As the year draws to a close, the Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries (FSCPL) thank you for your support of our ongoing efforts to expand the services and outreach of our public libraries. With your help, we’ve expanded early literacy work with young children, and created forums on climate change, artificial intelligence (AI), poetry, and classical music. You’ve helped us purchase the books and materials that help library users get the information they need to live in Santa Cruz County.
We’re excited to tell you that we’ve had another Big Idea and Santa Cruz Gives, Santa Cruz County’s support for local nonprofits, has given FSCPL the opportunity to participate in its 2023 fall fundraising campaign so that we can carry out our plans in 2024.
FSCPL is seeking support for Boundless Minds: Jail Library Outreach. The mission of the library extends to all County residents, including those currently incarcerated and their families. 70% of the county’s incarcerated read at 3rd grade level or below. Literacy, personal development, family connections, and community engagement are key in supporting inmates and their families now while reducing recidivism in the future.
The Boundless Minds project will increase access to books, materials, and programming for the approximately 450 people who are in the Santa Cruz County jail system daily by providing:

• Books and materials for students enrolled in Rising Scholars, a Cabrillo College program for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people.

• Library space and collection development for Juvenile Hall

• Bilingual education and workshops focusing on creative expression and skills building

• Special collections for young people, people with low literacy rates, and Spanish speakers

The Santa Cruz County Correctional Facilities (CCF) include Main, Rountree, Blaine Street Women’s Facility, and Juvenile Hall. Currently the Santa Cruz Public Libraries provide services to those populations with the CCF Special Collection of books and library services.
You can help people get a new start by giving them opportunities. Donate to Boundless Minds: Jail Library Outreach online at santacruzgives/nonprofit/ Click on the Donate button and choose Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries (listed under Education).
Alternatively, you can send your gift by check. Mail checks payable to Santa Cruz Gives to:

The Volunteer Center
Attention: Santa Cruz Gives
1740 17th Ave.
Santa Cruz, CA 95062.

Note that you are donating to Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries on your check.

You will make a difference.

One incarcerated person told us: “Participating in the [library] program gave me comfort, closeness, opportunity, participation, acknowledgment, and books.” Another told us: “Attending library programs helps me challenge myself and I’m trying to reverse how I feel about my education and my ability to learn.”

Thank you for believing in the power of the public library.

Janis O’Driscoll
President, Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries

READ the full November 2023 Newsletter