The library’s buildings may not be open, but Santa Barbara Public Library has never truly closed. Over the last six months, library staff have creatively adapted to offer services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

From mailing books during the stay-at-home order, generously funded by the Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation, to continuing to offer Lunch at the Library in partnership with the Foodbank over the summer, the library has continued to provide critical services.

By evaluating the needs of the community through public surveys distributed in April and August, the library has been able to adjust its services and hours of operations. As a result of feedback, the library this week is launching new opportunities to browse for materials, and offering expanded pickup times for holds at Sidewalk Service.
Sidewalk Service for holds pickup will be available during the following expanded hours. 
Central Library
Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Thursdays, 2:30-6:30 p.m.
Fridays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Eastside Library
Wednesdays, 2:30-5:30 p.m.
Saturdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Montecito Library
Tuesdays, 2-5 p.m.
Thursdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Carpinteria Library
Wednesdays, 2-5 p.m.
Saturdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
As part of efforts to expand Sidewalk Service hours to Saturday, the library is shifting the hours staff are available to answer questions over the phone, through chat service, or reply to email inquiries. 
Hours for general reference or account information are now

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Call 805-962-7653, email, or chat with staff during business hours.
Patrons have also expressed an interest in being able to access the collection for browsing, or get the help they usually would in person in finding materials. Patrons can browse curated collections of new materials and staff favorites in each category according to the schedule.

Books for Younger Kids — Offering a selection of picture books, early readers, board books, and family movies. 
Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-noon

Nonfiction Books for Adults — From biographies to memoirs, cookbooks to gardening guides, we’ll have a sampling of new and popular nonfiction. 
Wednesdays, 2-4 p.m.

Books for Older Kids — Keep older kids reading with early chapter books, exciting nonfiction, and middle grade fiction. 
Thursdays 2-4 p.m.

Fiction Books for Teens and Adults
Fridays, 10 a.m.-noon
Books for Younger Kids — Offering a selection of picture books, early readers, board books, and family movies. 
Fridays 2-4 p.m.

A Little Bit of Everything — A rotating selection of staff picks for all ages will be available for browsing.
Saturdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Tables of books will be set up near the historic Anapamu Street doors. Browsing is limited to members of one household at a time, and anyone waiting must remain in line spaced six feet apart. Staff will help patrons find books or DVDs, and answer questions about them. Have your library card number ready, and staff will check out items.

For patrons unable to come to the library to browse, librarians can curate a personalized reading list using the Book Match service. Fill out a form for requesting materials for adults, or requesting materials for kids and teens.

The library has also resumed printing services, and has Chromebooks available for checkout for those who need computer access.

Many of the library’s programs continue virtually, from book clubs to storytimes. SBPL Works!, the Library’s workforce development program that offers assistance with all aspects of getting a new job, from interview practice to skills classes, has been able to help many local residents find jobs over the last six months.

If there’s something you need from the library, don’t hesitate to call, said library director Jessica Cadiente: “We are here to help, and continue to prioritize the health and safety of patrons and staff while finding creative solutions to meet community needs,” she said.

Visit the Santa Barbara Public Library online at for information about programs and services. All library programs are free and open to the public.