F'ville library checking out

By Mo Moore

The lights have been off and the doors locked at the Farmersville Library for awhile now. The building, once a prime location for children after school and for adults to be able to use to apply for jobs, is struggling to get back up and running.

For longtime volunteer Caroline Benavides, it has been a hard thing to watch.

&#8220I'd hate to let it go,” she said.

The Farmersville Library first opened its doors Feb. 3, 1915 as part of the town's schoolhouse. The library then moved downtown and then moved again pre-1990 to its present location at 480 E. Front St. The library used to run a variety of programs such as a summer reading program that included puppet shows, painting and story telling.

Benavides remembers high school students earning their community service hours by reading to elementary students after school.

&#8220I miss programs like this,” said Benavides. &#8220If the programs are out there, the people will come.”

Benavides started as a volunteer in November 2001 when the library was still part of the Tulare County Library system. The County tried to keep the library going, but eventually gave it back to the city in February 2002.

The library was closed during Christmas vacation after Benavides became unable to continue to manage the library due to health problems. With no other volunteers, Benavides and the city had to shut down the all-volunteer library. She and the city are currently looking for volunteers to work in the library and work together to bring it back for the community.

&#8220I'd like it to be able to supply the needs of adults and kids,” said Benavides. &#8220There's always room for growth.”

Benavides hopes that the library will be able to be open more often including evenings and Saturdays. She would also like to see literacy classes and kids reading classes offered.

The city has received some submissions, but is still accepting resumes. They are looking for part-time volunteer librarians to work 2- 7 p.m. possibly Monday through Friday. They are asking for a typed resume and a letter including what you'd like to see done at the library, such as improvements, programs, etc. For more information call 747-0458.

&#8220There's a wide variety of things we could do,” said Benavides. &#8220There just needs to be a commitment by volunteers.”

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