Rancho Cordova Library Has a Really Cool New Look

Rancho Cordova, CA  |  Story and photos by Trina L. Drotar
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“Patrons have asked for Sunday hours for twenty years,” said Jill Stockinger, MLS, Library Supervisor

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) - Many changes greeted patrons who returned to the reopened and newly remodeled Rancho Cordova Library. The first change patrons who showed up Monday, October 1 noticed was that the library was open. Rancho Cordova Library joins several other county libraries offering Sunday and Monday service. The new hours will provide more opportunities for patrons to use and enjoy all the library has to offer, which is considerable. Every Sunday afternoon through November, Sakuramento Anime Society will present classic and modern anime movies.   

                “Patrons have asked for Sunday hours for twenty years,” said Jill Stockinger, MLS, Library Supervisor, who expects traffic and circulation to increase. Currently, she said, they are in the top five for circulation out of the 28 system-wide libraries. The top two, she added, had already been open six days a week.

                Patrons may find that some of their favorite materials have been moved. Biography has its own section as does urban fiction, graphic novels, and other genres, another feature Stockinger said patrons requested. Newspapers have their own shelves, and foreign language books have been alphabetized by language. The Friends of the Library book sale has moved to an alcove with better lighting, replaced by Lucky Day and new releases. The self-checkout has been relocated opposite the circulation desk and offers more privacy.               

                Gone are the brightly colored walls and mustard shelving. A hint of green colors the walls, and all shelves have been repainted oyster. Each book, CD, DVD, and other shelved materials were removed and reshelved during September’s month-long closure. Hard surface flooring replaces carpet in front of the high traffic circulation desk, which also sports new countertops and ergonomically correct workstations.

                “Staff is thrilled with the remodel and most patrons walking in love it,” said Stockinger.

                One new feature that excites Stockinger very much is the wheelchair accessible catalog station. A shelf slides out so that the wheelchair can fit under and patrons can access the catalog themselves instead of requiring staff assistance.

                Rancho Cordova Library is one of only three system-wide with “We Speak” communication tablets available for non-verbal or less-verbal patrons. It also boasts the only collection of Korean language newspapers and books that are donated by the Sacramento Valley Korean America Community. Children’s books include Russian, Spanish, Korean, and Braille. And the general DVD collection is a global smorgasbord featuring films in Swedish, Tagalog, Malaysian, Hungarian, and many others.

                Not all changes could be completed during the closure. A new Veterans Resource Station is being fitted to the space and will be installed when it arrives, she said, but it is currently open Tuesdays and Thursday from 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. and staffed by trained volunteers and veterans. Quarterly meetings with staff from Congressman Ami Bera’s office help remove roadblocks for veterans and their families.

                 “We serve more vets than any other city in California,” said Stockinger.

                Volunteers are an asset in other areas and include Jesuit High students assisting elementary school students with homework, book shelvers, and Friends of the Library member who run the book sale and donate funds for new books and additional library programming.

                “We could not do all our programming without the Friends,” said Stockinger.

                The library’s calendar is filled with programming for just about every interest, but there’s a special emphasis on garden events like the monthly garden club for adults. The October program featured Judith Yisrael of The Yisrael Family Urban Farm who demonstrated how to make Swiss chard pesto and beet hummus. Teen librarian Susanna Wesenfeld hosts the monthly event and said she’s glad to be back at the library so she can return to the gardening programs with children and teens that take place in the Read & Feed Garden.

                Basil, tomato, eggplant, squash varieties, corn, and sunflowers are among the crops grown and harvested by young patrons.  Following story time, children and parents are invited to the vegetable garden for hands-on garden activities. Older kids, she said, attend garden lab where they learn vertical gardening and composting. Their first task, since the library had been closed for a month, was to remove dead plants and begin composting.

                Wesenfeld is launching an after school book club on October 17, a story walk on October for patrons to “follow and read story pages throughout the library and then go to the garden.” STEM activities, Minecraft, and Read to a Dog are some of the other programs she hosts. For additional information, visit: www.saclibrary.org. or www.saclibrary.org/Locations/Rancho-Cordova. If you’re going: 9845 Folsom Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95827.