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Local News

Goleta Valley Library Eagerly Opens New Chapter Under City of Goleta’s Operation

Locals, officials celebrate transition while checking out results of nearly 3,500 hours of community volunteer time

 

Goleta resident Sara Kvaas took part in the task of replacing the old barcode system on the entire collection of 78,000 Goleta Valley Library items.

She was among more than 225 community members who volunteered an estimated 3,371 hours of their time to re-barcode the library materials.

“It was a huge endeavor that was well organized,” Kvaas said. “In my roughly two months of helping, sometimes I was pulling books off of the shelves or barcoding. I would come through the door, and find the person in charge and ask what they needed help with.

“For me, it was exciting because the library is a community resource.”

The barcode upgrade is a final chore in the branch’s transition to independence.

On Sunday, the City of Goleta officially took over direct management of the Goleta Valley Library, 500 N. Fairview Ave., from the Santa Barbara Public Library System. Previously, the library was part of multiple libraries run by the system.

More than 50 residents and elected officials gathered at the library Sunday morning to celebrate Goleta’s decision to take over the branch. The special event featured food, 3-D printing demonstrations, live music and children’s activities, as well as a ceremonial ribbon-cutting.

Mayor Paula Perotte said a library is a welcoming place for people of all ages to browse, research, read, access the Internet and explore.

A library provides activities and programs that bring families together, as well as educational resources, she said.

“Libraries are the foundation of the character of a community,” Perotte said, linking the transition to Goleta’s incorporation as a city in 2002. “We are lucky to have our independent library because it says Goleta values the importance of a place where everyone is welcome.

“There is something in this library for every member of the family.”

The Goleta Valley Library is a member of the Black Gold Cooperative Library System, and the number of employees and the operating hours and days will remain the same. The library is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays.

The change does come with the addition of a new library director, however.

“There have been concerns about staffing (cuts),” Goleta Valley Library director Allison Gray said. “The staff is remaining the same.”

Goleta library staff can provide patrons with the services and programs they most need, she said.

“We plan to do a lot more outreach and find out what people want,” Gray said. “We are hoping to restore some of the services that patrons have been missing. We are excited about the services that we can add.”

The library’s sources of funding come from the Measure L library special tax, library developer impact fees, city general fund contributions, Friends of the Goleta Valley Library donations and Santa Barbara County per-capita funding.

“The county is a tremendous partner in this to be successful,” Councilman Michael Bennett said. “Without the per-capita money, this library just could not be open, but for maybe half the time that it is today.

“That’s the reality that we exist under with the current circumstances.”

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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