Merced County: Library fans praise plan to test run longer hours

From Merced County Times

” Advocates of the Merced County library system are applauding the final budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year approved by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
They might want to bookmark this date in history.“The projects that were funded reflect a radical increase over the status-quo budget, and so this is a resounding success for the Merced County Library and for all members of the Friends of the Library,” said Susan Flinspach in an email to her group after the budget news broke. “Thank you, and don’t forget to write a least one ‘Thank You’ to your respective supervisor!”They’re happy because the board unanimously approved the development of a pilot program that will extend evening hours at various library branches — a concern that has come up in recent surveys and many times during public comment at county-led meetings.”

Library fans praise plan to test run longer hours

Merced County: Connecting veterans to resources through the Library

From Los Banos Enterprise

” It’s been two years since the Los Banos Library’s Veterans Resource Center opened, and all of us at Merced County Library cannot help but reflect on what a privilege it’s been to assist 135-plus servicemen and women!“Libraries are safe spaces where people care and want to provide assistance,” said County Librarian Amy Taylor. “Helping veterans navigate the internet to apply for benefits is a natural fit with the services and mission of Merced County Library.”The VRC was initially funded by a grant through the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services in partnership with the California Department of Veterans Affairs and the California State Library. The goal is to provide assistance through trained volunteers to connect veterans to state and federal education, employment, housing, health, disability and other benefits they deserve.”

Merced County: This isn’t exactly your grandparents’ library

From Los Banos Enterprise

“Is this your grandfather’s library? The answer to that question, a paraphrase of a car commercial tagline, is “no.” And “yes.”There are so many new things happening at the Los Banos public library, persons of earlier generations might not recognize it. Besides brighter colors, newer furniture, current books and upgraded computers, the library has children’s programs, young adult programs, Lego Time, Movie Time, puppet and bubble shows, and the most recent addition, a Veterans Connect Center.Meanwhile, the library provides everything it did for previous generations: a wide variety of books for children and adults, magazines, local and regional newspapers, and library professionals providing friendly help behind the circulation counter.For people like me, a grandfather who has fond memories of libraries going back seven decades, the Los Banos branch of the Merced County Library (on Seventh Street near Pacheco Boulevard) is still my library.”

Los Banos: Library improvements due to efforts of many people

From Los Banos Enterprise

” In last week’s column, I described the new staffing, activities, events, books and furniture in our local public library. Today, I’ll explain how all this happened.Libraries don’t significantly improve by chance. It takes the effort of many people working together to implement sound, well-thought-out plans.Eight years ago, the Los Banos branch of the Merced County Library was floundering. People who walked in experienced a drab environment and often unresponsive service.The Friends of the Los Banos Library decided to create a plan and began to implement it aggressively. They developed a new interior design with brighter, more appealing colors and, with the spirited help of Los Banos Rotary Club volunteers, repainted the walls. The Friends also developed plans to replace the worn-out furniture, little by little, with new tables, chairs and shelving.The Friends also developed a close relationship with the Merced County Library director, who at that time was Jacque Meriam. She encouraged the Friends to move forward with their renovation and to improve the library’s collection.”

Los Banos: Check out the library to see the amazing changes

From Los Banos Enterprise

” Visit your local library, you may not recognize it. There are so many new things happening at the Los Banos library – people, activities, events and furnishings – you may be amazed.The Los Banos branch of the Merced County Library (on Seventh Street, near Pacheco Boulevard) is continuing a metamorphosis that began eight years ago with a physical makeover of new paint and interior design.The transformation accelerated two years ago with the transfer from Gustine to Los Banos of full-time library technician Nola Ramirez. Nola, along with part-time library assistant Verda Jantz, has given the library a new standard in efficiency, along with kind and helpful customer service.”

Merced County rolls out bookmobile

from the Turlock Journal

“A library is a treasure trove of adventures, romances, mysteries, fantasies and now the Merced County Library is bringing that treasure out on the road and to their patrons. The Merced County Library is rolling out its Bookmobile next week in an effort to bring library services to residents in areas without immediate access to a library branch. These services include books, multimedia and internet access.”

Merced County: Hilmar Library increases hours, offerings [4 other locations closed]

from the Turlock Journal

The Irwin-Hilmar branch of the Merced County Library has had a turbulent past few years.The popular community library went from being open 32 hours a week … to 10 hours in 2011. The downsizing of library operational time was due to the loss of nearly $1 million in funding to the county library budget from the now-dissolved redevelopment agency and a decrease in property tax revenues that has affected every departmental budget in the county. The good news for Hilmar Library patrons is that the library is now back to being open 20 hours a week and offering a variety of new opportunities for literacy and learning. The expanded hours came, however, as the Merced County Board of Supervisors decided to mitigate a shortfall in the county library budget by closing the George Library in south Merced, and the Cressey, South Dos Palos and Stevinson libraries, replacing them with the county Bookmobile.”