After nearly eight years serving the Escalon community as its librarian, Jamie Turner is moving on.
She will be leaving Escalon to begin a new role as the branch manager at the Tracy Branch Library. Though she is staying within the Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library System, the change is bittersweet.
“It was July 2010,” Turner said of when she first took over as branch librarian here in Escalon. “It just goes by so fast. Tracy is a bigger branch, it’s one of the three largest branches in the system so it’s an opportunity, I will have a larger staff and more challenges.”
Turner has been with the county library system for 13 years, after having previously worked in Oakland for 17 years, also with a library. She has spent 30 yea in the business.
“I should be thinking about retirement soon,” she said, chuckling.
As far as becoming an integral part of the Escalon community, Turner said it was easy to do.
“The warm feeling I got from the community, I will always carry that,” she said of becoming welcomed to the local library as well as beyond its doors in the community.
“I love Main Street, I just love coming in to work and seeing all the shops, the park, the caboose, I just love that area,” Turner said.
A highlight of her years here – besides seeing more programs and services added at the library – was her recognition this past December, chosen as Grand Marshal for the Christmas On Main parade.
“That was cool,” she admitted.
She also discovered that, riding in the official Grand Marshal vehicle with her family, that her father used to bring them to Escalon to enjoy playing in the park and soaking up the small town atmosphere.
“That was almost like a ‘homecoming’ thing for him,” Turner said of her dad.
Meanwhile, a farewell is in the works for Turner, and the community is invited to come give her a sendoff, with a ‘going away’ party scheduled on Monday, May 14 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Friends of the Escalon Library will offer refreshments, county library officials will be on hand and the incoming Escalon Librarian Brianna Anderson will also be in attendance.
“When I first got here, there had been some turnover and people wanted stability,” Turner added. “I wanted to make the library important in the community; we wanted to be a part of the community.”
With ever-expanding programs for kids, special activities, adult programs and more, Turner feels she has made strides in that area. She’s also confident that the library staff and Friends organization will keep that trend going, even as she leaves for Tracy.
“I will miss Escalon, it was my pleasure to serve here,” she said. “But you can’t get rid of me … I might just pop in for a visit.”