Library patrons fail to use services
Jeff Hawkins, manager for Lassen Library, confirmed that he had not heard much from Westwood since the partnership was formed.
Yet the partnership is very beneficial to Westwood patrons. Anyone who obtains a free Lassen Library card at the Westwood Library can access an online catalogue for the book collections of libraries throughout California and the United States.
This catalogue can be accessed at a home computer or one available at the Westwood Library. Once a patron uncovers the book title and its location he or she takes the request to a Westwood librarian who contacts the Lassen Library staff. The book is then reserved, sent to Susanville and delivered to Westwood.
In addition, library patrons use the barcode number on the back of the card to access databases available on the Lassen Library Web site at lassenlibrary.org. These databases are available to the Lassen Library District through membership in the North State Cooperative Library System.
Available through the Internet is an education and training database that has practice exams for SATs, ACTs and other tests. Also it helps with scholarship and tuition searches.
The Chilton Library, an automobile database, is available and several reference databases that provide access to magazines, encyclopedias and books.
The hours of operation for the Westwood Library are: Monday 1 to 3 p.m., Tuesday 2 to 4 p.m., Wednesday 9 to 11 a.m., Thursday 1:45 to 3:45 p.m., Friday 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to noon.
Cordova said Westwood is an all-volunteer library and therefore could be closed during these operating hours if a personal emergency arises. It does have a multitude of volunteers, however. They include Hilda Morlang, Adele Wasneechak, Carol Antognazzi, Phyllis Brewer, Helene Bailey, Carol and Chuck Hanners, Andre Rust and Pat Costa. Morlang and Costa also sit on the WCL Board of Directors along with Judy Wallace.
The fact the library is all volunteer means Westwood has not been able to take advantage of all the benefits of the partnership with Lassen Library, according to Cordova. For example, in the fall of 2008 there was an opportunity to participate in a two-for-one $1,500 matching grant for children’s books, but Westwood did not take part. No one had enough time to work on the project, said Cordova.
“We have the staffing to keep the library open but we don’t have the staffing for many extras. What a gift that we are open,” she said.
She said the WCL could use a volunteer who could donate 15 hours of time each month for such purposes as grant participation, should the opportunity arise.
However the partnership has been financially beneficial. The Westwood Library will receive $1,000 from the California Public Library Fund this January as a result of its partnership.
“Since we expanded our boundaries a couple years ago to include the whole county we get money based on the entire population of the county. At that time we promised to share that money with the libraries we made agreements with,” said Hawkins.
Currently the funding from the state averages about 36 cents per person. Hawkins said the California legislature could cut the funds anytime or funding could be eliminated.
For more information on obtaining a Lassen Library card contact the WCL at 256-2955. It is located at 500 Birch St.
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