Paul Sims gets a kick out of attending Maker Faire, a local festival recognizing creativity and innovation. He also enjoys making ice-cream with exotic flavors, such as black Russian and saffron cinnamon. In September, Sims joined the Santa Clara City Library as the new assistant city librarian, filling a position vacant for over five years.
“I’m learning about the community and City of Santa Clara,” says Sims, who holds degrees in English and Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. “I was at the Mountain View Public Library for about seven years.”
While Sims worked for the Mountain View Public Library, he scored grants that allowed him to nurture a number of programs.
“Around 2012, I pitched a grant to the Pacific Library Partnership, and my idea was to have a pop up maker space at the Mountain View Public Library,” Sims says. “It was about providing classes and programs on maker culture and maker tools, such as the History of 3D printing, for example. We did something called 3D Thursday where every Thursday at 3 p.m., we’d have the 3D printer in the library [for people to use]. We did classes on laser cutting and soldering, which is building circuits or making circuits with pieces of metal. We also had four sewing machines and we’d have Sew Sew Saturdays. We’d invite anybody to come in to work on sewing projects they might have.”
On Bike to Work Day a couple of years ago, a bicycle fix-it station opened at the Mountain View Public Library.
“I wrote a grant to get a bike fix-it station at the library,” Sims says. “The station, located outside the library, has a pump that’s accessible to the public 24 hours a day. Also outside is a set of tools for people to make simple repairs to the bike. And it has a stand that you can prop a bike up on if you need to change a tire.”
Because small libraries often can’t afford to book bestselling or big name authors for talks, Sims started a program at Mountain View Public Library to promote virtual author talks, made accessible to all California libraries. This program has since been brought over to the Santa Clara City Library as well.
“We recently hosted Andy Weir through a virtual author talk; he’s the author of ‘The Martian,'” Sims says. “On Dec. 8, we have Ann Leckie. [In 2016], on Jan. 20, we have Tess Gerritsen. On Feb. 9, we have Jill Shalvis. On Mar. 1, we have Marissa Meyer.”
Sims mentions that Central Park Library is about to undergo a recarpeting project so there will be limited library access from Dec. 9 to Jan. 4. He adds that on Jan. 30, Central Park Library is facilitating the STEM Innovation Bowl, an event featuring local technology companies and interactive exhibits geared towards students in fifth to eighth grade.