Sunday, May 29 , 2016, 3:31 am | Fog/Mist 58º

Letter to the Editor: Orcutt’s New Library — There’s Good News and Bad News

By Tom Elerding |

The good news is:

At 10 a.m. Dec. 8, the New Orcutt Library will open in Old Orcutt! After an effort lasting over 21 years, we have finally established a new library for the community.

This library will have 4,500 square feet of space, up from 2,800 in our old location. The library is located just south of the new Doc Bernstein’s Ice Cream Parlor in Old Orcutt.

The library will feature expanded shelving for materials, new materials for that shelving, new computers and printers, WiFi service, an ADA computer terminal, expanded printing capability, a copier for general use, additional patron seating, a reading area with comfortable chairs, exterior windows for natural light and, yes, access to bathrooms.

The library assets will continue to grow over the next few months as long lead items are delivered. You are all invited to come in regularly and see it grow.

The entire community has been involved in this effort. In particular, the following individuals and organizations have made this happen:

» Santa Barbara County — Supervisor Joni Gray, and the Board of Supervisors, staff

» City of Santa Maria — Tim Ness (former city manager), City Manager Rick Haydon, City Council members

» Santa Maria City Library — Jack Buchanan (former city librarian), John Corbett (acting city librarian), librarian Mary Housel, numerous staff members

» Santa Maria City Library — Lea Cryor (former branch supervisor)

» Will family — Our landlords at the new facility for their generosity, including holding the space for us at no cost for over a year

» Orcutt Area businesses and organizations — for their generous donations totaling $11,500

» Edwin and Jeanne Woods Family Foundation — $10,500

» Altrusa of the Central Coast (pending) — $5,000

» Santa Barbara Foundation — $5,000

» Moms Club of Orcutt — $2,200

» Orcutt area residents — over $26,000 in donations

» Friends of the Orcutt Library, for raising in the last 21 years over $300,000 for the library, contributing over $100,000 for the new library effort.

Without the support of any one of the above, the library move would not have happened. This new library will serve the greater Orcutt community for years to come. Thanks to all.

But the bad news is:

We need a new Board of Directors.

Those of us who have worked for the last 10 to 20 years or so on the board must move on to other things in our lives. Many of us are in our 60s and 70s. We have done our part, and it is time for others in Orcutt to stand up and take our places. Some of us will continue in support roles for the Friends, and all of us will be available to transition a slate of new board members to take on the job of keeping the Orcutt Library supported.

Please! Consider volunteering to be on the board. We need you. Without new caretakers, this new library of ours will not remain strong and growing. Please call Tom Elerding at 805.934.8325 if you are interested. Without new blood, the Friends of the Orcutt Library will fade away.

We need the community to step up and take on the board’s responsibility.

Tom Elerding, president
Friends of the Orcutt Library

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