Archive for the ‘Libraries’ Category

Return of the Urban Sketchers!

Original! Fresh! Drawn locally! What could be more “Albany” than art work from our home-grown Urban Sketchers. Today we learned that Urban Sketching is a world-wide phenomenon with pockets of pen-wielding artists recording life in cities all over the world. The movement started in 2007–and while it pulls people away from computer screens to draw their subjects in the open air–it depends upon the connectivity of the internet to share the art with others. Check out the great Bay Area site here:


Cathy McAuliffe presented the topic to our YMCA/Library Speakers Forum. She, herself, likes to unwind over a sketchpad after a day working in front of a computer screen. Cathy’s compatriots were in the audience and it was a treat to hear their added perspectives and see their work projected on the screen.

The talk ended with a short “sketch-crawl” in and around the library. Audience members fresh from their exercise class at the Y were able to invigorate their imaginations by drawing the people and objects they saw around them. Thanks, Cathy, for the invitation to step outside and draw!


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Be sure to see the basket display in our case this February. Catherine Anderson is both a collector and maker of baskets, so the display features work from around the world and her own intricate designs.

One interesting feature of the collection is the array of subtle colors, with grass, straw, paper, and other dyed fabric. Stand back and see the whole case to gain an appreciation of the useful (and beautiful) basket!

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Candy Land Library

Calling all Number Crunchers and Candy Munchers! Play our Candy Count Contest this February and WIN! One child, teen and adult will win a gift certificate to Games of Berkeley plus a share of the candy. Pick up a love book while you’re at it.  Winners will be selected third week in February. Closest guess wins!!!

Be sure to attend Margo’s Craft Workshop on Saturday, February 9 at 2:00 pm. She’ll help you ring in Chinese New Year, the Year of the Snake–making traditional paper cuts, and prepare for Valentine’s Day with Swedish hearts, origami hearts, and other paper fantasies.

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Library Board News

The Albany Library Board met on Wednesday, January 23. The Board has been restructured to include five members, each appointed by a city council member. The new Library Board includes Hank Olson, Karen McKeown, Rosalie Gonzales, Alan Riffer and Karen Leeburg. Outgoing members–Sarah Whitmer, Linda Yamamoto, Leah Flanagan and Robert Lieber (not pictured)–were recognized for their conscientious service to the community, with combined service of over 24 years!  Judy Lieberman will continue to represent the City of Albany at these meetings–bringing her organizational expertise and commitment to fairness to the table.

The Board will continue to serve as advocates for the people of Albany, working to ensure that funds are used wisely and allocated properly.  Community input is encouraged and members of the public are always welcome to attend meetings–to be held on the 3rd Tuesdays of most odd-numbered months. (Please see Library and City calendars for actual dates. There will be no meeting in July.)

Outgoing Members, L to R Leah Flanagan, Sarah Whitmer & Linda Yamamoto (credit: Judy Lieberman)

Swearing in of new Library Board (cr: Judy Lieberman)

Swearing in of new Library Board – L to R: Rosalie Gonzales, Hank Olson, Alan Riffer, Karen McKeown and Karen Leeburg (credit: Judy Lieberman)

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Be sure to spend some time in front of the display case as you enter the library this month. The Urban Sketchers have treated us to a rainbow of local color. The group will hold a sketching party on January 19 from 12-3 on Solano Avenue followed by a reception in the foyer of the Community Center. See sign in gallery below for details of that party.

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The Miko Dolls on display this December bring a story of Kizuna and camaraderie across the ocean. The March 11, 2011 Earthquake in Northern Japan and the following tsunami saddened the world. Miko Doll creator, Mikio Sakuma, responded to this tragedy with creativity and compassion.

One box shows a family reaching toward each other across rushing waves, with branches arching over their heads. It is a delicate portrayal of kizuna or friendship which pulls us toward each other even when we are in danger.

So many of the boxes tell interesting stories. Come see for yourself!

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Albany Library Board met on Wednesday, October 24, with a special item on their agenda: a presentation honoring Gardener and Margaret Young, whose bequest made possible an audio-visual upgrade to the Edith Stone Room.

The Albany couple died last year, both just shy of 100 years. Mr. Young worked at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and the couple lived in Albany from 1952 to 2011. Neighbors fondly recall them and spoke of how much they loved Albany.

The board was honored to have the trustees of the Young estate, Kay and Ed Kinney, at the meeting for this “ground-breaking” of sorts.

Jeremy Allen, representing the City of Albany, demonstrated the audio-visual capabilities to an enthusiastic audience. Cal Freshman and Albany’s own Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Nir Maoz, manned a TV camera in the back of the room. (See the meeting on KALB.)

After the demo, Ronnie Davis thanked the board and the Kinneys on behalf of the library. She showed how the equipment already proved its worth, working its magic on kids playing Wii games and wowing adults with HD images of the presidential debate.

City Manager, Beth Pollard, officially thanked the Kinney’s for the gift provided by the estate. Board members also expressed thanks and noted that the project cost only a third of the library’s share of the bequest. They expressed satisfaction with the current project and stated that any future spending of the gift should follow the same thorough planning.

Finally, Kay Kinney addressed the group, thanking the library board for their stewardship and emphasizing how much the Young’s valued the library’s service to kids and the community. (She and her husband arrived at the library during peak kid time and were happy to see the library full of children–knowing how that would have pleased the Youngs.)

Read more about the Youngs and their awesome gift on Albany Patch



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