Archive for the Programs Category

New Art Coming to the Downtown Library

One of my favorite things about working in the library is having new art every few months. I am especially excited by by the works that will  be coming to us on Sunday, June 22. Some see works by 11 artists inspired by water, and its importantance in our lives.

David Sievert

David Sievert

The art will be on display from June 22 to September 28.

Paul Topp

Paul Topp

Marc Shargel

Marc Shargel

Russel Brutsche

Russel Brutsche


Shane Mann

Shane Mann

Jerry Clark

Jerry Clark


Artists showcased are Jerry Clarke, Marc Shargel, David Sievert, Paul Topp, Dan Asturias, Michael Mote, Mary Hopf, Russell Brutsche, Shane Mann, Save Our Shores and the Surfrider Foundation.


Making Poetry Fun

Poetry Circle provides welcoming environment for poetry enthusiasts

Poetry Circle 2014- Magdalena

One person seated around the table wrote about the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons. Another wrote about a rivalry between sisters. All 11 amateur poets were participating in the Poetry Circle at the Aptos Branch
on Saturday, April 12.

Led by Corralitos poet and teacher Magdalena Montagne, the Poetry Circle meets three times a month and is one of a number of library programs funded by the Friends of The Santa Cruz Public Libraries.

Montagne says the Poetry Circle allows participants to get out of the fast lane for a couple hours and express their feelings through the written word. “It just really gives you a space to stop and slow down. It really brings
you into the present.”

It’s a “treasure,” says Santa Cruz resident Thea Crossley, who has been coming to the workshops since they began three years ago. “I can’t tell you how precious it is.”

Poetry Circle 2014- Thea Crossley

Montagne begins each Poetry Circle by passing around copies of a published poem or two. She talks about the poem’s theme and then the participants write for 20 minutes. After that, each poet reads aloud his or her work and receives feedback from the group.

Montagne tries to create a relaxed, non-competitive atmosphere. “One of the reasons people feel comfortable writing and sharing is the group is I try to make it fun,” she says. “It’s not an intellectual thing.”

The Poetry Circle meets on the first Saturday of the month at the Downtown Branch, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.; the second Saturday at the Aptos Branch, 1 to 3 p.m.; and the third at the Scotts Valley Branch, 2 to 4 p.m. Writers of all ages are welcome.

Poetry Circle 2014- Joyce Keller (2)


You can help! This program is funded by the Friends and by making a donation here you will support this program and others.

The Friends supports your libraries through fundraising and advocacy.

The Cat in the Hat Visits Santa Cruz Libraries

Story Book program brings children the joy of Dr. Seuss

While Tales to Tails allows the children to read to a patient listener and companion, the Story Book program lets children hear a story from some of their favorite story book characters.

Kids show off their craft creation

Accompanied by a craft project, the Story Book program offers young children and their parents the opportunity to hear a completely new story, or maybe an old favorite, read to them in a way that is more like a performance, not just reading.

This last week, the Cat in the Hat was the premiere event at five of the Santa Cruz library branches. Andria Gordon, a former Bay View Elementary school teacher and avid Santa Cruz Public Library patron, donned the big white and red striped hat to read Cat in the Hat to groups of young children eager to listen.

Gordon as the Cat in the Hat

“[The Story book program] encourages children who are not quite in school yet to come with their parents and be exposed to different stories and be read to and learn a lot of those skills when they do go to school.”

As her first time volunteering with the Story Book program, Gordon sees this type of program as essential to helping young children get started on the path to higher levels of reading and education.

“[The children] were really happy,” Gordon said. “I love the Story Time program. This was something I’d never really seen before. The parents who bring their children to the story time seem to love books and already have a lot of those skills that are going to help them when they start going to school.”

Also volunteering for the Homework Help program, Gordon’s love for reading and teaching translated to her role as a volunteer with the library.

“My area of passion is to teach reading and to have children love reading because it gives you your ability to do whatever you want to if you can read,” Gordon said. “So that’s my little part.”

To support programs like this one, please visit the Santa Cruz Public Libraries website or the Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries website at to make a donation today!

Children crowd around the Cat in the Hat


Furry Friends Make Great Listeners and Companions

Therapy Dogs Lend a Kind Ear to Children in the Tales to Tails Program

Reading to a dog

While many have come to know the dog as man’s best friend, the Santa Cruz Public libraries have proved that they can be so much more.

Started at the Santa Cruz Public Libraries almost four years ago, Tales to Tails is a program which allows children to read to attentive and kind therapy dogs and cats for periods of 20 minutes each week. With around 40 different handler teams at the eight different locations, coordinator of the program Laura Whaley loves witnessing the confidence boost these dogs provide the children with.

“The kids will interact with [the animals] in such a fantastic way and it’s fun to watch and very moving,” Whaley said.

Aside from the obvious benefit of being “able to play with the doggies,” Whaley said she gains immense joy from watching the children come back week after week to read to their furry companion. Considering most of the dogs stay within one branch of the library, the children are able to become familiar and comfortable with many of the dogs and cats.

Whaley said that this past weekend some of the children are coming up on their 50th visit to the Tales to Tails program.

“The kids who get involved tend to stay involved with the program,” Whaley said.

Therapy Dog to read to


For those interested in becoming volunteers or signing up for the program, please visit