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Campaign looks to make Turlock library 'a shining star'
Turlock library
Renovations and expansion of the Turlock Library are currently underway and expected to be completed in April 2021 (KRISTINA HACKER/The Journal).

The Friends of the Turlock Public Library is launching a campaign to make sure that when the doors open on the community's new library next year, it will be a jewel among the Stanislaus County library branches.

The 2020 Focusing on the Future of the Turlock Library campaign is being undertaken by a group of community volunteers through the Friends organization and they have set a goal of $1 million to provide funds for architectural enhancements, furnishings and technology upgrades for the renovation and expansion of the Turlock Library, as well as some long-term financial support for the library.

As the campaign launches, progress is being made on the new library, which is increasing in size at the current location on Minaret Avenue.

"The Turlock Library renovation has been noticed by many in our community," said FOTPL President Pat Portwood. "It is amazing to see the weekly progress. The foundation has been laid and next comes the framing. We are so excited and grateful for this positive progress during such trying times.

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“Turlock will be a shining star, not only in our city, but throughout the county," Portwood said.

The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors approved the library project in November 2019, with a budget of $12.7 million. The new library will include a community room for library programs and public meetings, an expanded children’s library with adjacent children’s garden, an improved teen area, space for Turlock Friends of the Library, a maker’s space and a quiet reading room. Study rooms, a flexible programming space and an enclosed courtyard will provide additional uses for the new facility. The library will grow from 10,000 square feet to 16,530 square feet.

The project is expected to be completed in April 2021.

“After years of recognizing the need for a newer and larger library in Turlock, I am proud of Stanislaus County’s commitment to this important community project," said Stanislaus County Supervisor Vito Chiesa.

Chiesa will be working with the campaign committee's members — Tina Bates, Ken Bethel, Mary Jackson, Patrick Jensen, Pat Portwood, Hanna and Dieter Renning, Kathy Smith, Ashleigh Volk — and co-chairs Jeani and John Ferrari.

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The current Turlock Library was built in 1968, for an anticipated population of 30,000. While the city’s population has reached an estimated 72,000, the library has not been able to grow with it. The current library facility had no dedicated meeting rooms or space for library programming, such as children’s story times and informational presentations for consumers.

The majority of the funding for the library will come from a loan from the Tobacco Endowment Fund for $6.3 million. Additional funding comes from the library fund balance ($3.5 million); public facility fees ($1.1 million); general fund deferred maintenance of $500,000, which was already set aside for replacing the air conditioning and heating; and $1.3 from the general fund.

The county will work with the Friends of the Turlock Public Library to recognize donors on community donor walls and nine named spaces in the newly renovated library. Any campaign donation of $100 and above will be permanently recognized in the library.

“Library supporters will leave a legacy that the community can honor for generations to come," said co-chair Jeani Ferrari.

To find out more about the 2020 Focusing on the Future of the Turlock Library campaign, contact Friends of the Turlock Pubic Library at or P.O. Box 1260, Turlock, CA 95381 or any campaign committee member. Informative campaign folders are available upon request.