Monday, July 23 , 2018, 9:16 am | Fair 74º


Letter to the Editor: Don’t Let Littlest Libraries Lose Their Funding to New Buellton Branch

Funding figures for the Santa Ynez Valley Libraries will be presented and discussed at the March 16 Library Advisory Committee meeting.

With the addition of Buellton Library to the Santa Barbara Public Library System — and a proposed 50/50, Buellton/Solvang funding split to accommodate the additional branch — I am worried that financial support to allow the little historic Santa Ynez and Los Olivos branch libraries to remain open will be forgotten. 

Santa Ynez and Los Olivos libraries serve citizens of those two townships, especially local children, classes from schools and those without transportation.

Both have been symbols in the two small rural “downtown” areas of the importance of literacy since 1910 in Los Olivos and 1912 in Santa Ynez.

The Santa Ynez Branch is Santa Barbara County Historic Landmark No. 11, the first branch library in California.

They are also visited by tourists, seeking information or curious about local history. Of five distinct historic communities in the Santa Ynez Valley, tiny Ballard is the only one without the two symbols representing a sense of community pride: post office and dedicated space for a library.  

Employed by the Santa Barbara Public Library System from 1976 to 2000, I spent my last 14 years of library employment running the Santa Ynez and Los Olivos Branches.

Books should be available in every community, to everyone. Santa Ynez is my neighborhood, my community.

I support the region’s right to continue having a functioning public library with reasonable hours to accommodate those it serves.

Teresa McNeil MacLean
Santa Ynez

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