But we already have a library...
No, we do not. The space that the library resides in belongs to Freedom High School and Liberty Union High School District. In 1999 Freedom High School and the County Library signed a lease for use of the space for a period of five years. This time would allow the City to find another, more permanent location for the library. This lease was extended until 2010. Since July 1, 2010, the County Library has had a month-to-month lease with Liberty Union High School District to use the space inside the Freedom High School Library.
Why do we need a new library for Oakley?
- The library is leasing 3,000 square feet of space from the Liberty Union School District on a month-to-month basis. We need a permanent space that is large enough to accommodate the growing Oakley community. A new library would include space for storytimes and other programs, group study rooms, meeting rooms and space to accommodate a bigger collection of materials.
- Data shows that libraries are good for the community. Both literacy rates and property values increase in communities with a thriving public library.
- The library is currently open 40 hours per week. Those hours won't increase in the existing space, as there is nowhere for additional staff to work.
- Parking can be a challenge at the current location. The high school has events throughout the school year which draw thousands of people to the campus: athletic events, back-to-school nights, and graduation ceremonies, etc. The school grounds can also be rented for special events by outside organizations, which adds to parking woes for library patrons.
How big is the library?
The current library 3,000 square feet and is located inside of the Freedom High School Library.
Are libraries even relevant in today's world?
Public libraries are widely used within their communities. If you haven't been in one lately, you might be surprised at what you'll find: computers, print services, WiFi, meeting rooms, group study rooms and a wide variety of materials for checkout. You may also come across one or more programs being held in the library, including storytimes, book club discussions, author talks, resume workshops, and ESL conversation classes.
Libraries have become much more than books and physical materials to check out. They are now tutoring centers, cooling centers during extreme heat, a refuge during times with heavy wildfire smoke, sites that partner with the state to offer Lunch in the Library, job preparation centers, and gardening club meeting spots. They connect people in the community with resources that are vital to their well-being.
Libraries offer opportunities for lifelong learning, starting with storytimes for the youngest members of our community. School-age children can expand on their reading and report-writing skills as they discover the multitude of books available to them at the local library. Teens can gather to work on projects or meet with others for programs or to join the library's Teen Advisory Group. Adults can get assistance with job searches, resume writing and choosing the right career path. They can continue their education on virtually any subject with the use of the large collection of books and online databases available at the library. Seniors can connect with others through volunteering, participating in programs, and continuing the lifelong learning process.
Is the Oakley Library even used?
In 2019, an average of 400 people used the library each day it was open. The number does not include the high school students who visit the library during school hours. That number is higher during special programs. This number is significant as the library can only accommodate 111 people per the fire code.