Mountain House library to close indefinitely
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Jan 31, 2014 | 3553 views | 1 1 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mountain House Branch Library, shown Jan. 29, closed Jan 31 and is now set to reopen March 8 at a new modular site at the southern corner of Central Community Park. Denise Ellen Rizzo/Tracy Press
Mountain House Branch Library, shown Jan. 29, closed Jan 31 and is now set to reopen March 8 at a new modular site at the southern corner of Central Community Park. Denise Ellen Rizzo/Tracy Press
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Librarian Kathleen Buffleben is surrounded by children during a weekly book club program Wednesday at Mountain House Branch Library, 579 Wicklund Crossing. The library is scheduled to close Friday, and a temporary replacement is being prepared at Central Community Park. Denise Ellen Rizzo/Tracy Press
Librarian Kathleen Buffleben is surrounded by children during a weekly book club program Wednesday at Mountain House Branch Library, 579 Wicklund Crossing. The library is scheduled to close Friday, and a temporary replacement is being prepared at Central Community Park. Denise Ellen Rizzo/Tracy Press
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MOUNTAIN HOUSE — Mountain House Branch Library is closing its doors today, and Librarian Kathleen Buffleben doesn’t know when books and other materials will be moved to a planned temporary building near Central Community Park.

The builder and town officials have failed to acquire a San Joaquin County building permit for the site off Central Parkway, she said, so the library’s contents will be put into storage Monday and Tuesday.

“We’re waiting for the permit, and without it they have a stop-work order,” Buffleben said. “Everybody is trying to get the permit. They’ve been working on it at least three weeks or more.”

The community’s board of directors voted in December to leave the space at 579 Wicklund Crossing to save tens of thousands of dollars each year in rental costs.

The library’s rent is about $13,000 per month, and the temporary site being offered by developer Shea Mountain House will cost about $1,000 a month.

“The huge savings is the reason we’re moving,” said Kaye Leuck, assistant librarian.

The money the district saves will be set aside to build a permanent library once the Mountain House downtown district is developed, she said.

Patrons of the library have been warned about the closure by the staff and by signs throughout the branch. Leuck said reactions to the move had been a mixture of anticipation and sadness.

“Most are kind of unhappy with it closing, but they’re excited to see a new space for us,” she said.

The new building will give the library an extra 250 square feet compared with the existing library site.

“We think it will be nice,” Leuck said. “We hope they’ll like it. We’re excited to get into the space.”

Although Mountain House residents will be without a library for a short time, a few people visiting the library Wednesday were looking forward to the move.

“This is a very good place for my daughter,” said Rose Thomas, accompanied by her 9-year-old daughter, Loraine. “I don’t think there will be a problem with the new location. More space is always good.”

“I’m excited,” said 13-year-old Rahul Rajeev. “I won’t be able to walk (to it), but it’s bigger with more space, which means more books.”

Mountain House residents can return books at Tracy Branch Library, 20 E. Eaton Ave., or inside the Mountain House Community Services District office at 230 S. Sterling Drive, Buffleben said. Library cardholders can borrow materials from any of the 12 branches of the Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library.

During the closure librarians will continue their weekly story times in the MHCSD board room beginning at 10:30 a.m. Thursday for babies and 11:15 a.m. Thursday for preschoolers.

With the new building still incomplete, Leuck said they expected to reopen Feb. 14, but that would likely be delayed into March.

People can call the county library system at 866-805-7323 or the Mountain House Community Services District at 831-2300 for updates on the library’s reopening.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or drizzo@tracypress.com.

 
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SpikeVFR
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January 31, 2014
$13,000 for that space? that is way over-priced to attract business to town. WAYYYY


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