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Library Services Come Into Focus
Some Escalon residents will be making their 'debut' later this month, taking part in a special project at the local library.

Interviewed about why they visit the branch and what they like best about the library, selected residents have been put on film for a showcase project.

Librarian Bill Walker said the video interviews were done in preparation for an upcoming general staff meeting for the entire county library system.

"The staff meetings rotate to the different branches and September is our turn," Walker said of Escalon hosting this month's session.

When the staff meeting is at your branch, he noted, you are asked to give a presentation about your library as part of the meeting.

Walker said rather than have himself stand there and tell other staff members about the library, he put it out to the patrons to offer their insights.

San Joaquin County Library Community Relations and Marketing Director Heather Mompean stopped in at the branch Tuesday, Aug. 25 for the video interview sessions, with several lined up throughout the day.

"It was really fun, we got a good range of people, from the 'little old ladies' to the high school kids, some teachers, one mother with an autistic child," Walker noted. "We got some wonderful interviews."

Mompean planned to take the interviews and edit them into a presentation designed to offer the 'flavor' of the local branch.

"The senior citizens were awesome and the five-year-olds entertaining," she said of the variety of interviews she conducted. "We also had some goofy teenagers so we were very well rounded."

A trio of teens making a stop after school were happy to take part, with senior Jacob Dalton, junior Elizabeth Mendonca and freshman Nancy Humphrey all offering their views.

"Books? See me in three hours," Dalton said.

Mendonca said she has utilized the library to help her improve her schoolwork and Humphrey has been coming to the library as part of a family activity for many years.

Everyone taking part in the interview project signed a release so they can be used in the production and, Walker said, it may turn in to part of a larger marketing campaign for the county library system.

By mid-afternoon Tuesday, Mompean had interviewed nearly a dozen patrons and was pleased with how it was coming along.

"It has been an absolute pleasure," she said. "This is a very fun branch."

Walker said he's looking forward to sharing the video with library staffers from all county branches when Escalon hosts the general staff meeting.

"We just wanted to make it a little more interesting," he said. "As a beginning sample, it worked great."