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Goleta Library Receives Black Gold Cooperative System Membership, Hiring a Library Director

City moving ahead to take over operation of local branch from city of Santa Barbara

Goleta’s branch library at 500 N. Fairview Ave. received acceptance for membership into the Black Gold Cooperative Library System, and the city is looking to hire a library director Click to view larger
Goleta’s branch library at 500 N. Fairview Ave. received acceptance for membership into the Black Gold Cooperative Library System, and the city is looking to hire a library director (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

Goleta’s branch library received acceptance for membership into the Black Gold Cooperative Library System, and the city is looking to hire a library director.

To receive recognition with Black Gold, the city needs acceptance from the California Library Services Board. The board approved Goleta’s request in late-October.

The membership completes the regulatory process required to transition to a municipal library, and Goleta’s direct control and operation of the library from the city of Santa Barbara's management, effective July 1, 2018.

City spokeswoman Valerie Kushnerov said Goleta is expected to experience a continued cost savings with the transition to municipal library management.

Kushnerov said the City Council will need to make a continued general fund commitment to sustain the library’s annual operations and keep its budget reserves intact.

“With increased local control over the library’s operations, budget and decisions that affect patrons, in addition to the anticipated cost savings from no longer contracting with the city of Santa Barbara to manage the library, we look forward to improving services to patrons over time,” Kushnerov said.

“With the transition, Goleta will be directly managing the library’s budget, bringing costs in-house that were previously managed by the city of Santa Barbara.”

The Black Gold membership allows the library at 500 N. Fairview Ave. to benefit from the shared materials distributed among the member libraries in the region, and offers library services beyond hard copy books. 

Visitors will have access to a wide selection of physical and electronic materials, such as mobile hotspots, downloadable books, delivery of interlibrary loans, and downloading or streaming movies, music, eBooks, audiobooks, television shows and comics immediately to devices.

“If Goleta were not a member, it would have to pay a much higher cost to access these materials from Black Gold,” Kushnerov said. 

Goleta currently benefits indirectly from Santa Barbara’s Black Gold membership, Kushnerov said.

Through its new membership, the city will be paying into the Black Gold system annually.

“To our knowledge, Black Gold membership does not expire,” Kushnerov said.

Kushnerov said a Black Gold membership ensures visitors continue receiving resources from the library without any interruption or change.

Goleta is also in the process of hiring a library director to oversee aspects of the transition and to provide library management. 

The city anticipates hiring the position by January.

Kushnerov said funding for the job required a new appropriation of approximately $98,650 to the library department budget to cover the costs of the position for six months in the fiscal year 2017-18, which ends June 2018. 

Funding comes from the general fund's unassigned balance.

The cost for the library director annually is expected to be an estimated $197,000 with benefits, and it will be supported by general fund monies, Santa Barbara County per-capita funding and Measure L, a special tax that funds services at the library.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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