– The holidays are approaching, and the San Benito County Free
Library is ready.
Hollister – The holidays are approaching, and the San Benito County Free Library is ready.

On Dec. 21, the library will be throwing a festive celebration from 4pm to 7pm. The activities include a library tour, reading of holiday tales and photo opportunities with Santa Claus. According to County Librarian Nora Conte, this is the inauguration of what she hopes will become an annual event.

In addition to being fun, Conte said she hopes the holiday program will allow those who are unfamiliar with the library to learn more about its diverse materials and technology. They can also peruse the library’s holiday collection, which features both traditional titles and more off-beat selections like “The Joy of Jell-O Molds” and “Christmas with Kathie Lee.”

“This is a program for everyone,” Conte said.

She added that the event should be educational for her, too.

“It’s another opportunity to meet individuals and find out about what kinds of things they’re looking for in their library,” she said.

The holiday program grew from two things: Conte’s desire to bring new faces into the library, and her fondness for the season.

“The holiday season is such a wonderful time,” Conte said. “It’s about family, and about focal places in the community where families can gather.”

Conte, a San Juan Bautista resident, signed on as county librarian in October. For the two years prior to her recruitment, the county made do with interim librarians. Ruth Erickson, a longtime member of the Friends’ board who has spoken critically of the delay, said the county made the right selection.

“At this stage, we’re ready to move forward,” Erickson said. “Things might go slower than we’d like, but with limited resources, you do what you can.”

During her first week on the job, Conte said the library should follow not just her vision, but the whole community’s. To that end, she wanted to spend time getting to know county residents and their needs. On Thursday, Conte told the Free Lance that she’s been enjoying the position. Her recent work includes reaching out to representatives of local schools to promote the library’s online tutoring program, funded by a $6,000 state grant.

“It’s a challenge that we don’t have all the financial resources, but we’re coming right along,” she said.

For more information about the holiday program, or to volunteer, call the library at (831) 636-4107.

Anthony Ha covers local government for the Free Lance. Reach him at (831) 637-5566 ext. 330 or [email protected].

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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