementia. Hart’s brief conversation in the spotlight with Event Chair Linda Schacht Gage at Saturday’s 11th Annual Berkeley Public Library Foundation Authors Dinner was the hit of the evening. Yes, Hart writes books on his research, too, and he was one of thirty recently published authors honored at the dinner.

Running a close second as a crowd-pleaser was Sam Barry, a San Francisco humorist, the brother of Pulitzer-Prize-winning humorist Dave Barry, whom he closely resembles and whose greetings he passed along. Sam Barry was recently a candidate for Mayor of San Francisco, running under the slogan, “How bad could he be?” But there’s more. Barry is also a virtuoso on the harmonica, and one short command performance led to an electrifying encore that left smiles stretching all across the room. … Continue reading »

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Renovated Claremont library branch opens Saturday

The exterior of the refurbished Claremont Library. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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After a year of construction, the refurbished Claremont Branch of the Berkeley Public Library will reopen Saturday May 5 at 1 pm with music, food, and greetings by a host of dignitaries.

“We’re so proud of it,” said Donna Corbeil, director of the library. “We are so excited.”

The renovation of the branch paid attention to historical details while installing state-of-the-art equipment that brings the building into the 21st century. The original 1924 entrance has been turned into a huge glass reading nook and the wooden furnishings have been redone, giving the main reading room a classic feel.

There are new computers in the reading room (eight for adults and three for children), an automated book-sorting system, a new heating and cooling system that should better control the library’s temperature and ventilation, and flat screens to see movies, get database training, or develop computer apps. … Continue reading »

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Gleaming new North Branch Library to open Saturday

The exterior of the renovated North Branch Library has new signs and seating. Photo: Nancy Rubin
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Workers were busy putting the finishing touches on the renovated North Branch Library last week in anticipation of its grand reopening on Saturday, April 7 at 1:00 pm.

The library has been closed for nearly a year and, when it reopens, patrons will see many recognizable features, but some new ones too.

“We’re really excited,” said Donna Corbeil, the library’s director.

The main circulation desk has been repositioned. New leather chairs form inviting spaces to read. There is an expanded computer room, and the library also has seven laptop computers for people to use. … Continue reading »

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Dates set for reopening of North and Claremont branches

Claremont Library Ashby side
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The renovated North Branch of the Berkeley Public Library will reopen on April 7, and the remodeled Claremont Branch will open shortly thereafter, on May 5, library officials announced Saturday night.

The re-opening of the two branches comes less than a year after they were shut for remodeling. It means that construction on Berkeley’s other two branches can start soon.

As a first step towards tearing down and rebuilding the South Branch, the Tool Lending Library at 1901 Russell Street will relocate. The Tool Lending Library will close Friday, February 17 and reopen March 20 in the Sawtooth Building at 2547 8th Street. Patrons are asked to return all tools by Friday this week.  The South Branch will close on March 17 and the West Branch is scheduled to close at the end of April, according to Donna Corbeil, the library’s executive director. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley settles contentious library lawsuit

The South Branch of the Berkeley Public Library
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The city of Berkeley has reached an agreement with Concerned Library Users over a lawsuit the group filed to stop the demolition and rebuilding of the South and West branches of the Berkeley Public Library.

In a closed session on Tuesday evening, the city council voted to settle the lawsuit by creating a $100,000 fund to provide grants to preserve historic buildings in the city’s south and west neighborhoods, according to Zach Cowan, the City attorney. The city also agreed … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Library Foundation honors local authors

Tom Leonard, head of the UC Berkeley libraries, and his wife, Carol
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Hundreds of people crowded into a gorgeously decorated Berkeley Main Library on Saturday night to toast local authors.

The honorees included Michael Chabon, Michael Lewis, Geoffrey Nunberg, Michelle Richmond, Alison Gopnik, Alan Black, Minal Hajratwala, Daniel Mason, Molly Katzen, Katie Hafner, Tamin Ansary, Andrew Beahrs, Sylvia Brownrigg, Ernest Callenbach, Novella Carpenter, Charlie Haas, and many more. Malcolm Margolin, the founder of Heyday Books, received the Fred and Pat Cody award for his outstanding contribution to the world of … Continue reading »

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