By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Remodeled Ceres library has more space, features
$300,000 overhaul completed
With the counter moved to the center and taller book shelves removed, the Florence Gondring branch of the county library system has a completed different look and function. The remodel reflects on the trend to technology and eBooks. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/Courier photo

The Ceres Library has a more spacious and modern look thanks to a $300,000 remodeling project that closed the branch for a number of months.

"The response has been overwhelmingly positive," said Ceres Librarian Brian Sontag. "We had 75 to 100 people out there for the little ceremony (on Saturday, June 6).

The first thing that most people notice, after walking through the door, is the relocation of the main counter from the northeast corner of the building at 2250 Magnolia Street to the center of the building. Two self-check -out machines have been posted on both sides of the front door so that patrons can check out books on their own by scanning the bar code on their library card.

Lighting is noticeable brighter after the ceiling panels were painted and light panels were cleaned up. The walls sport a brighter coat of paint and there is new carpeting.

The library is expanding from seven internet computers to 10 and has increased from one to four children's internet computers. The children's internet is filtered.

There are fewer books in the collection, said Sontag.

"They were only weeding out books that were not checking out, or books that were older," said Sontag. "We did send some back to Modesto and Salida, some larger branches, because we had to make space so we could have more seating. We did shrink the collection a little bit but we kept all the things that are popular and still check out."

Typically 20 percent of the collection is checked out at any given time.

The magazine collection has been condensed to racks in the interest of saving space.

More seating was desired, Sontag said, because of the children who are tutored at the library.

"Schools are starting to hand out the Chrome books and some of the tablets so we wanted a better wi-fi and seating for them."

A Wi-Fi bar is offered in the front of the library where people can plug in and charge their computers and eBook readers. Previously the library only had one power outlet in the back for public use.

Children's story times and other programs will take place in the back, in the southeast section of the building. The ceiling was wired for speakers so children and their guardians can better hear those reading stores or when speakers like Python Ron comes out and packs the library.
The children's area also has a play station.

The taller book shelving has been moved against the wall while the children's collection has been limited to four-foot-high shelving. The cumulative effect is the appearance of less books and more space.

Because school is out, the branch is a bit easier than the rest of the time and patrons are still finding out about the library's reopening.

To prevent theft of materials, the county library system has purchased and will be installing a radio-frequency identification system that will go off if someone takes out a book without checking it.

The branch is open Mondays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. It is closed Fridays and Sundays.

The staff may be reached at 537-8938.