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It’s in the numbers: Lathrop Library is a popular spot

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It’s in the numbers: Lathrop Library is a popular spot

The Lathrop library offers the same books and materials as that of the main facility in downtown Stockton as well as the other branches.


POSTED March 2, 2012 8:24 p.m.

The Lathrop Branch Library has been in operation since 2005.

The Lathrop Branch Library is still a place to be since opening in January 2005.

The proof is in the numbers.

Lathrop, which is one of 12 branches of the San Joaquin County Public Library system, serviced over 1,300 folks during that time. 

“Those are great numbers given the size of the branch,” said Heather Mompean, who is in charge of community relations and marketing.

She was also wowed by the number of materials checked out from the Lathrop Branch Library in that first month – 2,290.

Materials are often books – included are the current best-sellers and the classics – that can be accessed there or reserved from the other branches in the system.

“These physical materials, it’s important to note, are available to Lathrop residents,” Mompean said. “It may take a day or two to access them.”

For the past two years, Suzanne Sutterfield has served as the branch librarian. Thanks to the help of a library aide, she’s able to handle the quaint space located in the historic part of town along Seventh Street on the stretch south of West Lathrop Road adjacent to the Union Pacific Railroad tracks.

The branch offers computer workstations for general and Internet use along with a small ready reference collection, and a small circulating collection of popular materials.

Newspapers, magazines and other periodicals are also available there for browsing.

Mompean added that the library – Lathrop and the other branches – have grown with times. Gone are the days when stacks upon stacks of library reference cards were stored and accessed in wooden file cabinets. Those items can be easily found with a touch of a button using the library’s computer system.

“Modern technology has helped the library. It hasn’t taken anything away from it but rather broaden (our resources),” said Mompean.

Take for instance audio books and downloadable books. Both are available at the library.

“Everything has stayed the same but only more has been added,” she said.

The mobile library or the book mobile can still be found in Lathrop.

“We make a couple of stops around town,” Mompean said. “People usually know where to find (the book mobile).”

Books or monetary donations can be made directly to the branch or Friends of the Lathrop Library.

Organized in 2010, the support group made up of a distinguished who’s who in town conducts fundraisers to keep the Lathrop Branch Library up and running.

Before the opening of the branch, residents had Manteca as their nearest branch. They’re thrilled to have a place to call home.

— Vince Rembulat
staff reporter

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