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New Chapter Begins For Escalon Library
Coming to Escalon from neighboring Manteca, new branch librarian Rebecca Hill Long has served in several of the San Joaquin County branch libraries and is excited to add Escalon to that list.

A combination 'welcome' reception for Hill Long and 'farewell' reception for those employees leaving the branch was hosted at the Second Street library on Wednesday, June 30.

"I'm really looking forward to it," Hill Long said of starting a new chapter of her career here in Escalon. "I have heard good things about the Escalon community, I find this one (library) is really warm and inviting."

Hill Long said she won't jump in to make any abrupt changes in programs or 'focus' for the library.

"I believe every community has its own personality and character," she explained. "I like to take time to get to know the community, their character, their needs and then I develop a program to fit that."

She is familiar somewhat with the community, knowing that it is very supportive of its sports programs and youth, and she would like to key on those areas in some way.

The new Escalon librarian most recently was the teen librarian in Manteca and also had stints at several other locations within the county system.

"I started in Linden," she said. "I opened up the Weston Ranch branch, I worked at Chavez (in Stockton) and then in Manteca."

Originally starting off in circulation, Hill Long worked for a time before going back to school to get her degree. She was drawn to the library work as a career, she said, because of the knowledge you can gain and share.

"I was impressed with the ability to access information, the ability to answer everyone's questions or refer them to a place where they can find the answers ... that fascinated me," Hill Long said.

Originally from the Bay Area, she grew up in Hayward and moved to Stockton in 2005. She has worked as a children's librarian, teen librarian, and in circulation, learning all aspects of the library system.

While members of the community were on hand to welcome Hill Long to the library on Wednesday, they also had the chance to thank those leaving the branch for their services over the past few years. Three of the four staffers will be going to different branches within the county library system, while Pam Reisler will remain in Escalon. Moving on are former Branch Librarian Bill Walker, going to the Chavez Central Library in Stockton to work in the Adult Services Department; library assistant Michael Saul is going to the Manteca Branch Library; and library aide Nancy Snipes has been assigned to the Margaret Troke Branch Library. Saul said he will be in Escalon periodically for the next month before transitioning fully to Manteca.

Hill Long and Reisler will be the only two full time employees now on site in Escalon, as librarian and circulation assistant.

"I have worked with Pam before, she rotated to Manteca on occasion so we're excited about working together," Hill Long said. "I'm so happy."

The start of the new fiscal year on July 1 also brought with it new operating hours at the local library. Due to budget cuts at the county level, the hours have been reduced but are spread out over more days, with the branch open five days a week now instead of four and including Saturday hours.

New hours for the Escalon library are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, noon to 5 p.m.