Launch of the Library’s Veterans Resource Center: Guest Blog by LBPLF Board Director Mary Hinds
A service member’s connection to the military does not end with his or her last day of active duty. After separation from service, the veteran and his or her family are connected for life to a substantial system of benefits and support. But navigating these can be a challenge. The Long Beach Public Library is now positioned to help.
On Saturday, June 9, the new Veterans Resource Center opened on the Lower Level of the Main Library. With the goal of supporting veterans and connecting them to as many services as possible, the Center is a place for veterans and their families to have questions answered and resources recommended. It offers computers and literature, as well as counseling and workshops on topics ranging from finances and wellness to employment and family needs. There are also opportunities to volunteer at the Center to help others.
Those attending the opening day ribbon cutting demonstrated the widespread support for the Library’s Center. Guests included Richard Jordan, Chief of Staff to the Board of Harbor Commissioners, Port of Long Beach; Anthony Rodriquez, CalVet Local Interagency Network Coordinator for Los Angeles and Ventura Counties; Los Angeles County Veteran Services Officer Chad Mackey, and five members of the Long Beach Veterans Commission.
The opening of the Veterans Resource Center was the culminating event of Main Library’s Book to Action program. It was made possible through a grant from the California State Library’s Veterans Connect @ The Library project.
Mary Hancock Hinds is the Dependent Spouse of Lt. Col. Steve Hinds, USMC-ret, and a long-time Board member of the Long Beach Public Library Foundation.
Summer Reading Takes Children to New Heights
Once the school year ends, children face the summer slide where they miss out on learning opportunities and often fall behind academically. A study funded by the U.S. Department of Education showed that summer reading loss can add up to the equivalent of three years of reading loss by the end of 5th grade. If left unattended, the gap can widen to four years of reading loss by the end of 12th grade. This issue has a harsh effect on low-income children with more than 80% of children from economically disadvantaged communities losing reading skills over the summer.
To combat these statistics and help local children reach their full potential, the Long Beach librarians are taking on the role of literary travel agents for the “Reading Takes You Everywhere” Summer Reading Program. This year’s theme invites readers to explore new worlds, both real and fictional, with passports provided by the Library to track their literary journeys. Librarians reward readers in the program with prizes. There are over 70 events and activities for children, teens, adults, and families from story times and live musical performances to magic shows and encounters with visiting wildlife.
The Library Foundation is proud to once again support this program thanks to donations to our organization, including a generous contribution from Niagara Cares. Visit your local Long Beach Public Library to embark on your journey. CLICK HERE to check out the Summer Reading events calendar.
If you would like to support the Library Foundation as we continue to fund Library programs like summer reading, consider making a tax-deductible donation.
Libraries Transform for Healthy Communities
Check out the video above for a tour of the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library Learning Garden by GrowingYourGreens.com.
2018 brings new opportunities to transform your life and embark on your healthiest year yet, and the Long Beach Public Library can help.
According to the American Library Association, more than 90 million U.S. adults have low health literacy, which means they have difficulty accessing and understanding information pertaining to health. Public libraries and librarians help bridge this gap with free resources and guidance that can help you make informed decisions about your health.
Each branch of the Long Beach Public Library contains nutritional cook books, exercise guides, and quality information to help you avoid getting sick. This flu season has been more severe than those of recent years and knowledge is power in the prevention and management of illness.
Your library is also a center of community activities and learning so that you can join others in living a healthier lifestyle. Throughout the year, the Long Beach Public Library offers the following programs:
- Healthy Living Workshops
- Cooking Classes
- Gardening Classes
- Group Exercise
- Mental Health Workshops
Check the library calendar to keep up with the latest programs: lbpl.org/events
Libraries are partners in a healthy community, so join us in making 2018 a healthy year for Long Beach.
The Grunion: Libraries At Work
On December 22, 2017, The Grunion shared the following op-ed by Long Beach City Councilwoman Suzie Price and our Executive Director, Kate Azar.
You can read the article below or click through to The Grunion.
The holiday season reminds us to be grateful for all that we have motivating us to strive to be better. All year long, we work to make what is great about Long Beach even better, and there is no better example of our community working to improve themselves and our city than what you will see in our 12 city libraries.
We are fortunate to have one of the best library systems in the country. This year, the Long Beach Public Library won the National Medal for Museum and Library Services, the nation’s highest honor given to libraries. Every day you see our libraries in action with programs like teaching reading skills to children during story time, students receiving homework help, adults working on resumes, as well as disabled veterans using the library’s free assistive technology and community advocates supporting families. All that while neighborhood associations meet in community rooms.
Some say the Internet and personal smart devices have made libraries irrelevant, but the bustling activity at our libraries tells a different story. The recent news that our city faces a startling digital divide — with one in four households lacking an adequate portal to the Internet — coupled with the fact that more than 1 million patrons visited Long Beach public libraries this year using more than 7 million library resources, tells us our libraries are more relevant than ever. Our libraries have long served as the best resource this city has in bridging this divide and are proud to continue doing so.
Whatever issue you think is most important — homelessness, the changing economy, poverty, education, crime — our libraries play a positive role in addressing it.
Many people do not know the library’s valuable resources and programs would not be possible without donations to the Long Beach Public Library Foundation. These programs include the Family Learning Center, with computers and student homework support, guidance on college applications, and support on developing resumes and job searches. The Library Foundation and their donors also fund the Studio maker spaces and Mobile Studio with technology and instruction in coding, 3D printing, robotics, graphic design and other marketable 21st century job skills, and it provides scholarships to adults earning their high school diploma in the library’s Career Online High School program.
It is crucial that our city continues to fund the library and support the impact it makes. This is why the City Council voted unanimously to fund Sunday hours at four of our library branches in 2017 and 2018. But, we know that we can do more, both on a civic level and as individuals. Donations of any size to the Long Beach Public Library Foundation make a significant difference in funding fantastic programs.
Each and every one of us has the ability to help transform the life of one of the people in our community through our libraries. Please join us this holiday season in giving a gift that impacts your children, neighbors and community for generations to come. It’s a great investment in our city and a great investment in our future. In today’s fast-moving world, the free resources that the library provides to all residents and the spirit of community created by the mere existence of a library in our neighborhoods can’t be underestimated. Support your library today!
You can learn more at www.lbplfoundation.org or call (562) 628-2441.
Suzie Price is the Third District Councilwoman, and Kate Azar is the executive director of the Long Beach Public Library Foundation.
Long Beach Public Library Foundation 2017 Impact Report
In 2017, the Long Beach Public Library served over 1 million patrons with 7 million resources and received the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. Check out the highlights of how the Library Foundation supported this monumental year for the library.
If you would like to support Library Foundation programs with a tax-deductible gift, Click Here to donate.