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Paradise library to get self-serve system for patrons – Chico Enterprise-Record


PARADISE — With help from the North Valley Community Foundation, the Paradise branch of the Butte County Library will be following in the footsteps of the Chico library by adding a self-service system for checking out and finding books.

The Butte County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday, with Chair Bill Connelly absent, to support grant funding from NVCF to allow for the project to go forward.

The total grant amount comes out to $50,000, which will help pay for the system and allow the library to expand its hours.

The Paradise library sign provides service hours as seen Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022 in Paradise, California. (Jake Hutchison/Enterprise-Record)

“The project includes a software system that will allow patrons to access the building and utilize self-checkout of library materials,” according to the related agenda report. “It will also increase security, safety and (American Disabilities Act) measures within the library. Currently, the Paradise library is open three days a week, 15 hours in total. Automated key card system will increase access to the library outside these hours for approximately 25 additional hours each week.”

Adding the grant funding places the library’s allocation for the project to $300,000 which has been budgeted by the county for the 2021/2022 fiscal year.

Presenting the item before the board was Butte County Librarian Narinder Sufi said the Open+ Access System will let the library, which is currently open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, be more flexible.

“It is designed to complement staffed library hours,” Sufi said. “Open+ can be implemented in a number of different ways and there are different library models out there. This system is already in place nationwide at 850 libraries.”

Sufi said patrons that are in good standing with the library can be provided with a special Open+ card that will give them access to the system.

Though the majority of the project cost has been covered, the board approved a budget appropriation to pay for the remaining $35,900 to complete the project.

David Little, executive vice president of communications with NVCF, said the funding was part of the organization’s effort to help Paradise with recovery after the Camp Fire.

“It was part of our community development grants,” Little said. “What we hoped to do with those would be to improve, rebuild and restore or enhance community gathering places and the library was an obvious one. Even though the library wasn’t damaged in the fire, it’s definitely a community gathering place that needed a little help.”

Little said the foundation researched some options from libraries in other cities to determine a project that could prove the most beneficial.

“The community is coming back, but it’s struggling and needs some help which is exactly why people gave us money because they wanted to see Paradise prosper again,” Little said.

Supervisor Doug Teeter, who presides of Paradise’s district, said he hopes the system will make it easier on library-goers.

“They did it in Chico and it just assists people in getting in and getting out with their books, making that as smooth and effortless as possible,” Teeter said. “It just helps the community out. I definitely remember touring the Chico one when they installed it and it was pretty cool.”

Paradise resident John Miller George kept his public comment in favor of the allocation brief.

“Vote yes,” George said.

The Butte County Board of Supervisors generally meets at 9 a.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month at its chambers located at 25 County Center Drive, Suite 205 in Oroville. Meetings are free and open to the public. Those who are not fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask while in the building.



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