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New librarian touts benefits of hard copy
Charles Teval, and other patrons of the Turlock Library, utilizes the Stanislaus Countys technological database system. - photo by Brooke Borba

Charles Teval is a staunch advocate for public libraries. He believes libraries continue to play a key role in the literary culture of a community, while providing practical assistance for job seekers, students and anyone seeking knowledge.

It would be unusual, however, if Teval didn’t sing the praises of public libraries as he’s been a librarian for over 20 years. He is now bringing his experience and passion to Turlock to serve as the head librarian and regional branch manager for the Stanislaus County Library.

Teval first acquired a bachelor’s degree in history before finally obtaining his masters in library sciences at the University of Washington. Teval then relocated, and has been a member of the Stanislaus County Library for nearly 24 years at Tracy’s Public Library before entering the Turlock branch.

He is no stranger to the area, and always eager to assist those that seek his attention. When asked what the greatest fulfillment he received as a librarian was, he answered “Helping people... on an individual level, (or) selecting materials.”

Despite most peoples’ skepticism on the relevancy of libraries in a tech-driven society, Teval has read studies on an audience’s experience with a tactile book, and the positive effects that they produce. He also offered insight about how one’s physicality within a library allows “accidental finds” and “more browse-ability” that one “never could afford to own” alone.

He also discussed the effects that would have been hazardous to selected community members if the Stanislaus County did not provide a safe haven for students and adults to gain tangible information; this includes up-to-date SAT testing booklets, various resources needed for college entry, and free information in procuring jobs.

This is not proposing that Teval despises technology. On the contrary, he is an advocate of the technological rise. He prides himself, especially, on the website’s content and database systems that the Turlock Library provides in their computer programs. Teval is jovial to announce that the Stanislaus County Library, in partnership with The Great Valley Center, CVDN, and the Corporation for National Community Service, actually teaches computer classes to increase digital literacy.

Teval also believes that younger children would benefit the most from the provided resources the Stanislaus County library offers. As a father, he explained that his 8-year-old daughter is just as tech savvy as he is, and proved that children also required working computers within the library. These computers, which are only reserved for children 13 years of age and under, are intended to introduce children to a safe technological environment to improve their skills in a demanding, industrial community.

No matter what the reason for a visit, Teval believes public libraries will continue to play a key role in the community culture for decades to come.

209 staff reporter