BOOKS R US - THE YOLO COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM
By Dave Rosenberg
Yolo County Supervisor, District Four
A healthy and robust octogenarian, the Yolo County Library was established by action of the Board of Supervisors on July 12, 1910, as provided by the County Free Library Law of 1909. It was the seventh county library established in the State of California.
The library serves the people of Yolo County through branch libraries in the communities of Clarksburg, Davis, Esparto, Knights Landing, West Sacramento (Arthur F. Turner Branch), Winters and Yolo. A Bookmobile serves the more sparsely populated areas of the county and parts of Davis and West Sacramento during the summer. The administrative office, branch support services, the County Archives/Records Center and the YoloLINK Project are located in Woodland at a new facility on Buckeye Street.
The Yolo County Library provides books, media and services to meet a wide range of informational, educational, vocational and recreational reading needs of citizens of all ages. The collection contains 312,955 items and includes books, newspapers, magazines, large print books, Spanish and Russian language materials, audio cassettes and videos. Special collections include the Beulah Hughes Geography Collection, the Vivian G. Douglas Collection of books about California and the West, and the California Indian Library Collection of materials and artifacts from the Lake Miwok, Patwin and Wintun tribes.
The library operates under the general supervision of the Board of Supervisors which appoints the County Librarian and the County Library Advisory Board. Official Friends of the Library/Archives groups have formed in all of the communities served by the County Library except the little hamlet of Yolo, and Yolo has a group of unofficial friends. The library is a member of the Mountain-Valley Library System, a network of libraries working together to share resources throughout north-central California.
Yolo County’s libraries are run by Mary L. Stephens, County Librarian, and a staff of 32 highly qualified librarians, and support service personnel. It’s a booming "business." In fiscal year 1996-97, the total circulation of books and other material was 765,462, up by 14% over 1995-96. In the Davis branch alone, 554,276 materials were circulated, up 15% over the prior year.
Registered borrowers as of June 30, 1997, includes 57,429 persons, over 1/3 the population of Yolo County! Remarkably, 35,437 persons are registered borrowers at the Davis branch.
The stated mission of the Yolo County Library is "to provide access for all to books and other media to inform, entertain and inspire." A worthy mission which our libraries do accomplish!