vision for the future  @ your library

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what's inside  @ your library

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The Stanislaus County Library’s mission is to foster the love of reading and open the door to knowledge. This suggests more than just being a clearinghouse of books, magazines and videos. In fact, the Stanislaus County Library has always provided more than just materials.

Children’s programming, that helps develop verbal, pre-reading and reading skills, prepares our county’s children for success in school. Assistance by professional librarians provides students and adults with guidance to conduct successful research. The literacy program prepares adults for employment and/or advancement. Access to education and career enhancement tools, like college catalogs, and information on how to write a business plan or start a non-profit organization, all contribute to the health of our community.

In 1971, when the central Modesto Library on I Street was built to serve as a hub for more than 20 branch libraries located throughout the county, Stanislaus County’s population was approximately 200,000. In the late 1980s, severe funding cuts forced the closure of many branches and a sharp reduction in the hours the Modesto Library was open. As a result, Stanislaus County residents twice voted to enact a 1/8 cent sales tax to support the library. Hours of operation and branch locations were restored to about 1971 levels. However, the county’s population has grown to 447,000 and the existing libraries simply cannot adequately meet the needs of our community.

Stanislaus County has adopted a plan to develop a regional library system, with sizeable full-service libraries, conveniently located, in areas with the greatest population. The plan anticipates the county’s continued growth. The timeline is aggressive, with a goal of opening the first regional library in Salida by late summer 2002. Within five years, we expect to open a regional library in the Turlock area and renovate the Modesto Library to make it 

more accessible and spacious. Branch libraries in other communities will also be improved and will support the regional system. In order to finance the development of this regional system, the county will seek a variety of funding sources, including, 

federal grants and State Proposition 14 funds (Library Bond Act of 2000), as well as funding through private foundations.

In addition, the county recognizes the need to embrace opportunities to partner with other organizations to provide efficient and effective community services. Libraries located in Hughson and Empire share building space with the county’s Health Services Agency and Sheriff’s Department respectively. The Keyes Library is located on school property. Future multi-agency facilities include providing literacy services at the West Modesto Clinic and Office Building, a facility shared by the city of Waterford and Stanislaus County, and a possible business library to be located near the Stanislaus County Economic Development Corporation.

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Book Babies

Stanislaus County residents have shown great appreciation for the services provided by our libraries. The next several years will be an exciting time of growth and change. And while the library system will look different next year, five years from now, twenty years from now, the mission, to foster the love of reading and open the door to knowledge will not change. It will drive the development of a system that responds to our customers’ needs and contributes to the vision of a county that is respected for its service in the community and is known as the best in America.

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