The Challenge of Today: The Community’s Vision for Tomorrow

Today, our libraries have a growing role—and perhaps more potential than ever before—to reinforce the communities they serve. In a society burdened by new stresses and divisions, public libraries embody the promise and potential of connection, informed and engaged citizenship, and intellectual growth for all. But meeting the needs of today requires more inviting, flexible, and supportive spaces, better equipped and better resourced to meet unique local needs and expectations.

The communities served by the Santa Cruz Public Libraries have expressed a shared vision for branches that can provide:

  • Truly welcoming and flexible spaces to meet, connect, and build community. 
  • Innovative programs, services, and collections that nurture the discovery, exploration, and learning goals of children and adults alike.
  • Access to training, technology, and digital devices and connectivity needed to participate fully in community life. 
  • The capacity and the flexibility to adapt and respond to growing community needs and changing requirements and standards.

This is the promise of our libraries. But the conditions necessary to realize such a vital role have far exceeded those of some of our branches. With an average age of 40 years old, these branches have lacked the up-to-date infrastructure, amenities, accessibility, and welcoming flexibility that the communities they serve today seek. 

Learn what is planned for these branches:

Rendering of the Aptos branch

Rendering of the Branciforte branch

Rendering of the Garfield Park branch

Community Aspirations and Measure S Progress

Recognizing the serious civic challenge of an aging system, county voters in 2016 passed Measure S, a major bond measure to fund critical repairs and upgrades “to support a steady increase in library usage and bring all 10 branches up to 21st century standards.” While this made it possible to begin work on important vision-inspired upgrades, including facility repairs, renovations, and replacements, it did not fully cover the cost of certain essential branch amenities, services, and resources. 

Separate capital campaigns for two branches, Capitola and Felton, complemented Measure S funding to help underwrite and complete celebrated new branch facilities. At four other branches, Boulder Creek, La Selva Beach, Live Oak, and Scotts Valley, major renovations are now underway or completed, funded by Measure S together with additional, charitable support. 

Now, Measure S-funded major renovations and capital improvements are beginning at three branches—Aptos, Branciforte, and Garfield Park—that will transform these facilities. But important elements of these renovations that their communities seek are beyond the scope of Measure S. Additional funding is therefore required to close the gap between Measure S and community aspirations—to realize the full promise of excellence in library capabilities and character that these communities envision.

Funding is required to close the gap between Measure S and community aspirations — to realize the full promise of excellence in library capabilities and character that these communities envision.

An architectural rendering of the future Branciforte branch

Campaign Fundraising and Branch-Impact Goals Include:

Aptos $470,000
To fund enhanced children’s room and learning resources, teen room, conference and community program rooms, three study rooms, enhanced furniture and lighting, upgraded technology, special collections, interior art and display spaces, and new outdoor patios and reading gardens for children, teens, and adults.

Branciforte $320,000
To fund enhanced children’s room and learning resources, enhanced furniture and lighting, upgraded technology, homework study spaces for teens, a community room, reading area for adults, special collections, interior art and display spaces, and a new children’s outdoor patio and reading garden.

Garfield Park $210,000
To fund enhanced children’s room and learning resources, enhanced furniture and lighting, upgraded technology, special collections, and interior art and display spaces.

These pivotal investments will help transform our libraries into more inviting, flexible, and supportive spaces that are far more responsive to community needs and expectations. They will also support development of innovative programming, services, and collections that nurture the learning goals of children as well as adults. And, perhaps most importantly, they will invite and increase community engagement and use across generations and socio-economic groups—realizing the full promise of our libraries.

Realizing the Promise with Your Support:

For more information, download our case statement:

Download our case statement

To support this capital campaign, donate today:

Donate to the Capital Campaign

For more information about how your gift can help realize the full promise of this library, and to learn about gift recognition opportunities, please contact:

The Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries

Janis O’Driscoll, Board President; 831-427-7716; president@fscpl.org

Bruce Cotter, Executive Director; 603-337-5656; bruce@fscpl.org