We begin the new year with a public library that, wall-to-wall, is vastly improved. Our town has a cultural institution in which everyone can take immense pride and enjoy using. Having just completed his first year as our new library director, Dean Gualco has addressed funding and staffing issues with a keen eye. In a time of scant resources, Mr. Gualco has rolled up his sleeves and brought energy, passion and great ideas to the Lodi Public Library.
The library has lost 17 percent of its full-time staff over the past year, yet Mr. Gualco and his very hardworking staff have increased hours open, doubled the number of materials available for checkout and come up with fantastic new programming for patrons of all ages. Past issues with vagrancy, smoking and disturbances to patrons have been addressed and are a top priority.
It’s no wonder that usage of the library has increased — it’s an even better place for everyone in our community, and is a safe place for our children. The library is restructuring and reorganizing the way in which it serves Lodi, relying more on volunteers, community groups and donations to not only exceed patrons’ expectations but offer an array of new services and resources to our community.
With a recent facelift and a renovation planned for completion by summer, we finally have the “community living room” we all deserve. If you haven’t visited the Lodi Public Library in the last year — or even in years — please plan to attend our open house on Feb. 12. Come and see the new Lodi Public Library — and prepare to be proud.
President of the Board of Trustees
Lodi Public Library