A career in education didn’t bring the satisfaction Brianna Anderson thought it would … but it did bring her to Escalon.
The new Escalon Branch Librarian made the move to Escalon from her previous post as a library assistant in Lathrop, arriving here a few weeks ago.
“This is my first library gig,” she said of accepting the post of head librarian. “It’s amazing and nerve wracking; I have a lot of new things to learn.”
When she first started her career, Anderson worked in the teaching field. She got her teaching credential and worked in Santa Cruz but soon discovered that it wasn’t her true passion.
“I loved the library as a kid,” she explained. “You’re sort of a teacher and you are helping the public, communicating with the citizens.”
After leaving the teaching field she continued her schooling in the library field and then started subbing for the Stockton-San Joaquin Library System.
“I started out as a part-time sub, I was on call and I worked everywhere,” Anderson noted.
The part-time work eventually evolved into a full-time position and she has spent the last year and a half as a library assistant in Lathrop. When the opportunity arose for a librarian in Escalon, she seized the chance to apply.
“My brain is getting stretched in so many new directions,” she said, noting that she is learning as she goes and hopes to bring some “positive changes” to the local library branch.
She recently handled a Thursday morning story time for kids and said she often did that in Lathrop, so it was a comfortable task to fill in for library assistant Amanda Clifford, who typically hosts the story time sessions.
Anderson said she has also put a new survey out in the library, seeking input from residents about what they like about the branch currently and what other services and/or programs they would like to see offered.
“All the staff members here are so wonderful,” Anderson added of feeling at home quickly in her new surroundings. “And the community has been very welcoming.”
A couple of areas that Anderson wants to address are building up the teen and adult programs. There are plenty of activities aimed at the younger kids, she said, but she hopes to bring more programs for the older library users are well.
“I’m asking them what they would take time out of their day to come see,” she explained.
The library does have a variety of standard programs, from Thursday morning story time for kids to the Thursday afternoon Makerspace for teens. Programs such as Sensible Yoga each Monday and Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. and a Knitting group that meets Tuesdays at 1 p.m. are also offered through the library but Anderson wants to see more.
She urged all ages to get involved with the ongoing Summer Reading Club, which features special programs and prizes for all age levels based on the number of books read.
Next Wednesday, July 18, a ‘Make Your Own Maracas’ program is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. as part of the Summer Reading Program and Musical Robot is a special feature scheduled for Friday, July 27 at 3 p.m.
The new Escalon-Farmington Garden Club meets at the library on the first Thursday at 1 p.m. and the Scottish Club monthly meeting is hosted there the second Thursday of the month at 6 p.m.
Also, the Escalon Chamber of Commerce has its monthly meetings there on the second Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. and the Oak Valley Art Society meets each third Saturday of the month at 10 a.m.
All that is good, keeping the library a viable part of the community, and Anderson is hoping that residents’ comments on the survey will help the local branch be even more responsive.
The Escalon Library is at 1540 Second St., and hours are Mondays 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesdays 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesdays 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursdays 10 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Fridays noon to 5 p.m.; Saturdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“I’m very grateful to have this opportunity,” Anderson said.