Serving the community since 1970

More than just books at Wasco Library

Libraries play an essential role in a community, bringing knowledge and a wealth of resources. The Kern County Library Wasco Branch is no different, with its dedicated staff, extensive collection of books and many other services it provides residents.

Patrons, young and old, can enjoy a cool place in the summer while taking in everything the library has to offer. Monthly visitors are close to 3,200, and more when there are special programs.

There is computer access, help with job search and resume building, printing and faxing service for minimal fees, arts and crafts, movies, books in Spanish, and Story Time, to name a few of its services.

Among the genres for kids and adults are fiction, nonfiction, picture books for beginner readers, western, anime, space, dinosaurs wild animals, fantasy, science, adventure, mystery, romance and autobiographies.

"If we don't have it at the Wasco branch, we can get it for you through the San Joaquin Valley library system," says librarian Lauren Morrison.

"We go the extra mile to help find what readers need, whether for school or recreational," said office services technician Tina Garcia.

Occasionally they give free books away to help children and families build their home libraries.

The library is just more than checking out books.

"We are a hub for information, and we don't deny access to anyone. It is a very equitable place. Libraries are amazing," said Morrison.

There is a summer lunch program that just wrapped up where there were free lunches for children. In September, they will host "Snacks & the Stacks," a free dinner and snack program Monday and Tuesdays from 3 to 5 p.m. for those 2 to 18.

The library hosted a summer reading challenge finale for youth who read 10 books between June and July. There were games, button making, cupcakes and cold refreshments provided by community members who believe in the library's mission.

One of these members, Denise Hamlin, who worked as a teacher for many years, referred to a quote by Abraham Lincoln, "All I have learned, I learned from books."

She said it's important for kids to read.

"It is essential and helps with everything in life."

Patricia Ayala brings her three children to the library every two weeks.

"The more they read, the more confident they are. It makes them more articulate and helps them to communicate better," said Ayala.

Her young daughter Jimena Cisneros said, "Reading is helping me prepare for college because when I see a word I don't know, I look it up in the dictionary."

"I can be a better writer because of the new words I have learned."

Yareli Vidales, a 7th grader, said, "I love the library and have always loved reading books. They are like an escape, and you can imagine yourself as one of the characters."

All that is needed to get a free library card is an ID. Youth under 18 need an adult willing to take financial responsibility in case of a lost or damaged book.

"We are open to the public, we are here to serve, and we want them to come to the library and use it," Morrison said.

The library, at 1102 7th St., is open Monday and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 661-758-2114.


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