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Changing Of The Guard At Escalon Library
New hours are about to go into effect at the Escalon Public Library and, along with that, a new staff is now there to meet and greet patrons.

Stockton-San Joaquin County Library officials said the change in staff brings fulltime people to Escalon from other branches to accommodate the longer operating hours.

New branch librarian is Anne Stevens, with Mudgie Brent the circulation assistant, Nancy Snipes the library aide and Michael Saul the new library assistant. All but Saul have been with the Stockton-San Joaquin system for years; this is Saul's first assignment with the library system.

Stevens did a fill in stint as librarian here for about a month in early 2006 and said she is pleased to be back fulltime.

"My impression from last year was that it's a beautiful branch and I enjoy working in it," Stevens said. "Then, as now, I feel welcomed."

She started her career with the system at the Chavez main library in Stockton and was there for a few years before being assigned temporarily to Escalon in 2006. She then went to the Fair Oaks library in Stockton and spent some time there, along with working several months at the Linden branch.

Despite the staff changes, with many longtime workers now gone from the Escalon branch, Stevens said the community residents have been cordial to the new staff members and she, like they, are looking forward to getting to know their patrons.

"I also have a very good impression of the mayor, the council, the administrative staff," she noted. "They seem to run the city well, they so far have been very cordial, inviting and responsive."

The new hours are scheduled to go into effect on Monday, July 30. Current hours are Monday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., new Monday hours will be noon to 8 p.m.; current Tuesday hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and that will change to 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday hours are currently 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., they will change to noon to 8 p.m. and Thursday hours are currently 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., they will increase to 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The library is not open on Fridays now, but will add the new noon to 5 p.m. hours as of Friday, Aug. 3. The Saturday hours will remain the same as they have been, noon to 5 p.m.

Under the old system, the library was open 27 hours a week. The new hours will allow residents access to the library 40 hours a week.

"We're hoping that's going to be more convenient for our customers," Stevens said. "We want to continue to do what works for the community, do what they want in whatever feasible way we can ... we want to go with what works and build on that."

Brent has been with the county's library system for more than 16 years and most recently was at the Chavez library in Stockton.