Library Common Questions

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Can I use my Thousand Oaks Library card to borrow materials from the Grant R. Brimhall Library and the Newbury Park branch library?
Yes.  Both libraries make up the Thousand Oaks Library System.  Library materials may be borrowed from one library and returned to the other one at any time.

Does the library have any public meeting rooms available?
The meeting rooms of the Thousand Oaks Library are available to educational, civic and cultural groups and organizations in the Conejo Valley, when not in use for City of Thousand Oaks activities.  With the exception of governmental agencies, organizations requesting the use of library facilities must be able to provide proof of their nonprofit status.  Meeting rooms are available during library hours from Monday to Saturday.  For further information , contact Library Administration Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (805) 449-2660, ext. 7301.

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Does the library have videocassettes and DVDs?
Yes.  The videocassette and DVD rental program is a popular service at the Thousand Oaks Library and the Newbury Park branch Library.  The collection is large and the selections include classic and contemporary films as well as a wide variety of educational and documentary subjects.  About half of the collection consists of popular contemporary and classic movies that may be checked out for a fee by library card holders who are 18 years or older.

How big is the aquarium at the Grant R. Brimhall Library?
The 3,600 gallon salt-water aquarium was donated by the Friends of the Thousand Oaks Library and enhances the walkway between the adult and children's services areas. The aquarium is 18 feet wide and 5 feet tall and is home to a variety of different species of fish from all over the world. The reef is man-made and painted to represent coral from various oceans.

How can I find information about my family tree?
The Thousand Oaks Library at 1401 E. Janss Road houses the collection of the Conejo Valley Genealogical Society.  These research level materials will assist the first time genealogist and the advanced enthusiast as well.  Volunteers from the Genealogical Society are available to assist  patrons in using this collection.  Additional information can be found at www.rootsweb.com.

How can I volunteer at the library?
The first step in being considered for a volunteer position at the library is to fill out a volunteer application.  These are available at the Reference Desks in both libraries or can be found on the library website at www.toaks.org/library.  
Library Volunteers generally donate at least four hours of time each week.  Last year, Volunteers donated over 20,000 hours to the library. Completed applications can be turned in at either Reference Desk or mailed to the library at 1401 East Janss Road, Thousand Oaks, CA.  91362.  For information contact Judi Bumstead, (805)449-2660 extension 7325. 

How does the library staff choose what materials to purchase?

The library staff selects materials based on positive reviews in professional reviewing sources.  Library patrons also provide suggestions and requests for specific materials.

How long has the Thousand Oaks Library been open?
The Thousand Oaks Library occupied its new building, at 1401 E. Janss Rd. in January 1982.  At that time, the library was part of the Ventura County Library Services Agency.  In November 1982, the City of Thousand Oaks assumed responsibility for library operations. 

How many story times do you hold? 

The Children's staff presents various series of story times per year.  Story times are offered at the Grant R. Brimhall Library and at the Newbury Park Branch.  A monthly calendar is available at the library or can be viewed on the Kid's Corner page of the Library's website.   

How often are materials chosen?

Selection is an ongoing process.  New items are ordered every day.

If you borrow a book from another library using interlibrary loan, when will it be in Thousand Oaks?
Unfortunately, it is difficult to determine an exact time.  The automated Interlibrary Loan System is quite efficient, checking the holdings of libraries within a few days.  Most interlibrary loan materials arrive at the Thousand Oaks Library within three weeks of being requested.  Many arrive sooner.  Some take even longer.  It depends on the rarity of the item, the accuracy of the bibliographic data that is supplied by the patron and a number of other factors including postal delivery time, etc.

What happened to the card catalog?  Why is there a computer instead?
Computer technology has made it easier and more efficient to store library catalog records online.  The ability to make changes and updates in the computer data with just a few keystrokes has increased the efficiency and reduced the cost of maintaining catalog records.  It also allows library patrons to search the catalog from remote locations via the Internet. 
With an online search customers can check on the status of any item in the collection, can place a “hold” on the item if it is checked out, and even check their own circulation record to see what they have checked out and when it is due to be returned.  Searching for individual items is easier as well since patrons only need to type in a few keywords to find the item they are seeking.  In the card catalog system, customers needed to know the order and spelling of all of the words in a title or author’s name, with the online catalog this level of detail is no longer necessary. All of these changes have made the traditional card catalog obsolete.

What is the current size of the library collection?
There are approximately 370,000 items in the collection including books, magazines, newspapers, recorded books on cassette and CD, videocassettes and DVD’s, CD-ROM’s, puppets and music CD’s.  

What is the difference between the Friends of the Library and the Thousand Oaks Library Foundation?
The Friends of the Thousand Oaks Library is a non-profit membership organization formed to support the library and its branch through special programs.  Money raised by this organization through used book sales and cultural tours is granted back to the library to fund special purchases and programs.  For more information about the Friends of the Thousand Oaks Library and its activities, visit the website at www.ftol.org.

The Thousand Oaks Library Foundation (TOLF), also a non-profit organization, was formed in May 1983.  As a library support organization, TOLF funds major special projects and the purchase of extraordinary library materials.  The Foundation is responsible for the original grants to the library initiating the popular videocassette rental program; TOLF is the primary donor for the purchase of materials for the American Radio Archives. The Thousand Oaks Library Foundation acts as the recipient for all major contributions to the library.

What is the function of the ceiling ductwork?
The ceiling pipes are actually a forced air circulation system.  The system cleans and filters ("conditions") the air and provides air circulation throughout the building.

What is the square footage of the Newbury Park branch library?

The library encompasses 17,000 square feet.  The building includes an additional 4,000 square feet which house the Technical Services Department and the Friends of the Thousand Oaks Library book storage area.

What is the square footage of the Thousand Oaks Library building?
There are 84,000 square feet including the main building, the children's wing, and the adjacent Special Collections Storage building.

What is TOMCAT II?
TOMCAT II is the name of the Thousand Oaks Library Materials Catalog.  This catalog lists all of the holdings of the library and can be searched at workstations in either library or remotely via the World Wide Web at  http://www.toaks.org/library  

When did the Newbury Park Branch open?
The Newbury Park branch of the library opened in January 1991 at 2331 Borchard Rd. 

Who chooses new materials?

Materials are generally selected by librarians and other library personnel who have special expertise in given subject areas.

Who was the main architect of the Thousand Oaks Library-- Grant R. Brimhall building?
A.C. Martin and Associates, Los Angeles.