[heading]Photos by Zeena Gregg Photography[/heading]

Poway Library Offers Residents Programs, Services, Technology, Music…And Books Too!

Poway Branch Library – established in 1913 – is a part of the San Diego County Library system, which has 33 branches and two bookmobiles.  In fiscal 2009-2010, the county-wide libraries circulated more than 10.7 million books, CDs, DVDs and other materials; recorded 5.7 million visits; and hosted 21,132 individual library programs.

Branch Manager Judy Chatterjee is a five-year veteran at the Poway facility, which is located at 13137 Poway Road.  Chatterjee answered questions from 92064 Magazine about the local library, its history, and some of the unique programs for residents.

Q&A with Judy Chatterjee, Branch Manager

92064 Question:  What is the history of the library in Poway?
Chatterjee:  The Poway Branch Library was established in 1913. To meet the demands of the growing community the library had to change its location several times.  The present Poway Community Library is celebrating its 13th year in this beautiful Spanish style building – which is owned by the City of Poway, while the County of San Diego provides the service for the library.

92064 Question:  Can you describe the biggest changes in the library today compared to when it first opened?
Chatterjee:  Technology has been the biggest change.  The library has 20 computer stations with internet access for the public.  The library offers complimentary wireless Internet access in the building. Patrons can bring their laptops or WiFi-enabled devices and start working in a quiet environment.  EnvisionWare Timeout software has been installed on our internet-enabled computers, eliminating the need for sign-up sheets; instead, everybody gets two hours of uninterrupted time with their library card and PIN number.  Our staff assists patrons in creating PIN numbers.  The San Diego County Library has installed the Early Literacy Station at the Poway Branch in the children’s area.  The ELS is packed with top rated developmental programs and geared for kids from ages 2 to 8.  Last year San Diego County Library added RFID technology for checking out books and media.  And, recently, the print copy control for public computing has been installed.

92064 Question:  Can you describe the San Diego County Library system, of which Poway is a part?
Chatterjee:  San Diego County Library is comprised of 33 branch libraries and two bookmobiles.  One third of SDCL branches are open seven days a week.  Most branches have active Friends of the Library groups that support the individual libraries through raising funds for materials and programs.  SDCL has seen significant growth over the past five years.  In 2005, approximately 4.3 million items were circulated.  In FY 2010-2011, approximately 12.4 million items were circulated, an increase of nearly 15% from last year.  The Poway Branch is the fourth busiest branch in the system as measured by circulation, and is the fifth largest branch in terms of square feet.  In FY 10-11, Poway Branch Library checked out over 765,000 items and had approximately 311,000 visitors.  In FY 2009-2010, San Diego County Library had 751,000 cardholders with 56,000 of those cardholders using the Poway Branch.

92064 Question:  What specific areas does the Poway Branch serve?
Chatterjee:  Most users of the Poway branch are residents of Poway and nearby areas of the City of San Diego.  As a Regional Resource Center, the Poway Library is responsible for providing answers to reference queries from the entire Central Region of the San Diego County Library system.  The San Diego County Library also runs the “Ask a Librarian” program, which provides online service to members of the community. The three Reference Centers are responsible for answering these online questions, and Poway takes its turn as a Reference Center twice a year.

92064 Question:  How large is the library branch staff?
Chatterjee:  The Poway Branch currently has 11 full time employees.

92064 Question:  How large is the library’s book and media collection?
Chatterjee:  As part of the San Diego County Library system, Poway Branch customers have access to approximately 33.7 million items.  This includes resources shared by other libraries throughout the state via Circuit and Link+.  Customers have access to books, movies, music, ebooks, and audio books.  The Poway Branch’s collection size is approximately 102,500 items.

92064 Question:  Can you tell us about the various programs and additional services offered at the library?
Chatterjee:  The Poway branch offers a busy schedule each month of free activities and events for children, teens, and adults, including book clubs at each level, story times, crafts, and special programs for children; crafts and many fun events for teens; and computer and exercise classes, concerts, lectures and workshops for adults.  In partnership with the LEARN and Laubach organizations, the library also offers literacy and ESL tutoring for adults.

92064 Question:  What is the service philosophy or goals of the branch library?
Chatterjee:  This branch, like all branches of the San Diego County Library system, strives to serve all members of our community with materials, programs, and information to inform, educate, inspire, and entertain.

92064 Question:  How is the library funded?
Chatterjee:  The library building was built and is owned and maintained by the City of Poway. The library is operated by the San Diego County Library, which is primarily funded by property taxes, with some being acquired through investments, fines, grants, donations, etc.  Additionally, the Friends of the Poway Library provide support for programming and additional materials.

92064 Question:  Does the library need volunteers; and, if so, how does one get involved?
Chatterjee:  Yes, we always need volunteers!  Stop by the library and a staff member can explain the volunteer process.

92064 Question:  What service does the library provide the community that most residents don’t know about?
Chatterjee:  A lot of residents don’t know that you can get newly released bestsellers and movies at the library.  We offer the latest and greatest, for free.  The library is also a great place to go for job hunting, resume assistance, and free entertainment for all ages.  Many residents also don’t know that their library card allows them to directly request materials from four local university libraries and from a network of about 50 public and university libraries in California and Nevada.

92064 Question:  How does a local resident get a library card?
Chatterjee:  Anybody can be a member of the Poway Community library.  All you need to do is fill out an online application form and present a picture ID.

92064 Question:  What additional information do you want to give us on the branch library?
Chatterjee:  The library is open seven days a week and we hope you will join us in the library, or visit our website at www.sdcl.org to check out materials, use our comprehensive online databases, or just to let us know how we can better serve you.  After all, it is you, our friendly and active patrons, who are the source of our success.

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Did You Know?
San Diego County Library Volunteers perform a variety of duties, including but not limited to: Presenting and assisting with branch events, tutoring adult literacy learners, reading to children in the “Grandparents and Books” programs, helping students with homework, leading book discussion groups, and serving as internet docents.  Volunteers must be at least 14 years of age (and parents need to sign a parental permission form for volunteers between the ages of 14 and 16).  Plus, a background check is required of all volunteers.  Library staff attempts match volunteers’ interests and talents with current needs. Volunteers receive an orientation and training.  For further information and referral about the library’s volunteer program, Poway residents should visit the Poway Branch Library at 13137 Poway Road.

Did You Know?
One of the latest technological advancements at the Poway Branch Library is RFID implementation.  RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) allows the staff to check books in and out more quickly.  Customers can simply place a stack of books on the RFID pad at the check-out machine, and the machine will check them all out without having to scan a single barcode.  Many customers describe it as “magic”!

Did You Know?
In Fiscal Year 2009-2010, Poway Branch Library had the third largest percentage of cardholders in the 33-branch San Diego County Library system.

Did You Know?
In fiscal year 2009-2010, San Diego County Library:
Had 33 branches and two bookmobiles.
Circulated over 10.7 million books, CDs, DVDs, and other material.
Recorded 5.7 million visits to library branches.
Hosted 21,132 library programs.

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POWAY BRANCH LIBRARY

Address:     13137 Poway Road
Hours:        Mon-Thu:    9:30 am-8 pm
Fri-Sat:        9:30 am-5 pm
Sun:        12 noon-5 pm
Date opened:     June, 1998
Phone:         858-513-2900
Website:         www.sdcl.org
Size of Facility:    20,000 sq. ft.
Number of books:  Over 102,500
Staff size:     11 full-time employees
Circulation:        765,704 items in FY 2010-2011
Visits:        About 311,000 in FY 2010-2011[/heading]

SEE ALSO:

Friends of the Poway Library Group Provides Critical Funds, Extra Support