- May 26 & 27 - All libraries CLOSED for Memorial Day
I know there has been quite a bit of confusion lately about whether library cards are still free.
The Santa Clara County Library District recently decided to begin charging non-District residents an annual fee of $80 for a library card. Residents of the Library District will receive cards at no charge.
The Library District includes the cities of Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Milpitas, Campbell, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, Cupertino, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, as well as unincorporated areas. The other cities in the County, including San Jose, operate municipal libraries.
The District Library has experienced such a high amount of use by non-residents that its ability to meet the needs of its own residents was compromised.
As San Jose reduced its hours and services in recent years, many San Jose residents began to use nearby District Libraries and also the Santa Clara City Library as their primary library.
The District Library is the only one that is charging for a non-resident card. All the municipal libraries in the County (Santa Clara, Los Gatos, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto and San Jose) continue at this time to issue a library card to non-residents.
This is the ninth year of Silicon Valley Reads, Santa Clara County's one book-one community program. The Santa Clara County Library, the County Office of Education, and the San Jose Public Library Foundation present the program each year, with the sponsorship of a number of local foundations, organizations and Friends of the Library groups throughout the county.
The Year of Fog, a novel by Michelle Richmond, is the selection this year. You will have a number of opportunities to hear her talk about the book and her work as a writer, as well as to have her sign your copy of the book. She will be at the Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. Library on Saturday, February 12 at 1 PM, at the West Valley Branch on Wednesday, March 9 at 6:30 PM, the Cambrian Branch on Wednesday, March 16 at 6:30 PM, the Berryessa Branch on Wednesday, March 23 at 6:30 PM, the Almaden Branch on Saturday, March 26, at 3 PM, and the Santa Teresa Branch on Wednesday, March 30 at 6:30 PM. The Silicon Valley Reads website lists all author visits and numerous other events.
The library has copies of the book in paperback and also in audiobook and eBook formats.
My book club, like many others, read the book this month. We had a lively discussion about memory and loss, among other themes explored in the book. I'm curious -- what did you think of the book? Did you read the end at some point to break the tension or did you read straight through?
People who work with me soon realize I enjoy numbers, data, and facts (though I am kept very busy as the manager of a large and active library system I am still a librarian at heart).
I'm guessing you did not know that last fiscal year more people visited the San Jose libraries (the 18 branches and the joint use King Library) than attended the home games of the SF Giants, the Oakland As, the Sharks, the Raiders, and the 49ers combined? Their attendance was 5.9 million, the libraries had 7.6 million visitors.
Last year the King Library and five of the 18 branches each checked out or renewed over 1 million items. All told, just under 15 million items were checked out or renewed. San Jose's libraries are among the most heavily used large city libraries in the U.S.
Of course, underlying these huge numbers are the stories of hundreds of thousands of people whose lives are made easier and better by using library resources and by receiving assistance from library staff. From time to time, I'll share some of those stories through this blog.
Welcome to San Jose Public Library’s new website!
Our intent is to create a digital branch that will mirror the services that you receive when you visit a library in person.
Here you will find information about all 19 San Jose Library locations and the events and activities taking place at them. I am particularly excited that our multi-talented library staff is contributing recommendations and reviews of books, movies, music, and databases the library subscribes to, as well as websites. Expect to see video and podcasts of a variety of library educational programs. Of course, you can still search the library catalog (including all of the San Jose State University Library collections), place holds, renew items, and pay overdue fines.
Our previous website was designed when the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, our joint use partnership with San Jose State University Library, opened in 2003. Over time, the site became outdated and overly complex. Users told us that they were often confused and a bit frustrated because many of the highly specialized databases included on the site are licensed for off-site use just by SJSU students and employees and others may use them only in the King Library. Consequently, the two libraries decided to separate their websites to better serve their specific users, but to keep sjlibrary.org as a portal for those wanting specific information about the King Library.
We are eager to hear your comments about the website. Is it easy to use? Do you like the staff's content? Is there something else you would like to see? Please let me know by commenting below or clicking on the survey link in the upper right corner of the website.