Supervisor Campbell Highlights Library Week
It’s Library week in Tuolumne County, and I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight this amazing community resource and let you know about what our libraries have to offer.
If you haven’t been to a Tuolumne County library, or it’s been a while since your last visit, now is a great time to see how we are working to update these vital community centers for 2022. Tuolumne County has a dedicated team of librarians and volunteers who make our libraries exceptional among rural counties.
The very first county library was established by the Board of Supervisors in 1917 in the basement of the county courthouse. Today, the Tuolumne County Main Library is located in Sonora on Greenly Road and there are three other branches in Twain Harte, Groveland and Tuolumne City. About 9,000 books are checked out every month from the Tuolumne County Library system and there are more than 31,000 active library cards.
Safeguarding our libraries was one of the primary reasons I ran for supervisor four years ago, and they are stronger and healthier today than they have been in a long time. They are not just a place for dusty books. They are community centers and computer labs. They are a resource for job-seekers, and a refuge for kids and teenagers to learn in a safe environment.
I was the lone voice on the Board of Supervisors who opposed slashing our county’s library budget in September 2020, which saw funding cut by more than $300,000 and nearly half the staff laid off. Fortunately in 2021, with a renewed focus on the value that our libraries provide, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to restore staffing and raise funding to more than $1.2 million annually.
After reinvigorating our library system, our County Library team, led by Library and Rec manager Eric Aitken, Library Supervisor Anita Simpson and Children’s Librarian Lynn McCormick, recently began working on a new 5-year strategic plan, and drawing from the community to put new ideas into action.
Programs like Storytime, Born to Read and our annual summer reading program are geared toward instilling a love of reading among the next generation. Meanwhile, the library’s Adult Literacy program, Zip Books and Link + enable all ages to have access to nearly any reading materials they might want.
Due to new California air quality requirements, we are no longer able to operate our “Bookmobile” mobile library, which served communities throughout the county that don’t have access to a brick-and-mortar branch. We are currently working to design a new bookmobile which will be paid for through grants and charitable donations.
Additionally, our county secured $293,000 in PG&E grants to install a generator system, which will service the Main Branch library and the neighboring Senior Center during PSPS power shutoff events or other emergencies.
COVID-19 forced the closure of our libraries for an extended period of time, but now all branches of Tuolumne County Library are once again open to the public. Sonora Main Library is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Saturday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Groveland Branch is open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM and Fridays & Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Tuolumne City and Twain Harte Branches are open Tuesday through Thursday from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM and on Friday and Saturday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
If you are interested in volunteering or supporting the library, consider joining the Tuolumne County Friends of the Library, which is a local non-profit group dedicated to preserving this invaluable resource. The Friends will hold a Book Sale fundraiser on Friday, May 6th and Saturday, May 7th. You can learn more about the Friends of the Library here:
You can learn more by visiting the library or by checking out the website here: