Auberry Library reopens as Creek Fire containment rises, but it’s offering more than books


AUBERRY, California (KGPE) – Fresno County Public Library’s Auberry Branch is open again following weeks of closure due to the Creek Fire.

The facility closed on Sep. 8 – and reopened 20 days later on Monday.

It’s the second closing and reopening of the library this year.  The first was during the March and April shutdown prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The library continues to limit access due to the pandemic – but will offer curbside service to checkouts of books and videos online.

Fresno County Library’s Rocky Vang says this year marks a huge shift in the way people use the library.

“County-wide we’re doing about 35% of what we normally do.”

But the digital resources at the library are still getting used. Interest in Kanopy, the library’s video streaming service, saw a noticeable jump following the COVID-19 closure.

  • January – 9,732 sessions
  • February – 8,970 sessions
  • March – 11,946 sessions
  • April – 14,888 sessions
  • May – 14,881 sessions
  • June – 12,856 sessions is an online learning portal to better understand programming languages or figure out new software. It also saw a boost in interest following the shelter-in-place order:

  • January – 2,157 sessions
  • February – 1,675 sessions
  • March – 2,190 sessions
  • April – 6,463 sessions
  • May – 4,543 sessions
  • June – 4,821 sessions

As large as some of the numbers may look, Vang says the online system can easily accommodate more users – at all hours of the day.

“Our wifi services are on 24/7. If you have a way to get to the library you can be on the outside of the library itself and have access to the wifi service.”

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