To connect with any of the below Innovation and Technology grant recipients please email info@plpinfo.org

Run a cohort of student assistants and participants through Making for All, an online course for self-paced Maker learning, the development of critical thinking, and guidelines for tools and materials usage. In addition to clearly defined guidelines for tools and materials, this course builds skills through hands-on activities built around Maker Kits, an assortment of project-based materials, which will be mailed to participants or available in the Makerspace by request. This online course incorporates feedback from student employees and general participants to modify course content for the maximum experience of the Makerspace participant and refine the training components for greatest ease of equipment, materials, and technology use for beginner to advanced participants.

Livermore Public Library
Community Connections (Category A)

The Community Connections initiative will allow Livermore Public Library (LPL) to purchase wi-fi hotspots, tablets, barcode scanners and laptop computers. This equipment will be used to support four critical LPL services: 1) LPL’s Literacy Program, 2) Career Online High School, 3) wi-fi hotspot circulation, and 4) community outreach. Rather than simply circulate hotspots and equipment, this program will divide equipment between the four service priorities articulated above. The devices and equipment will be made available at the Civic Center, Rincon, and Springtown branch libraries as well as community events to serve Livermore residents and the surrounding communities. Community Connections is LPL’s recognition that even within a relatively affluent community, there are those who do not have access to an internet connection, and that their need for this service should not be diminished or disregarded for any reason.

The Los Gatos Library intends to reimagine the use of the Children’s Room, removing digital interfaces and creating interactive analog spaces that support collaborative play, exploration, and interaction for children of all ability types. After two years of pandemic-restricted living, we are finding that families are desperately trying to find environments that can disengage their young children from computer screens and digital devices while at the same time fostering unstructured social interaction, cooperation, and explorative learning in a free and safe environment.

The Oakland Public Library (OPL) will purchase and install six ChargeTech lockers, each with 8 bays that can securely store cell phones, wallets, keys, and cameras. Each bay includes two types of cables capable of providing a rapid charge to all major types of cell phones. Two of these useful lockers will be installed at the Main Library and one each will be placed at the busy César E. Chávez, Dimond, Eastmont, and West Oakland Branch Libraries. These branches serve large numbers of patrons who currently use electrical outlets to charge their phones, and the lockers will provide a safe and secure way for OPL to meet this demand for critical service.

Building upon our library’s successful Robot in Library programs and last year’s FarmBot program “Harvesting at Your Library”, we plan to continue expanding the robotics programs to drones programs. We will host drone coding workshops for customers and showcase the customer-created drone light show in holiday events for all audience groups in our community. The service can be hosted online or offline regardless of the status of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Santa Cruz Public Libraries (SCPL) seeks to boost employee performance and engagement through improved onboarding and performance evaluation processes using the NEOGOV Onboard and Perform modules. The increased turnover brought on by the global pandemic resulted in a need to provide more effective and efficient onboarding in a safe and hybrid environment. At recent strategic planning sessions, staff identified a lack of knowledge about the evaluation criteria and path for career advancement as significant concerns. Santa Cruz Public Libraries will utilize the NEOGOV Onboard to develop and deploy custom onboarding checklists with synchronous and asynchronous learning based on each job classification to ensure new staff receives the training needed for success. The Perform module will enhance engagement by allowing each staff member to journal their accomplishments and achievements and interact with their supervisor throughout the year rather than just when the performance evaluation is due. The software notifies supervisors and team members of evaluation due dates to ensure they are submitted promptly and coincide with any scheduled merit increases. Team members and their supervisors can track training, adjust goals and communicate the role of the team member and their value in the organization.

The popularity of the California State Library Parks Pass has been overwhelming, and Sunnyvale Public Library recognizes there is a ravenous hunger for outdoor activities. With this PLP grant, we will partner to provide programs about the Indigenous Peoples of the area, appreciation for nature, and sustainable, fun and safe outdoor activities. We will also purchase items for Sunnyvale’s Library of Things collection to support this programming.

Watsonville Public Library
Creative Café (Category A)

Watsonville Public Library would like to transform our former Homework Center at our Freedom Branch Library into the City of Watsonville’s first-ever Creative Cafe, which aims to provide space, supplies, and inspiration for crafters in the community. The space is currently used on a weekly basis for storytime programming and is outfitted with usable cabinets, outlets, and sink, but lacks equipment and supplies to make it a working craft space. We hope to have equipment such as: a laser cutter machine, sewing machines, Cricut machines, and other equipment that will enable patrons to explore creative avenues. With the help of this grant, we will be able to convert the space so that it can be used on a drop-in basis as well as for instructor guided workshops.