Building Maintenance, Building Projects, and Building Forward

California’s public library buildings need help. Thanks to the California legislature (and Senator Toni G. Atkins, a champion for libraries), the 2021-2022 state budget allocated $439 million in one-time funds to the California State Library to address life-safety and critical maintenance needs of public library facilities throughout California, prioritized for high poverty areas of the state.

The Building Forward Grant Program is the single largest investment in California’s public libraries in over 20 years. The State Library recently awarded over $313 million in grants to 246 local libraries to address pressing life-safety and critical maintenance needs in high poverty areas of 182 cities across 34 counties. Round One funding prioritized projects in high-poverty areas and addressing life-safety and critical maintenance and infrastructure needs. Additional funding and application opportunities will be announced in the near future.

What can you do to prepare?

CALL is offering four webinars on Building Basics on Tuesdays at noon, starting November 1. This webinar series is intended for library workers to better understand their physical workspace and to provide foundational knowledge for intelligent decision-making. Directors, managers, supervisors, and all interested library staff are encouraged to register. You’ll develop an understanding of building concepts, master the terminology, and learn to navigate through complex building management issues.

The first webinar, Know Your Library—An Introduction to Library Buildings from the Facilities Management Perspective, will discuss library building conditions and perception and reality in facilities maintenance. Session two on November 15 is Inner Workings – A Close Look at Library Building Design and Key Systems, followed on November 29 by Wear and Tear – Signs of Disrepair, Causes, and Ways to Avoid Building Issues and December 13 on Building Relationships – Knowing Your Partners within Library Facility Management. You can sign up for one or all. Although registration is unlimited, only the first 100 attendees will be admitted to each live session. These webinars will be recorded, and the recordings, slides, and any other resources will be available in CALL Academy after each webinar occurs.

The Building Basics instructor, Carlos Baffigo, is Deputy Director of the Pasadena Public Library in charge of library operations, facility management, IT systems, and security. His 30-year facility management experience includes major relocations, remodels, historic building renovations, build-outs, retrofits, building safety management, technology implementations, EOC management, disaster mitigation, and security response. Previously, Carlos worked in the residential construction industry and enjoys renovating houses. He got his start in libraries as a Page and performing “PJ Storytime” at the Glendora Public Library in Glendora, CA.

One more thing: if you’re interested in general project management skills, you might want to check out the Project Management Fundamentals, a short course from Library Journal.