“Under New Management” could have been the sign hanging over the doors of the Valencia branch library this morning, like the kind restaurants post when trying to lure disappointed customers back to the table.
Instead, balloons, sliced fruit and local politicians greeted the reading public as they arrived at the new look, new management City of Santa Clarita Valencia library.
“Under the city’s new public library system patrons will have access to over 1.1 million titles which is 90-thousand more than you’re used to,” said Mayor Marsha McLean.
The Mayor and other city officials were on hand to reassure the public they will benefit from the city’s controversial decision to split from the Los Angeles County library system and run the libraries themselves with the help of a for-profit company, Library Systems & Services.
Mayor McLean told the crowd gathered for the ribbon cutting that providing excellent library services is a top priority for the city.
“The city has spent 900 thousand dollars on new materials for the library including books, magazines, DVDs, CDs and other media to ensure that the opening day collection is robust,” McLean said.
If there were any doubts about the future of the city’s new management, McLean laid out the city’s plans.
“The city has budgeted a substantial annual expenditure reflecting an increase of 67% for the acquisition of new materials for our libraries every single year,” McLean said.
The Mayor touted the library’s new and upgraded computers, new books and media and especially more access for the public with Sunday hours.
As crowds entered the new library they might be surprised by how small the check out desk has become. That’s because new computer terminals allow patrons to check out books themselves.
New City Librarian Edward Kieczykowski explained that RFID (radio frequency identification) tags have placed inside each and every book. Small antennas are imbedded in square stickers that are attached to the back cover of the books.
Scanners read the information from the RFID and apply the books to your card. You can even place a stack of books on the scanner to make the process quicker.
“You can check out as many as five books at one time,” Kieczykowski said.
If you would like more information on the new libraries and how to obtain a card click here.