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

Alameda County Library
STEAM Programs in a Box

A pilot that may ease the stresses of program planning by creating several pre-made STEAM kits for Library Staff to use in their children’s programming and/or class visits. These programming kits will include a lesson plan and any supplies needed for 30+ participants and would be replenishable so that each programming kit could be used more than once. Staff will incorporate environmental sustainability principles wherever possible when choosing which projects to kit and while resourcing materials.

Alameda Free Library
Pathway to Learning Initiative

The Pathway to Learning Initiative is aimed at enhancing the educational and creative opportunities for Alameda Free Library card holders. This project seeks to create a diverse range of maker and activity kits, each paired with themed, introductory level books, DVDs, essential tools, and all the supplies necessary to get started or practice new skills and hobbies. Through offering these comprehensive resource, the goal is to empower community members to explore and master new crafts and hobbies, fostering lifelong learning, creativity and skill development. This innovative program will not only enrich the lives of Library patrons but also strengthen community engagement and access to educational resources

Reading Together to Reduce Recidivism provides a monthly book club for youth incarcerated at Monterey County Juvenile Hall to promote literacy, lifelong learning, and reduce juvenile recidivism rates in Monterey County. This program provides incarcerated youth the opportunity to participate in reading, transformative discussion, critical thinking, creativity, art, and creative writing and reflection. In addition, this program targets moderate to high-risk youth with a focus on those from disadvantaged and underserved communities. Reading Together to Reduce Recidivism is essential to support equitable access to information as youth incarcerated at Monterey County Juvenile Hall lack access to computers, technology, and the Internet.

“It Takes a Town: Unhoused Community Care & Comfort” is an Innovation Grant dedicated to unhoused resources for the Town of Los Gatos. Funds will be spent on unhoused care kits, a Comfort Cabinet with personal care supplies, VTA passes and other transportation and care resources to support the unhoused residents in Town as well as the unhoused community members who pass through our Town. One of the main aspects of this project is to develop strong and long-lasting community partnerships with neighboring organizations to support the unhoused and underhoused in our Town, and to sustain our project with continued promotion of existing services, future Townwide efforts, Library-initiated programming and outreach, and donations from the community to restock our Comfort Cabinet.

The Monterey Public Library will activate one an underutilized spaces to create an interactive space for the community to learn, play, and create. The library will add makerspace equipment and interactive gaming to expand the services provided to our community. The library will work with youth and teen populations to engage STEAM creativity.

Mountain View Public Library
Listening and Translation Accessibility

In order to increase accessibility of Mountain View Public Library's programs and learning opportunities for customers, the library seeks to install, and have available within our main program room, adaptive listening devices and simultaneous translation equipment. Last year the library hosted 330 in-person programs and welcomes over 20,000 customers to these programs. Anticipating customer needs is a cornerstone of the library’s philosophy in furtherance of mission to create,connect and learn. The proposed project for assisted listening is built around a flexible model that also meets sustainability goals; the infrared system is adaptable and once purchased requires minimal infrastructure thus is also long-term fiscally manageable.

Although digital skills and internet access are essential to anyone looking for educational, employment, healthcare, or social services resources, a shocking number of people do not have these critical tools. The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey reported that 5.5% of households in Oakland do not have a computer, tablet, or smart phone, and 7.5% do not have internet access. The Oakland Public Library (OPL) already strives to meet this need with public computer labs that offer desktop computers, free Wi-Fi, low-cost printing services, and – at some locations – volunteer tech support. But the needs are great, and patrons require more support to improve their digital skills and increase their internet access. To make a greater impact, OPL will engage local nonprofit Tech Exchange to provide their “Tech for All” workshops at three OPL locations in January - June 2024. Tech for All is a series of basic computer skills classes aimed at adults who are disconnected from online resources due to a lack of experience, technology, and/or internet connection. The library is excited to launch this new program which will bolster our community’s computer skills, increase awareness of OPL’s online resources, and expand access to computers and the internet.

The structure of Pleasanton’s Library and Recreation department combines a wide variety of services that span from a preschool to a cemetery. This composition provides a unique opportunity to leverage commonalities for services to varying age groups in the community. The Pleasanton Public Library would like to work in collaboration with the Pleasanton Senior Center to provide innovative services for cognitive needs that would include specialized Memory Kits and memory programs for senior adults and their caregivers and families.

San Bruno Public Library
Read to Me: Assisted Reading Devices

At the San Bruno Public Library, current in-house offerings for people who have visual difficulties are limited to large print books, braille books for youth and books on CD. These items are limited to the constraints of available shelf space and available funds. These items are limited to specific titles, thus limiting the variety of reads available to users. Having an alternative solution to provide more titles to visually impaired users is needed. With the purchase of two portable LyriQ Assistive Text-to-Speech Readers, the Library can open up a much wider range of printed items in our collection to the visually impaired.

South San Francisco Public Library
Design and Build a Personal Computer at the Library

The library will create a collection of computer components that can be used by library patrons to assemble personal computers. The project will include a teaching component, with a series of three classes that will teach library patrons about the components that make up a personal computer, how to shop for components that will meet their needs and budget limitations, and how to assemble all the components. Attendees of the class will learn how to build three types of personal computers: home office, gaming, and video editing. Students will be responsible for selecting the components for each type of personal computer, with a group discussion on their selection decisions. The students will then assemble the computers, taking turns so that everyone gets to install at least one part. Computers can be disassembled so that the components can be reused for future builds

Watsonville Public Library
Farm to Shelf: Mobile Kitchen Cart

Watsonville Public Library aims to purchase a Mobile Kitchen Cart from the Charlie Cart Project to facilitate food and nutrition classes hosted by staff and professionals in the area. The library will promote and foster partnerships with food banks, local farms, and entrepreneurial kitchen non-profits such as: El Pájaro Community Development Corporation (CDC). Library staff will host family and teen targeted programming that is culturally diverse and utilizes seasonal crops. The Charlie Cart is an all-in-one kitchen on wheels with a convection oven, induction cooktop, stainless steel sink, storage for over 170 pieces of cooking equipment (included), and 54 recipes to get us started.