This summer, the Goleta and Santa Ynez Valley libraries are starting the 2020 Book to Action program, running Tuesday, July 7 through Friday, Aug. 21. The program features the moving true story “Strays: A Lost Cat, a Homeless Man & Their Journey Across America” by Britt Collins.

“Strays” describes the incredible journey of Michael King, a homeless man living in Portland, Ore., who befriends a lost cat he names Tabor. As the two travel across several states and overcome many challenges together, they form a healing bond that speaks to the special connection humans share with their animal companions and the impact that rescuing an animal can have in a person’s life.

Copies of the book are available for the community to borrow from the print and digital collections at Goleta, Buellton and Solvang libraries.

In celebration of the book’s theme, the Goleta and Santa Ynez Valley libraries are offering a variety of virtual programs for all ages throughout July and August. To kick off the program, patrons who participate in the libraries’ Sidewalk Service will receive a color-your-own-cat bookmark in their paper bags at pick-up, with a link to the website to view the full schedule of events.

Weekly programming will include pet-themed craft workshops, book discussions, adoption-themed storytimes in English and Spanish, presentations by community panelists, and an author spotlight visit from Collins.

All Book to Action programs will be accessible virtually through GoToMeeting, Facebook and YouTube.
In August, the Book to Action program will culminate in a donation drive for area organizations such as ASAP to provide them with essential supplies and materials to help local animals in need. The Goleta and Santa Ynez Valley libraries will serve as collection sites for these materials and will present them to the organizations at the end of the Book to Action program.
Following are more details on Book to Action programs; also, visit to see a full calendar of events.

» Color your own bookmark — Tuesday, July 7-Friday, July 31. An activity for all ages, the bookmark’s cat design represents the theme of “Strays” and includes information about the 2020 Book to Action program.
» Rescue Pet Brag Board: Tuesday, July 7- Friday, Aug. 21. Do you have a rescued pet? Send in photos of your rescued pets to be shared on the library’s social media pages. Photos can be submitted to,, and
» Virtual Pet Crafts — Designed for all age groups, a variety of pet-themed craft programs will offer hands-on participation experiences for patrons to enjoy creatively expressing themselves while focusing on the themes of pets and pet adoption. All craft workshops are virtual; check the Library Events Calendar for participation details. Following are times and locations:

Wednesday, July 8, 3 p.m., Pupcycle Craft at Goleta Valley Library
Saturday, July 18, 3:30 p.m., Cat Craft at Buellton Library
Wednesday, July 22, 3 p.m., Cat Toy Craft at Goleta Valley Library
Thursday, July 23, 3 p.m., Pet Crafternoon at Solvang Library
Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2 p.m., Dog Craft at Buellton Library

» Virtual Storytimes: These programs use the power of storytelling to convey messages to young children and their families about the importance of taking care of animals and the journeys pets go on before being adopted. Curated book lists will bring to life many of the same themes of “Strays” in terms that are appropriate and accessible for children.

Storytime offerings will include books in Spanish during Bilingual Storytime. All storytimes are virtual; Check the Library Events Calendar for participation details. Dates are as follows:

Tuesday, July 7, 10:15 a.m., Wiggly Storytime at Goleta Valley Library
Wednesday July 15, 10:30 a.m., Wiggly Animal Storytime at Solvang Library
Tuesday, July 21, 2 p.m., Bilingual Storytime at Goleta Valley Library
Friday, July 31, 11 a.m., Cat Storytime at Buellton Library
Tuesday, Aug. 4, 10:15 a.m., Wiggly Storytime at Goleta Valley Library
Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2 p.m. Bilingual Storytime at Goleta Valley Library

» Pet Book Club — Tuesday, July 14, 2 p.m., Solvang Library. Bring your pet, and a favorite book about a pet, to this online virtual book club. The discussion will cover “Strays” and more.
» Pet Preparedness Panel: Santa Barbara County Animal Services and Office of Emergency Management — Friday, July 24, 2 p.m.: To help provide education and resources to the many pet-owners and animal-lovers in the community, Santa Barbara County Animal Services and the Office of Emergency Management will provide a virtual talk on pet preparedness.

The talk will include such topics as packing emergency preparedness kits for pets, options for pets during an evacuation, and how to keep pets safe during natural disasters. Links to further emergency preparedness resources will be provided as well.
» “Strays” Book Discussions. As community members read “Strays” in print or eBook form, staff will lead readers in discussions of th book’s rich text. Meeting in a virtual setting, participants will be able to share their responses to the story and take part in conversations about the themes and issues conveyed through the main characters’ journey.

All discussions are virtual; check library events calendar for participation details. Dates are as follows:

Tuesday, July 28, 3 p.m, Goleta Valley Library
Tuesday, Aug. 11, 4 p.m., Goleta Valley Library
Friday, Aug. 21, 1 p.m., Buellton Library

» Rescued: Bonds Between Humans and Animals — Thursday, Aug. 13, 2 p.m., Solvang Library. Hear a panel of speakers from Santa Ynez Valley Therapeutic Riding, Happy Endings Animal Sanctuary, and Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network. Panelists from these organizations will discuss how their missions are fulfilled every day and the differences that they are able to make in their communities.

The Santa Ynez Valley Therapeutic Riding Program’s mission is to provide equine-assisted activities to children and adults with physical, cognitive, social, emotional and/or other life challenges.

Happy Endings Animal Sanctuary provides refuge to abused or neglected horses and other domestic animals and uplifts the lives of disadvantaged youth by providing a life-changing rehabilitation experience benefiting both children and horses.

The mission of the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network is to rescue, rehabilitate and return to the wild sick, injured, orphaned, or oil-impaired wild birds, reptiles and small mammals in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, and to educate the public about living in harmony with wildlife.
» Britt Collins Virtual Author Spotlight: Date and time to be announced. The “Strays” author will provide a live-streamed presentation on the true story behind her book and the important messages she hopes readers will take away from the story. An interactive Q&A session with attendees will follow her presentation.
» Donation Drive for Local Animal Organizations: Saturday, Aug. 1–Thursday, Aug. 21. In support of area shelter and rescue efforts, the Goleta and Santa Ynez Valley libraries are partnering with a number of local animal organizations, such as ASAP, to generate community support for their needs through onsite donation drives.

The libraries will serve as collection points for donated items such as pet food and supplies that will be provided to the participating organizations at the culmination of the program.