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By Kristin Kjaero

May 26, 2010 (La Mesa) -- Come one, come all and help the La Mesa Library celebrate its second birthday Friday, May 28 with an afternoon of music by Raggle Taggle (2:30 p.m.), refreshments (3:30 p.m.), Lego building (3:45 p.m.), and San Diego County Library Director José Aponte (2:30 –p.m. to 5:00 p.m.).

Since the La Mesa branch moved to its current location some 700,000 people have passed through the doors,  1,134,619 items have been checked out, and it was number one for the most circulation of 33 branches in the County Library system with 72,282 items checked out for the month of April.

The library serves as the community front porch, and adds to the hometown feeling locals treasure in the La Mesa Village. All ages and interests find something in a full array of programs, from children’s story times and Lego clubs, to teen crafts, knitting and chess clubs, job searching, coffee and book club, to name but a few.

This community connection is further reflected in a staff that knows patrons by name and interest, and will once again march as the La Mesa Library Book Cart Drill Team in the La Mesa Flag Day Parade on June 5.

The fifteen public Internet stations are always busy, and the library’s Wi-Fi connection is equally popular with customers.

Likewise, people love the opportunity the new location gives to pick up bargains in the Friends of the La Mesa Library used bookstore, and know that they are support the branch at the same time. The bookstore is open 1-4 daily.

From the comfort of home, cardholders can go to sdcl.org to search and reserve items not only from any of the System’s branches, but also the catalogs of SDSU, UCSD and USD through the Circuit system, as well as fifteen other public (including San Francisco and Riverside) libraries and thirty-eight academic libraries through Link Plus.

One receives an e-mail notice when reserve items arrive at the branch, plus a handy reminder three days before things become due so one can return them on time or renew on-line.

Despite the financial challenges all public entities face these days, the San Diego County Library system is doing relatively well overall. All branches remain open and there have been no lay-offs.

RFID check out was recently installed in the branch, so that all items contain a radio frequency identifier device that allows customers to simply scan their card and stack all their books at once onto the desk for instant-read check out.

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