By SCOTT PESZNECKER
Calaveras County's library system is again facing a space crunch.
Increasing needs for office space at the Calaveras County Office of Education may force the Angels Camp Branch Library to find a new home.
Earlier this month the Copperopolis branch had to find a new home after being told its lease would not be renewed.
The Angels Camp branch leases space from the Office of Education for $650 a month. The library's current lease runs through July 1.
The county pays $500 per month and the City of Angels chips in $150.
But Maurie Hoekstra, county librarian, has been told the lease will probably not be renewed because the Office of Education needs more space.
"Unfortunately this came at the worst time, with the state and the county facing major budget shortfalls," Hoekstra said.
County Superintendent of Schools John Brophy said he is considering moving about 20 staff members from the county's special education programs into the building. Those workers are now in district offices.
The special education staff moved out of the building in 1997, leaving room for the library.
In addition to taking in more staff, Brophy said his existing staff is already too big for its share of the building.
"I'm out of space in my part of the building," Brophy said. "I need that space for staff members, more conference rooms, things like that."
Brophy said he will discuss the library's lease at the Office of Education board meeting on Tuesday.
The Angels Camp Branch Library was formerly in the historic downtown area in a 1,000-square-foot building.
"It was dank and dark and small, and it flooded from time to time," said Diana Lewis, the library's attendant since 1981.
The current library home is far superior to many potential sites, Hoekstra said. It is within walking distance of Bret Harte High School, visible from Highway 49 and has plenty of parking which cannot always be said of the historic downtown.