Branches in the Contra Costa County Library system are holding town hall meetings to get local input on needs and desires as the system goes through its strategic planning process on how it can better serve its various communities.

In West County, the first meetings are scheduled for next week.

San Pablo will hold a meeting at 6 p.m. Aug. 13 at Maple Hall in the Civic Center, 13831 San Pablo Ave.

The Rodeo meeting will be at 7 p.m. Aug. 14 at the Lefty Gomez Recreation Center, 470 Parker Ave.

Kensington will get its say at 7 p.m. Aug. 15 at the Kensington Library, 61 Arlington Ave.

El Cerrito's meeting is 7 p.m. Sept. 9 in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 10890 San Pablo Ave.

Pinole will meet at 7 p.m. Sept. 12 in the Public Safety Facility, Alex Clark Room. 880 Tennent Ave.

The Hercules meeting is scheduled for Sept. 14, but the time and location have not been announced. Check the branch Website, ccclib.org/locations/hercules.html, for updates.

El Sobrante is set to meet at 7 p.m. Oct. 1 at the El Sobrante Library, 4191 Appian Way.

A meeting in Crockett is scheduled for Oct. 2, with time and location still undecided. Check online at ccclib.org/locations/crockett.html"Žfor updates.


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WEST COUNTY NOTES: The Bay Area Rescue Mission in Richmond will be getting a visit and helping hand from the Progressive Missionary Baptist Church of Berkeley from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Aug. 10.

The church's gospel choir and Soul Care Ministry Team will be presenting a concert, worship service and barbecue at the mission, which daily feeds and provides shelter to the area's homeless and destitute.

The Rescue Mission has been providing services since 1965 and is regularly assisted by East Bay churches and other organizations that come and volunteer. For more details visit www.BayAreaRescue.org.

  • Tess Taylor of El Cerrito, who gained recognition last year as a "NewsPoet" on National Public Radio, has a new book out. "The Forage House" is a collection of reflections that include the author's exploration into her family history and the nation's history, including some discoveries that were not particularly pleasant about ancestors who were slaveholders. (Taylor, an instructor at UC Berkeley, is a descendant of Thomas Jefferson.)

    The volume has already been well-received by Publisher's Weekly and Library Journal. Learn more at www.tess-taylor.com.

  • Habitot Children's Museum in Berkeley has announced the 10 winners of the "Preschool Teachers Make a Difference Awards," selected by judges from almost 100 nominees from around the Bay Area.

    Locally honored were Michael McLaughlin of Hopkins Early Childhood Education Center, Que Yi of Shu Ren International School and Laurie Truitt of The Model School Comprehensive Humanistic Learning Center, all in Berkeley.

    The winners each received a $100 Do-A-Dot school supplies gift certificate, free passes and a free class field trip to Habitot, a Folkmanis puppet and materials from Discount School Supplies. They will be honored at the Back-to-School Celebration and Awards Ceremony at Habitot on Sept. 30.

  • Brian Daniel of San Pablo was awarded a scholarship last month from United Health Foundation's Diverse Scholars Initiative to pursue a career in health care. Daniel is a senior biology major at Oakwood University in Huntsville, Ala., who plans to become a psychiatrist.

    Contact Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/christreadway. Stay up-to-date on West Contra Costa news at IBABuzz.com/westcounty.