Tag Archives: Friends of the Berkeley Public Library

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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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

Mollie Katzen in her garden in Berkeley. Photo: Mollie Katzen
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Want to know what a world-famous chef peruses in the comfort of her own home? If so, rush down to the Friends of the Berkeley Public Library’s store on Channing for its annual cookbook sale. Mollie Katzen, who shot to fame with her “Moosewood Cookbook,” and who has since written almost a dozen others, including 2013’s “The Heart of the Plate: Vegetarian Recipes for a New Generation,” donated about 400 books for the sale. They are cookbooks for which Katzen has written a foreward, has reviewed, and maybe, just maybe cooked from. There are even some of her own cookbooks. And, as usual, the prices are “ridiculously low.” The Friends of the Library store is at 2433 Channing Way and is open Tuesday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (There is also a Friends store in the Central Branch but it does not have Katzen’s books) … Continue reading »

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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

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The Coast of Utopia: ShipwreckMARATHON THEATER  Shotgun Players, “the biggest little theater company in town,” secured the rights last year to put on Tom Stoppard’s Coast of Utopia trilogy. This season Shotgun is producing Part Two: Shipwreck, along with some repeat performances of Part One: Voyage.” In Voyage, we met our young heroes in the first blushes of revolutionary thought and love. Now, with Shipwreck, we find them in their 30s. “The optimism of their early years has hit the rocks of marital infidelity, social anarchy, and a tsar who has no intention of stepping down. The stakes go up dramatically in this next great duel between the heart and mind.” The plays are directed by Shotgun’s artistic director Patrick Dooley. Through April 21 at the Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby Avenue. … Continue reading »

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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

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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 »

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Were you a winner in our Caltopia raffle?

Baskets filled to the brim with gift certificates and pizza for a year from LaVal's
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The two days of Caltopia were quite a whirl for students, faculty and staff, as well as for exhibitors like Berkeleyside. From the tens of thousands who passed through the self-proclaimed “greatest days on planet Earth”, we were able to have conversations about local news with hundreds of people, we launched OneNews/Berkeleyside, our exciting new citizen journalism app, and we even found some potential new journalists.

But what about the Berkeleyside raffle? We partnered with a host of wonderful Berkeley businesses … Continue reading »

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Thousands of Cal students, staff flock to Caltopia

Students new and old come out in droves for the community-boosting swag-fest that is Caltopia
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UC Berkeley freshmen, some looking dazed, others excited, as well as more blasé seniors, turned out in their thousands on Sunday for Day One of Caltopia, the self-described “two greatest days on the planet”.

The event, held at the UC Berkeley Recreational Sports Facility at 2301 Bancroft Way, sees more than 100 exhibitors showcasing their wares and services to the Cal community, including the university’s staff and faculty.

It’s a combination of freebie-fest — with giveaways galore, be it bites of Clif Bars, T-shirts, pens and mouse pads and the chance to win covetable prizes like Kindles from big brand names like Pepsi  — and social mixer.

Berkeleyside made its debut at Calopia yesterday and we will be there again today. Find us at booth E104.

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UC Berkeley’s Caltopia: The ultimate Town & Gown affair

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This weekend, when around 30,000 students and faculty stroll through Caltopia, browsing the booths of more than 100 exhibitors, Berkeley’s two driving forces, the city and its university, will be pitched in perfect harmony. And Berkeleyside will be there to sing along too.

Caltopia was launched nine years ago as a way for Berkeley businesses to welcome Cal students, both current and new, back to school. The event runs on Sunday and Monday this year, and classes start up … Continue reading »

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Friends of Berkeley library resurrect beloved book sale

Library sale rush
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The last time the Friends of the Berkeley Public Library held a huge used book sale, hundreds of people lined up early in the morning to get first crack at rare and unusual books.

That was back in 1999.

In the ensuing 12 years, the Friends have sold used books at their two bookstores, one located on the first floor of the main library and the other at 2433 Channing near Telegraph. But the two stores don’t move inventory quite like a big sale, so the Friends of the Berkeley Public Library have decided to resurrect their once-much-beloved book sale.

It will take place Saturday May 14 from 10 to 4 pm in the community room on the third floor of the Main Library.

“In the past year, more book donations than ever have poured in, and it was these surplus donations that convinced the Friends to re-institute an annual sale — not yet as big as the “old” sale and with three big changes: everything will sell for 50 cents, the sale will be held inside the Library, and more than books will be sold — videos, phonograph records, maps, pamphlets, DVDs, CDs, and so on,” the Friends announced in a press release. “There’ll even be a whole section for vampire books!” … Continue reading »

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$1 million for branch libraries; lawsuit pending

Interior of the Claremont branch library
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Just months before renovations begin on two of Berkeley’s branch libraries, the Neighborhood Library Campaign announced that it has raised more than $1 million  — almost a third of its $3.5 million goal — for the restoration work.

The funds will be used to repair the oak furniture in the Claremont and North branch libraries, buy new desks, chairs and tables, change out fluorescent lights, and acquire other equipment for the North and West branches, according to Linda Schacht Gage, the chair of the Neighborhood Library capital campaign.

“It shows that the community is behind us,” said Gage.

The $1 million came from a group of about 100 people, and the campaign will now branch out more broadly to ask for support. The Friends of the Berkeley Public Library donated $150,000 and the filmmaker Saul Zaentz contributed $25,000, she said. Then, in late November, one donor gave $200,000 and another contributed $250,000, putting the fund over the $1 million mark. Both will remain anonymous for a while, said Gage.

But the good fundraising news is shadowed slightly by recent challenges to the city’s plans to renovate its four branch libraries by 2013. A group calling itself Concerned Library Users filed a lawsuit against Berkeley in September (you can download a PDF of the nine-page filing), contending that funds from Measure FF cannot be used to tear down and rebuild the South and West branches, which the city wants to do. … Continue reading »

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Local business

Least known, best used book store in town

FOL store
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Jim Rosenau writes:

Parking garage or book store?

Certainly our least visible used book store with the best deals is operated by the Friends of Berkeley Public Library. The volunteer-run store has a sweetheart lease from the city, which owns the parking garage just west of Telegraph between Channing and Durant.  Enter from either street via a tunnel-like walkway or from the parking garage directly.

You’ll find a well-lit store, recently expanded and remodeled with quality books carefully organized … Continue reading »

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