This article was written by BenitoLink intern Juliana Luna
On Sep. 23, the San Benito County Free Library held a groundbreaking ceremony for their 24-hour library kiosk at 3064 Riverview Way.
Numerous government and community leaders attended the event. Nora Conte, County Librarian, gave thanks to the collaborators who helped plan and write recommendation letters for grants.
This kiosk comes from a $500,000 grant through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020.
County Supervisors Bob Tiffany and Bea Gonzales congratulated Conte and the library staff for their efforts to expand library resources. The library recently announced it had been awarded $9.9 million and $11.8 million grants at two supervisors meetings. The funds will go toward connectivity and site expansion projects.
At the groundbreaking, Supervising Librarian Erin Baxter said the kiosk location was selected in consideration of residents who aren’t able to access the library. The project is now in its engineering phase.
“The kiosk will hold over 200 library materials that people have access to check out 24/7,” said Baxter.
In addition, people will be able to browse the library catalog, place holds, download ebooks and audio books, access the internet and call the library for additional books.
“The second reason behind it is that should the library ever have to close their doors physically again to a pandemic or natural disaster, people will still have access to every material,” Baxter added.
Andres Rodriguez, representing Assemblymember Robert Rivas’ office and Vanessa Gonzales with Senator Anna Caballero Office, also attended the event.
“We truly appreciate and admire the work and efforts that it took along with the leadership. It really shows that working together it accomplishes great things,” said Gonzales.
Rodriguez praised how the location will benefit children while their parents are at work.
Conte said that 1,000 laptops were purchased for Anzar High School as part of the recent funding the library received.
“We want to develop a library system that is tailor made for the needs of the community. We want to guarantee access, not to some of us but to all of us,” said Conte.
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