Librarian wants new programs on the books
Union Tribune: Oct 26, 2005 by Ruth Lepper
Jon Noland is adjusting to his move from the East Coast to a small-town atmosphere. If there is anything he wants to know about Julian, Southern California or the world, he has the information at his fingertips.
Noland is the new librarian at the Julian branch library.
In the past, there has been a branch manager working for the county but not a librarian.
"I'm the first one with a master's degree," said Noland, who holds a degree in library science from the University of Kentucky.
He found the job opening listed on the Internet while working for a library in Florida. His first day at the Julian job was July 1.
"I'm pretty busy adjusting to living 4,000 feet above sea level," he said.
Noland has been meeting a lot of local residents. The library averages 300 visitors a day. Many are from the adjoining schools. The library is on the campus of Julian High School. The junior high and elementary schools are nearby.
Noland wants more people to come to the library.
"We have a very good collection of materials: books, computers, audio books," he said. "But one of the things we need is to have a program to bring people into the library."
That has become his priority: establishing programs that will appeal to children and adults as well as entice families to come together. He especially wants to make the library accessible to youngsters who are home-schooled. At present, a home-schooled group comes once a month.
"There are a lot of home-schoolers in Julian," he said. "There is a need for the library to actively pursue the home-schoolers. They are an important part of the community."
Noland created a program for older people who are uneasy about using a computer. "It's computer instruction mainly for people who have not had access to a computer," he explained.
Twelve computers in the library are available for the public. Noland said there are plans to add six.
A recent project called for teens to record a day in their lives by using disposable cameras provided by the library. They made collages from the photographs taken on a specific day. The works are now on display in the library.
Noland also has added a movie night for teens, at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays.
He said he plans to increase the library's magazine subscriptions from five to 80, with special emphasis on publications that appeal to teens.
"We'll have magazines about skateboarding," he said. "We'll have a lot of magazines about sports, health and beauty; those sort of stylish things. We'll also have some anti-establishment point-of-view (magazines) so you don't look at the media and believe everything you read. It's a balanced collection of views of life and culture in this society."
Noland, 60, has started an adult literacy program here. The Friends of Julian Library provides funding for the one-on-one reading sessions.
The Friends group has a room in the library where it sells new and used books. The room is staffed by volunteers and is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Noland's dedication to his work stems from his teenage years and the time he has spent in libraries. "I've been working in a library for over 30 years," he said. "I worked in a library as a teenager and liked it."
Noland will discuss the new programs and plans at the Julian Merchants Association meeting Nov. 16.
The library is at 1850 state Route 78 in Julian. Hours are noon to 8 p.m. Tuesdays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, call (760) 765-0370.
Photo: Jon Noland, Julian's new librarian, came here from Florida and is busy becoming familiar with the town.