Book lovers have another place to browse as the library at the Escondido Education Center at Palomer College reopens after being closed for more than two years due to a reconstruction project and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The College Library provides limited services to the public on the eastern edge of the city, and this option was lost after the East Valley Parkway branch of the Escondido City Library closed in 2011 due to budget constraints. The city’s branch library was just two blocks from the college campus on East Valley Parkway and Midway Drive.
The college was named after Ernest J., a dairy farmer who donated $ 225,000 to the college. The Alan Library closed at the end of 2019 for reconstruction with the intention of reopening in March 2020. Escondido Campus. However, before that a pandemic hit could occur, and the library was closed until February this year.
The main focus of the college library is to serve students, but the public can also view books, CDs, and DVDs, and use one of the library’s public computers, or print black and white copies for 10 cents a page. Access to digital materials such as e-books is reserved for students, she said.
Anyone 18 years of age with a photo ID can get a free library card from the college library to check out the materials.
The 2,472-square-foot college library includes a classroom with 26 computers, where Plomer college students study research skills, and a small seating area with tables and chairs for the general public.
As part of its partnership with the city of Escondido, the City Library Foundation donated $ 25,000 for new furniture and a new reference desk.
Doyle Bower said that while the library’s collection focuses on textbooks and books that support the college curriculum, books and movies of general interest are available in the library for checkout. Library users can go online or call a bookstore at any of the college’s four libraries in San Marcos, Escondido, Rancho Bernardo or Fallbrook, and deliver it free of charge to the branch of their choice for pickup.
COVID-19 protocols still exist in the library, so staff and visitors should wear a mask inside the home, maintain social distance, provide proof of vaccination, and be checked daily using a health screening app to use college facilities. Currently, the college expects those rules to remain in place for the current semester, which ends in May, officials said.
Doyle Bower said one of the pluses of the college library is that it is easily accessible to Escondido residents, especially those in the eastern part of town.
“We’re in the middle corner of the city,” she said.
The Palomar College Library is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We’re open, we’re here, and we’re happy to help (the public) get any materials they might like from our collection,” Doyle Bower said.
The renovated library “has changed for the better,” said Jack Anderson, chair of the Escondido Library Foundation Board. He said it was important to have library services in that part of the city because adults and members of the Latino community could not easily reach the City Library on Kalmiya Street in downtown Escondido.
The college library branch, he said, will serve primarily adults and teens.
The role of the foundation is to provide non-funded facilities, such as furniture for the college library or a large mural recently completed on the exterior wall of the city library, Anderson said.
“Our base is small in resources; We try to make the biggest impact we can, and this was one way (college library contribution). We are very happy, ”he said.