CLAYTON -- Describing the value of volunteers, the Clayton Community Library senior branch librarian said they helped make the facility one of the best branches in the 100-year-old Contra Costa Library system in 2013.

Karen Hansen-Smith noted the 6,796 volunteer hours, and the City Council's prompt action taken on roof repairs.

Clearly, community support in the form of $42,000 in donations, volunteered time estimated at $24.75 per hour, $17,000 in sold used books and $3,000 from the United Way allowed patrons to enjoy a peaceful, functional, friendly and informative experience there last year, according to the report compiled by Joyce Atkinson, president of the nonprofit Clayton Community Library Foundation. The library had a total of 125,627 visits.

Atkinson noted the facility is able to operate at three-fifths of regular staffing because of help from community volunteers. The Clayton Garden Club tends the flowers around the library and Boy Scout Troop 484 provides the manpower to move books for book sales, according to Atkinson.

It is the 18th anniversary of the 15,500-square-foot, city-owned Clayton Library, and foundation improvements are still underway. In 2013, $55,000 was spent on bookcases and new CDs and DVDs, and $10,800 for a program coordinator to oversee the myriad of library events and activities.

The library has become a community gathering place partly due to programs such as summer reading, One City One Book, story time, Book Buddies, Teen Advisory Group, Clayton Library Book Club and more.


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As part of part of the County Library Strategic Plan development, residents were asked to name the most important thing the library brings to the community, and responded that it serves as a focal point by drawing people together and providing a place to gather. AAUW meetings, CERT classes, art exhibits and musical programs are examples.

"Ever since we organized to open a library in Clayton, we have all worked together," Atkinson said later. "That is what makes (the library) so special."

The City Council officially recognized Jane Sturgeon, Elise Kuzbari and Joy Koonin with certificates of appreciation for each donating between 400 and 850 volunteer hours of library service.

Councilman Jim Diaz is council liaison for the Clayton Community Library.

Contact Dana Guzzetti at dguzzetti10@gmail.com or call 925-202-9292.

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For more information on the Clayton Community Library, visit www.claytonlibrary.org.