By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Library Maintains Local Programs
Placeholder Image
Despite having a cutback in hours as part of the San Joaquin County budget and dealing with the loss of revenue for new books and materials because of less money coming in from the City of Escalon, officials at the Escalon Library continue to plan a variety of programs.

Librarian Bill Walker said cuts were made to all libraries in the county under the new county budget for fiscal year 2009-2010, and Escalon, like many, was additionally hit with cutbacks from the city. However, he said he understands the city's plight - faced with a budget deficit - and noted that the library is very appreciative of the support the city has given over the years.

"I don't fault the city at all," Walker said of having the funds cut.

However, it does put the library in a position of needing additional community support. The Friends of the Escalon Library organization is small and looking for more members. Fees for annual membership are low and can help provide much needed funding for material purchases. Also sought are donations of 'gently used books' and other appropriate materials, said Walker, to help expand the library's offerings.

The Friends group finances a variety of programs throughout the year and provides refreshments for many special events. They also host the ongoing used book sale, which helps supplement the materials budget.

As of the start of the new fiscal year, July 1, the library hours have been cut. The Escalon branch is now open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with the Friday and Saturday hours gone from the schedule.

Walker said he anticipates that will be a temporary cost-cutting move, with the hours hopefully restored once the county's fiscal situation improves. Hours throughout the entire county system, he noted, have been scaled back.

Meanwhile, the library continues to offer programs through the Summer Reading Program, which is built around the theme of 'Be Creative' for children and 'Express Yourself' for teens.

The Reading program runs through July 31.

To mark the release of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" this month, teens will celebrate Harry Potter with crafts, trivia and games on Thursday, July 16 at 3:30 p.m. at the Escalon Library. Coming up next week, Thursday, July 23 at 3:30 p.m., there will be an Express Yourself Jeopardy Challenge program for teens that will challenge their knowledge of art, music, dance and popular culture. Prizes will be awarded to the winners. For youngsters, they can plan to attend a Sock Puppet Camp on Tuesday, July 28 at 11 a.m., when library staff will show children how to make their own sock puppets from a variety of craft materials.

The Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library, a Division of Community Services, is a library system comprised of 13 branches and two mobile vehicles that serve residents throughout Stockton and San Joaquin County.