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County talks library services

Officials discuss options with residents in Stevenson Ranch

Posted: June 10, 2011 1:30 a.m.
Updated: June 10, 2011 1:30 a.m.

DeleteLos Angeles County officials planning a Stevenson Ranch library this week presented a menu of book-loaning services to residents hungry to read and ready to consume.

“We’re here to talk about how you would like your library services delivered,” library consultant Linda Demmers told a group of about 60 residents.

Demmers and Los Angeles County Public Library officials, including county Librarian Margaret Donnelan Todd, arrived at Stevenson Ranch Elementary School on Tuesday night for a fact-finding mission they hoped would help them shape a library reflecting the character of Stevenson Ranch.

According to Todd, a decision on the library is expected from the county by early winter, and the actual construction of it is two years away.

Demmers and Todd reminded residents repeatedly to fill out the county’s survey on library preferences.

“Whatever happens in this area will happen because we’ve heard from you all,” Demmers said.

“I’m on the east side of the (Interstate) 5, and I have 35 books checked out,” said resident Bill Duke.

He advised Demmers to anticipate an influx of county library patrons who live within the city of Santa Clarita, which is converting its three county libraries to a city library system.

“People east of the interstate will continue to come to the county library,” Duke said. “We don’t want to wait five weeks and spend $5 to get a book.”

Stevenson Ranch resident Susan Anderson, whose daughter was reading a book while she addressed county officials, warned: “Location is going to be a hot button for a lot of people.”

Demmers said talk of location was premature.

Late last month, county library officials locked the doors of the newly renovated Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library due to water seeping from under the floor.

Stevenson Ranch profile
The two largest groups of library patrons in Stevenson Ranch were identified by Demmers as 30-something adults and children under the age of 9, with each group representing a quarter of library users.

The data, she said, means at least half the library patrons in Stevenson Ranch are families.

To that end, she narrated a photographic slide show of various county library styles — some outfitted with big puffy chairs designed for children, others built to facilitate family interaction.

The number of Stevenson Ranch residents — described by Demmers as highly educated professionals — doubled from 9,919 in 2000 to 19,823 today.



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