County Library plans upgrades in foothills

By Reggie Ellis

The Tulare County Library is planning a number of improvements throughout the foothills communities.

County Librarian Brian Lewis said computer use in on the raise throughout the county and the county will take steps in the next year to modernize many of its facilities to improve Internet access and availability of computer courses.

"When we have space in a building or a new building we will be looking to expand some of our more popular services like computer classes and Internet access," Lewis said.

In the past two years, computer usage has increased steadily. According to the Tulare County Library, the public spent about 62,300 hours on computers at all 15 county library branches in 2004, up from 53,200 hours in 2003. This year through May, the county has already seen computer usage at 34,000 hours.

Exeter

At a recent lunch meeting of the Exeter Kiwanis Club, Lewis said the county is planning to install three to four new computers in the library sometime between July 1 and next summer. The additional computers will allow the library to hold computer classes, similar to the Main Library in Visalia. Classes include How To Use A Mouse, E-mailing, Using Microsoft Excel, Using Microsoft Word and How To Use The World Wide Web.

The additional computers will mean a reconfiguration of the library so all of the computers are within sight of the circulation desk and in an area where they can all face the same direction for a better classroom environment.

The Exeter Library is located at 230 E. Chestnut St. The phone number is 592-5361. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2-6 p.m. on Monday and Friday; noon to 5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday.

Lindsay

Construction on Lindsay's new library was supposed to begin sometime this spring. Summer begins on June 21. You do the math.

The delay is due in large part to Lindsay's rethinking the design of public facilities following its recent junket to New York City where they were versed on what makes a great public space by Project for Public Spaces. The library is still planned to be built downtown on a vacant lot at the southwest corner of Samoa Street and Mirage Avenue near Lindsay City Hall.

Lewis said a computer lab will be a major portion of the layout of the library. Lindsay is splitting the $1.5 million library with the county. The county's portion will be funded through the Millennium Fund, a $45 million bond investment established in 1999 following a nationwide settlement of lawsuits against the tobacco industry.

The Lindsay Branch Library is located at 165 N. Gale Hill St. The phone number is 562-3021. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2-6 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday; noon to 5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. on Thursday.

Three Rivers

The Three Rivers Branch Library will be repainted and recarpeted sometime in the next fiscal year that begins July 1. Lewis said the library also needs to be reconfigured to make it more conducive to ergonomics, such as a new circulation desk.

The Three Rivers Branch Library is located at 42052 Eggers Dr. The phone number is 561-4564. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2-6 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday.

Ivanhoe

The Ivanhoe Branch Library needs new carpet and new furniture. Lewis said that improvements there will have to wait until some of the aforementioned projects have been completed.

The Ivanhoe Branch Library is located at 15964 Heather St. The phone number is 798-1264. Hours are 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2-6 p.m. on Thursday.

Strathmore

Sometime in the next year, the Strathmore Branch Library is scheduled to get a new circulation desk. Also, tentatively scheduled for the next year is a small computer lab, contingent on other projects being completed.

The Strathmore Branch Library is located at 19646 Road 230. The phone number is 568-1087. Hours are 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2-6 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday.

Woodlake

There are no scheduled plans for improvements at the Woodlake Branch Library. The library is located at 400 W. Whitney Ave. The phone number is 564-8424. Hours are 10 a.m. to noon and 1-6 p.m. on Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2-6 p.m. on Thursday.

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