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By Maree Hawkins
This article appears in our May 2020 newsletter.
Poetry Workshops. Container Gardening. Scrapbooking. Computer Classes. These programs and many more are offered at the Modesto Library thanks in large part to Reference Librarian Vicki Salinas, who brings her curiosity and sense of fun to the table when planning programs for adults.
Salinas, who has worked at the Library since 2005 and earned her Library degree in 2008, has coordinated programs for adults since 2011. The Modesto Library offers several adult programs each month. Programs are always free and open to the public.
Program planning begins with ideas for topics and presenters, ideas that often come from vocal customers and local governmental and non-profit agencies. Salinas puts her curiosity to work as she sleuths through social media and local publications to identify topics that are trending and experts to present the programs. Programming is always a collaborative effort with her colleagues, both in Modesto and with staff at the other 12 sites throughout the county.
Salinas notes that adult programming is educational and always a learning experience, even when it is a fun. She views a library as a community gathering place that can help people be more educated and informed, as well as make connections with others who share their interests. She also enjoys attending the programs, learning and doing right along with library customers.
In addition to a topic and an expert, a program also needs an audience. “Small groups can be amazing,” she says. No matter how many people are there, she wants everyone to leave informed and with a sense of fun. “Our programs are not always a sit down-and-listen type of program, but are often interactive.”
There are always unknowns when presenting a program. Salinas notes that attendance can be high, low or somewhere in the middle. “It goes in waves,” she adds. A well-attended topic is scrapbooking, which is offered regularly. Materials are provided by Friends of the Modesto Library.
For four hours the public is invited to bring photos and try their hand at scrapbooking. Paper, scissors and scrapbook adornments are provided. “Support from the Friends ensures that adult and family programs happen, either through monetary donations or volunteer support,” says Salinas.
Sometimes a one-time program evolves into a partnership. For example, The Modesto-Stanislaus Poetry Center provides a series of poetry writing workshops June through September for adults and teens. There is also a quarterly poetry book club meeting at the library. The first Master Gardener’s class to be held in Stanislaus County through the California Cooperative Extension Service approached the library to hold a container gardening class this year. This could be the first in a series of gardening events at the library.
Salinas’s programming wish list for the Modesto Library includes music programs, citizenship classes and citizen swearing in ceremonies and cooking classes.
The Friends of the Modesto Library is a nonprofit organization that promotes goodwill and support by the community for the Modesto Library, stimulates public awareness of Modesto Library needs, and seeks out sources of cultural and educational programs for the Modesto Library.
The Friends of the Modesto Library is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit registered in California. All contributions are tax-deductible as allowed by law. (ID#77-0038333).
Friends of the Modesto Library raises money to support youth outreach programs like Summer Reading, Diá de los Niños/Libros and Kids Craft Fairs. We volunteer at these and other Library events throughout the year.
Modesto Friends raised money for the giant aquarium inside the Modesto Library, as well as new benches in the Children’s area and new paint throughout the Modesto Library. 2019 projects include updating the furniture in the family area of the Children's Library, providing funds for adult and children's programs, and purchasing books for community events such as the County Fair and Día de los niños/Día de los libros.
Modesto Friends reach out with programs like supporting the Book Club at Juvenile Hall and Free Books at the Stanislaus County Fair. Our efforts raise awareness of the importance of the Library and of reading. Join us today!
Many local businesses support the Friends of the Modesto Library. We encourage you to support them, as they are supporting us.
Many employers will match your donations. Ask about matching gifts at work.