Tag Archives: Berkeley Public Library
The American Institute of Architecture San Francisco announced the winners of its annual Design Awards on Friday and two Berkeley names made the grade.
The renovation of Berkeley’s North Branch Library on The Alameda, by San Francisco firm Architectural Resources Group and Tom Eliot Fisch, earned a Merit Award for Historic Preservation. “This publicly funded project preserved, expanded, and updated the City of Berkeley’s beloved 1936 North Branch Library on The Alameda,” AIA SF wrote in its award list. “The $4.5 million, LEED Silver project included rehabilitation of 5,700 sq ft of historic spaces and a new 3,900 sq ft addition and was completed in 2012.”
It was the second architecture award for the North Branch Library this month. It was also one of nine Berkeley buildings recognized for representing the best recent design work in Berkeley by Berkeley Design Advocates in early April. … Continue reading »
Fourteen months after it was closed and torn down, the new South Branch of the Berkeley Public Library will reopen on Saturday May 11.
At 12:30 p.m. local officials and library supporters will gather for a ribbon cutting ceremony at 1901 Russell Street, right at the intersection of MLK. After that, the library will be open for normal business until 5:00 p.m.
When patrons walk inside the new 8,700 square foot, $6.5 million building, they will see something completely different from the award-winning, but clumsily remodeled, old South Branch building. The ceilings are higher, there are more windows, there are dedicated spaces for computers and other multimedia equipment, as well as more lounge chairs. Copper artwork by artist Gina Dominguez is displayed throughout the building. Solar panels will reduce heating costs.
Nine buildings have been singled out as representing the best new design work in Berkeley for 2010-2012. Berkeley Design Advocates, a volunteer group of architects and urban planners, selected three UC Berkeley buildings, a restaurant, a senior home, two retail spaces — one newly built, one restored — a wine store, and the renovation of a branch library from a list of 15 submissions, and handed out the award certificates at a ceremony on Thursday, March 28. (See the 2013 Awards Brochure for full details.)
This year threw up a particularly impressive crop of winners, according to Anthony Bruzzone, President of BDA, who said that two years ago, with the recession having put the kibosh on many construction projects, the group was concerned it might have no buildings to consider at all in 2013. … Continue reading »
MARCH MADNESS, BORP STYLE The annual Northern California Hoops Classic wheelchair basketball tournament runs all weekend at the James Kenney Recreation Center, 1720 8th Street. Hosted by the Bay Area Outreach & Recreation Program (BORP), Berkeley’s own BORP All-Stars — an adult team — and BORP Bay Cruisers — a youth team and the reigning West Coast Conference champions — are among the teams competing. Games run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Mar. 23 (nine games) and from 9 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Mar. 24 (four games). Admission free.
MASH UP AT BAM How does this sound: “The lyrics of Bob Dylan set to the music of Prince? Or the lyrics of Prince set to the music of Bob Dylan?” That’s the promise of this week’s L@te event on Friday, Mar. 22 at BAM, Positively Alphabet Street. PC Munoz’s Singing Blood does the mash up of folk and funk. Also on offer is Schumann’s First String Quartet and a video piece from Christopher Ariza. Tickets are $7 and doors open at 5 p.m. for the 7:30 p.m. performance. … Continue reading »
BOONA CHEEMA For decades Boona Cheema has been a fixture on the Berkeley scene, a recognized leader in the struggle to end homelessness in the city as well as state and national levels. (Read a profile in the San Francisco Chronicle.) On Saturday, Cheema will hand over the directorship of housing and services provider BOSS (Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency), where she has served for 35 years, to incoming Executive Director Donald Frazier. Frazier, formerly with Center Point in San Francisco, takes the reins on March 1. The handing over of the baton will be part of “Booma Cheema’s Goodbye Gala: From The Heart: A Legacy of Love…And New Beginnings,” with food and drinks from local restaurants, and music by Fua Dia Congo, Duniya Dance Company. Saturday Feb. 23, 2013, 6:00-9:00 pm, at Uptown Body & Fender, 401 26th Street in Oakland ($5 valet parking). Tickets $125 ($60 nonprofit, $35 low income). Visit BOSS online for details. Or by phone (510) 649-1930 x 222. … Continue reading »
The popular Paws to Read program started up at the Berkeley Public Library’s North Branch on Tuesday this week, and Berkeleyside photo intern Kaia Diringer dropped by to capture the event.
The program, which runs weekly through March 12, sees children in grades kindergarten through five reading aloud to a gentle dog provided by TherapyPets, a nonprofit all volunteer organization based in Oakland.
Paws to Read allows children to practice oral fluency, spend time with a friendly dog, and have fun. “The goal is to help build a child’s self-esteem and confidence, as well as foster a fondness for reading,” the library said in a statement. Other Bay Area communities have successful Paws to Read programs. … Continue reading »
The Berkeley Public Library has set up a 25-question survey to get the scoop from local residents about how they see and use library programs, events and facilities.
After the failure of Measure S to pass in November, we heard from one reader who said there seemed to have been harsher enforcement around town of violations related to homelessness. The reader said a homeless friend had been hassled by police when trying to sleep in a regular spot, and also wanted to know about new rules at the library that limit the size and type of items that can be brought inside.
The reader sent us an email in December detailing the changes, and asked Berkeleyside to learn more.
“Since the no-sit measure failed, the city has begun new, more aggressive treatment of the homeless. My homeless neighbor … has been told he could sleep in the doorway of a movie theater but last night, a cop rousted him from his dry, out-of-the-rain perch in the theater’s doorway. The cop said the theater could face stiff fines for giving [my neighbor] permission to sleep in their doorway on a rainy night.” … Continue reading »
Two months after a contractor irreparably damaged the root system of a towering redwood tree that was slated to be the centerpiece of the garden at the West Branch library, the trustees of the Berkeley Public Library Board are on the verge of selecting another species to take its place.
The BOLT Board is expected on Wednesday night to select a Cork Oak tree to be the “signature” tree in the garden of the West Branch Library at 1125 University Avenue, currently being rebuilt. The Cork Oak , a native of Portugal, can grow about 40 feet high and 40 feet wide, according to John N. Roberts, a landscape architect working with Harley Ellis Devereaux, the architects on the branch reconstruction project. … Continue reading »
A recent effort by the Berkeley Public Library to encourage patrons to return, and get back misplaced items, was, according to library staff, a success.
“We’re really pleased with how the Fines Amnesty went. More users came back to the Library, we recovered lost materials, and I think it generated a lot of goodwill right before the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Douglas Smith, deputy library director, via email.
The amnesty program took place for about two weeks in November; patrons had to go into the library or otherwise speak with staff to get overdue fees waived. (Patrons were still held responsible for fees for missing items, damaged materials and the like.)
The library waived $28,139 in fines, and collected about $4,300 in fees not subject to the amnesty, such as replacement charges for lost or damaged books. … Continue reading »
NOW IS THE WINTER OF OUR DISCONTENT It seems appropriate that during after such a contested and divisive election The Actor’s Ensemble of Berkeley is performing Richard III, the classic Shakespeare tale of “the lust for power gone berserk.” The king won’t let anyone stand in the way of his desire for the crown of England. Richard III, directed by Sharon Huff Robinson, is the Actor’s Ensemble’s final production for its 55th season. It runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until Nov 17 at Live Oak Theater.
BOOKS OF ALL STRIPES, GALORE Every book lover in town knows that the Friends of the Berkeley Public Library’s annual book sale is a great place to pick up tomes at a discount. All books, CDs, DVDs, and records are only 50 cents apiece. This year the Friends have added new categories such as sexuality, humor, and vintage. The sale takes place on Saturday Nov. 10 on the third floor of the Central Library at 2090 Kittredge Street and runs from 10 to 4 pm. Lines can be long, so arrive early. … Continue reading »