TRUCKEE, Calif. - Users of the Truckee Library will soon have more access to it and its services, a development that officials are describing as positive and a possible sign of an economic turnaround.Starting Jan. 12, 2013, the library will be open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., after not having weekend hours for approximately four years due to the recession."For a struggling library system, it's a wonderful triumph," said Lucinda deLorimier, Truckee branch librarian, in between helping patrons Tuesday afternoon. "We used to be open Monday through Saturday, and so it feels great to be back. The community needs that. To me, it's a sign of recovery."A majority of the library's funding comes from Nevada County sales tax revenue, deLorimier said, adding that since that revenue has "inched up" recently, it's allowing the library to be open Saturdays.Nevada County Libraries' budget for the current fiscal year - July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013 - is roughly $2.27 million, down from the 2009-10 fiscal year by approximately $171,000, she said."Evidence that we are inching back up is not in those figures, but in the opening of Saturdays and hiring of a new staff member," deLorimier said, adding that the county is being run more "conservatively" nowadays.An additional part-time library assistant will be hired to help cover Saturdays, she said, which will bring the library's staff up to seven, with one substitute library assistant, all of whom are part time.For the Saturday shift, deLorimier anticipates it to be manned by two to three employees, but three "for sure at first.""I'm glad we are able to do it (be opened on Saturdays)," said Dana Madsen, library assistant. "I will probably be one of the people working on Saturdays, so it means a change for me, but change is good."Another factor leading to the change is community need for more library access, deLorimier said."The target is (for) those who are at work every day during the week," she said. "We have one night that we are open until 7 p.m. (Thursdays) and that does give people a little bit of time after work to get into the library, but that's not enough for everybody. This should provide a great opportunity to come in."Library patrons such as Allison Mattocks are pleased the library will have Saturday hours."I am thrilled," she said Tuesday while checking out a pile of audiobooks and print material. "I am absolutely thrilled because I work during the week, and sometimes after errands, I don't have the time to get to the library, and I rely heavily on the library for my entertainment."Some of the ways Mattocks, a Truckee resident, uses the library include: checking out books, audiobooks, CDs and DVDs; studying, conducting research and using the Internet; and reading newspapers and magazines."It can be leisurely time now (for people), instead of let's rush to get there after work before they're going to close," said Bobbe Holt, who works in Truckee and visits the Truckee library between once and twice a week.On Saturdays, the library will offer its regular services, but no reading programs, deLorimier said. In the future, the library would like to have "special programming" that day through various community partnerships such as with Tahoe Truckee Reads. Other program ideas include bilingual programming and family story times."These are our hopes," she said. "We haven't started yet, so we don't know exactly what's going to come together, but this gives us the opening."The Truckee library, located at 10031 Levon Ave., currently is open 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and Friday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday. Call 530-582-7846 for more information.
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