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Conscious Kits for Kids

With funding from the Foundation, the Berkeley Public Library has launched Conscious Kits for Kids, a pilot collection of book discussion kits on racial equity, identity, and social justice geared towards preschoolers ages 3-5 and their parents and caretakers. Kits hit the shelves this month at all 5 library locations.


Each bag includes three different picture books with discussion guides and a list of resources. Themes include Identity and BelongingImmigration/Journey Social Justice Disability Awareness. There are books in English, Spanish, and Braile. 

Conscious Kits are one of several initiatives of the Berkeley Public Library’s Racial Justice Advisory Group (RJAG) staff team which was formed in 2021 after the Library applied for and was accepted into the California Racial Equity Initiative. RJAG members worked closely with the Library’s Collections team to develop these initial offerings of Conscious Kits for Kids.

Kits for our younger patrons are just the beginning. We anticipate expanding this pilot program and developing kits for patrons of additional age groupings in the future.

-- Bae Smith, Supervising Librarian for Collections


Welcome, New Board Members Erin & Libby

Erin McMahon-Lyman is an event specialist and storyteller. As the co-founder of Magnify Communications, she connects companies with influencers, executing dynamic live and virtual events. Erin has lived in Berkeley for the past 18 years with her husband and two children – now both teenagers. Already a stellar volunteer she served as the production coordinator for the BPLF’s virtual events Libraries Are Central 2021  and Library Love Letters 2022. Most recently she was the co-chair of the Foundation’s 2022 Authors Dinner. Erin loves how libraries are the center of a community and bring people together.

After moving to the Bay Area in 2007 and moving to Berkeley in 2011 to pursue a JD/MBA at UC Berkeley, North Berkeley resident Libby Hadzima Perkins serves as the head of legal at SignalFire, LLC. Her husband works in public education and they have a 3-year-old girl and a 1-year-old boy.

She says "we love exploring the shelves and picking out books for each other. We bring them home and take good care of them. We then go on family walks back to the library to return them so someone else can enjoy them. It's simple but isn't it everything?"

New Operations Assistant  

The Foundation is delighted to welcome Maria Delgado to our team. Maria is a newcomer to the Bay Area, having recently relocated from Louisiana with her partner and 3 cats. Her prior work role was as a coordinator at a transitional shelter for women and children in New Orleans. She enjoys riding her bike, playing music, and being in nature. Her favorite book this month is Enormous Changes at the Last Minute by Grace Paley. 

Legacy Giving

Have you thought about leaving a lasting  legacy? Making a planned gift to the Berkeley Public Library Foundation will help your Library thrive for generations. Join our Legacy Society -- before it's too late! Let us know if you are planning a gift in the form of a bequest, life insurance policy, or retirement fund. We'd like to thank you and keep in touch. Learn more...

Authors Dinner


On Saturday, March 4, 2023, the Foundation's 20th Authors Dinner will return to the Central Library to celebrate Bay Area authors, their books, and the literary legacy of Berkeley. Sponsorships are now available. Tickets on sale this fall. 

Your public library provides resources, entertainment, and educational opportunities for every age and stage of life for free. A well-funded library is essential for an equitable recovery in a post-pandemic world. Donations of every size are welcome and encouraged.

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