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Where are the Books? Libraries Under Fire as They Shift from Print to Digital

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The Kobo eReader Touch, an Amazon Kindle, an Aluratek Libre Air, and a Barnes & Noble Nook, left to right, are displayed in this photo, in New York, Tuesday, June 14, 2011. Today, e-book readers, including a Kindle, can be purchased for just over $100. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

The Kobo eReader Touch, an Amazon Kindle, an Aluratek Libre Air, and a Barnes & Noble Nook, left to right, are displayed in this photo, in New York, Tuesday, June 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

(The Washington Post) – The hallmark of public libraries — the printed book, bound by covers and centuries of page-turning — is being shoved aside by digital doppelgangers.

Around the country, libraries are slashing their print collections in favor of e-books, prompting battles between library systems and print purists, including not only the pre-pixel generation but digital natives who represent a sizable portion of the 1.5 billion library visits a year and prefer print for serious reading.

Some of the clashes have been heated. In New York, protesters outside the city’s main branch have shouted: “Save the stacks! Save the stacks!” In Northern Virginia, the Fairfax County library system chief recently mused that the Friends of the Library were no longer friends — a feud fueled by outrage over a print collection that has shrunk by more than 300,000 books since 2009. The drop in the District is even more dramatic: Nearly 1 million books have vanished since 2009.

“To say Gutenberg’s days are over is a terrible mistake,” said Dennis Hays, a former U.S. ambassador and chairman of Fairfax Library Advocates, a group of residents at war with library officials. “Nothing can take the place of a book.”

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Activism

My Brother’s Keeper Chair Broderick Johnson Donates Laptops to Members of Oakland’s Hidden Genius Project

“The tremendous impact that Hidden Genius Project has made in the lives of Black male youth in Oakland, Richmond, and the East Bay is the reason we’ve been a partner since 2014 and have steadily increased our support and commitment to the organization,” said Broderick Johnson, chair of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance Advisory Council, former member of the Obama Administration, and current executive vice president of Digital Equity and Public Policy for Comcast. “I’m delighted that our ongoing support will enable the organization to continue its important mission and potentially expand to other cities across the country, helping even more Black male youths.” 

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Broderick Johnson (left) inscribes the laptop for one of the members of the Hidden Genius Project. (Photo courtesy of The Hidden Genius Project.)
Broderick Johnson (left) inscribes the laptop for one of the members of the Hidden Genius Project. (Photo courtesy of The Hidden Genius Project.)

By COMCAST

The Hidden Genius Project in downtown Oakland recently had a renowned special guest visit the organization.

Broderick Johnson, chair of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance Advisory Council, former member of the Obama Administration, and current executive vice president of Digital Equity and Public Policy for Comcast, met with members of the organization.

He punctuated his visit by making a surprise donation of free laptops to the 40+ Geniuses in attendance.

The event featured a fireside chat during which Johnson was interviewed by former Hidden Genius Kevin Butler, 22, of Oakland, who studied computer science and is now an educator and entrepreneur. Mr. Butler founded a startup called TechZen Collective, which supports artists seeking to participate in Web 3.0 and creates Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) to showcase their work.

The Hidden Genius Project was founded in 2012 by five Black male entrepreneurs/technologists who were dismayed by the dramatic gap between high unemployment among young Black males and the abundance of career opportunities within the technology sector.

To address the challenge, the founders established a program to connect young Black males with skills, mentors, and experiences that they need to become high-performing entrepreneurs and technologists in a 21st century global economy. The Hidden Genius Project has served more than 8,400 students and offered more than 612,800+ hours of direct training.

“The tremendous impact that Hidden Genius Project has made in the lives of Black male youth in Oakland, Richmond, and the East Bay is the reason we’ve been a partner since 2014 and have steadily increased our support and commitment to the organization,” said Johnson. “I’m delighted that our ongoing support will enable the organization to continue its important mission and potentially expand to other cities across the country, helping even more Black male youths.”

The Hidden Genius Project partnership showcases Comcast’s long-standing investment in diversity, inclusion, and equity by empowering the Geniuses with digital training and leadership skills.

Furthering its commitment to Oakland specifically, Comcast has also established more than 20+ Lift Zones in the area. Lift Zones provide free high-speed WiFi from Comcast in community centers and other locations to allow students, seniors, and families to get online and more fully participate in the digital economy.

Comcast has also twice selected Oakland as a RISE Investment Fund Grant city, making $2 million in cash contributions to 200 diverse-owned small businesses in the city.  In fact, the location at which the event was held, Geoffrey’s Inner Circle, was a RISE recipient.

Jon Koriel is the public relations manager for the California region of Comcast.

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Bay Area

Clipper Customers Urged to Go Mobile Amid Plastic Supply Chain Issues

BART, which is by far the largest distributor of new plastic Clipper cards, has installed signs near ticket vending machines at its stations to let customers know they can save $3 by putting Clipper on their mobile phones. BART has also reprogramed ticket vending machines at the San Francisco International Airport station to distribute paper tickets rather than plastic Clipper cards, per the transit agency. While Clipper cards can still be refilled and utilized at the station, only paper tickets will be sold.

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Clipper card photo by Ron Purdy.
Clipper card photo by Ron Purdy.

By Kathy Chouteau | Post News Group

As supply chain issues put a stranglehold on the plastic Clipper card inventory, BART and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) are encouraging riders to put the card on their mobile phones via Apple Pay or Google Pay. The shortage is expected to continue for several months, per the transit agencies.

There’s a bonus for riders who select to use the mobile option for their Clipper card —the usual $3 new card fee will be waived through the end of this year. Customers who opt for a plastic card instead of the mobile option will be charged the fee.

Setting the Clipper card up on a mobile device is easy-peasy, according to the MTC and BART. Apple customers — who have an iPhone 8 or later model or an Apple Watch Series 3 or later — can add the card directly through Apple Wallet and load cash value with Apple Pay. Those who have Android phones running Android 5 or later can add the Clipper card via Google Wallet and load cash value.

BART, which is by far the largest distributor of new plastic Clipper cards, has installed signs near ticket vending machines at its stations to let customers know they can save $3 by putting Clipper on their mobile phones. BART has also reprogramed ticket vending machines at the San Francisco International Airport station to distribute paper tickets rather than plastic Clipper cards, per the transit agency. While Clipper cards can still be refilled and utilized at the station, only paper tickets will be sold.

Riders utilizing fare-discount cards — i.e., those for seniors, youths, the Clipper START® program for lower-income adults, or the RTC Clipper card for disabled riders under age 65 — don’t need to be concerned about falling inventories, said the MTC and BART. This due to those special purpose cards being directly distributed by Clipper and produced on an alternative card stock.

Per MTC, it serves as the transportation planning, funding and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area and also operates the Clipper system on behalf of the region’s transit agencies.

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Activism

Terrence Riley Named New Executive Director for Hack the Hood

“Terrence Riley has demonstrated his deep commitment to youth development and education through his 13+ year tenure at Aim High. He will undoubtedly bring leadership and stability to our organization and lead us in the next steps of our vision,” said Samia Zuber, deputy director of Programs & Programs, Hack the Hood.

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Terrence Riley brings extensive experience in providing thoughtful and inclusive leadership, budgeting, strategic planning, and programming for youth in the academic space.
Terrence Riley brings extensive experience in providing thoughtful and inclusive leadership, budgeting, strategic planning, and programming for youth in the academic space.

By Y’Anad Burrell

On October 10, 2022, Hack the Hood’s Board of Directors named Terrence Riley as the new executive director. The organization’s mission is to provide youth and communities of color with tech skill-building programs and career navigation that are grounded in justice and support economic mobility.

Riley joins Hack the Hood from Aim High, the largest tuition-free academic enrichment summer program in Northern California, where he served as the vice president of programs.

When he was a middle school student, Riley participated in an Aim High program, and the organization will always hold a special place in his heart. He would go on to receive his bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Southern California, and his master’s degree in Educational Administration and Leadership from the University of the Pacific.

“The Board of Directors is thrilled about Riley leading the next phase of Hack the Hood’s growth and expansion to better serve our stakeholders! We are especially impressed by Riley’s deep commitment to tech justice, his professional experience in the space, and his unique ability to relate to and connect with the community we are serving!” said Jing Zhang, Hack the Hood’s Board chairman.

An avid and lifelong learner, Riley participated in the sixth cohort of the Allstate Foundation’s Non-Profit Executive Leadership Program at Kellogg School of Management and received a DEI certificate from the University of South Florida.

Riley was also a member of the inaugural cohort of Bridging the Bay, a cohort-based executive leadership fellowship for C-level nonprofit leaders in the Bay Area sponsored by the Warriors Community Foundation, Generation Thrive, and Coro Northern California.

Riley brings extensive experience in providing thoughtful and inclusive leadership, budgeting, strategic planning, and programming for youth in the academic space.

“Terrence Riley has demonstrated his deep commitment to youth development and education through his 13+ year tenure at Aim High. He will undoubtedly bring leadership and stability to our organization and lead us in the next steps of our vision,” said Samia Zuber, deputy director of Programs & Programs, Hack the Hood.

For more information about Hack the Hood visit www.hackthehood.org

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