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About the Library — Governance & Funding
The campaign to pass the quarter cent sales tax in 1996 (Measure B) focused on the things polling data told us the public valued most: services to children and seniors, expanded open hours, and bigger collections. "Renovate aging facilities" was listed as the seventh and last item on a campaign card mailed to every registered voter in the county. That card was our primary literature piece, but reviewing the files, every other campaign activity (speaking engagements, targeted mailings, phone banking) focused on the same promises.
The Library System has made substantial progress in implementing the promises of the Measure B campaign. Table 1 below shows what we promised and what we have accomplished. Table 2 shows what we didn't promise but did anyway. And finally, Table 3 lists what we haven't been able to accomplish with Measure B funds.
|WHAT WE PROMISED
[in Campaign Material or the Plan for the New Century]
|AND WHAT WE DID|
|Expand services to children||Youth services staff and thus programming added at most Branches, collections expanded|
|Provide services to child care centers and pre-schools||Mobile YS Librarian added, plus Library had resources to develop project and secure funding from First 5 Commission for Read to Me Grant.|
|Restore Outreach Program||Bookmobile purchased, staff hired.|
|Expand services to seniors||Outreach staff for seniors hired and programs developed|
|Expand/update library collections||The Library Book & Materials budget was increased 44% in FY 97-99, and hit an all-time high of $1.3 million in FY 01-02 before beginning an economy-driven decline. In FY 2007-08 it is $1.1 million.|
|Increase/Restore Open Hours, especially nights and weekends||Open hours were steadily expanded beginning in 1997 - up 79% by FY 01-02. The current level, although reduced, is still a 69% increase over pre Measure B days.|
|Expand reference/information services to all County people, but especially start-up businesses and commuters||Staff added, and multiple improvements in automation and internet access have supported this objective.|
|Reopen Live Oak Branch and construct new Tier II facility||Small branch reopened in 1998; County RDA constructed new, much larger facility that opened in 2006. It has proved to be a very popular branch for users of all ages.|
|Expand Scotts Valley Branch||Branch doubled in size, homework center added in 1997-98. City of Scotts Valley hopes to begin construction of new Town Center that will include a branch library.|
|Accomplish deferred maintenance at various branches||Aptos: In 1997-98, new roof, new carpet, repainted, added shelving, new public desks; upgraded HVAC system, purchased property for added parking lot.
Boulder Creek: In 1998-99, repaired roof, new carpet, repainted. In 2007-08 replace deck, add skylights.
Branciforte: In 1998-99 new roof, replaced circulation/reference desk, added shelving
Central: see Table 2
|Upgrade the automation system, adding more public access computing and stronger Internet services.||All accomplished in 1997-98, with continuing database additions, email and telephone noticing, and Web catalog access following in subsequent years. Library will upgrade System again in 2007-08, adding Instant Messaging and other services.|
|Add staff and equipment required to operate multi-branch library system open at least six days per week.||Vans purchased, courier/drivers hired, routing/shipping/receiving clerks added, Technical Services, Administrative, custodial, and automation staff added.|
|WHAT WE DIDN'T PROMISE||BUT WE DID ANYWAY|
|Open a New Branch at Capitola||The City of Capitola provided a site and portable structures to open a Tier I Branch for which the Library System provides staff, books and materials, and all other library services. The Branch is highly popular, crowded, too busy for the staff and space, and needs replacement by the City of Capitola (as per its Redevelopment Agreement with the County).|
|Abate the Asbestos at the Central Branch Library||This enormous and extremely expensive project could not be avoided. It was combined with the long-planned general refurbishment [new carpet, interior and exterior painting, HVAC repair etc.] of the 1965 building.|
|Move System Services staff to new space in downtown Santa Cruz||In 1997 Library Administration and all the people who work in System Services (cataloging, outreach, delivery, etc.) moved from the overcrowded Central Branch to new space on Pacific Avenue. Since most of the people at the new HQ also work on the public desks at Central, the space had to be close. System Services moved again in Spring 2008 to space purchased by the City of Santa Cruz across the street from the Central Branch.|
|Add bathrooms and other basic facilities to Garfield Park Branch||In 2001-02 the Library System's last Carnegie building was increased from 1,500 to 2,340 square feet, with more user and staff space added, public and staff bathrooms installed, and the whole generally refurbished. The service focus of this branch continues to be young adults.|
|Revise Library's Facilities and Service Standards to ensure that they are realistic and meet 21st Century library needs. Create Capital Improvement Program for achieving.||The Library Joint Powers Authority Board spent considerable time in 2004 and 2005 revising the standards, making plans for the future, and prioritizing Capital Improvement Program projects.|
|WHAT WE PROMISED||BUT COULD NOT DO|
|Construct a 2,900 square foot addition to the Central Branch Library [1996 Plan for New Century]||By 1997-98 we knew 2,900 square feet was not enough, and moved staff to a separate HQ. (See Table 2). Based on further study we now know we need at least 32,000 additional square feet at Central, which it does not appear to be possible to achieve in the foreseeable future.|
|Renovate historic structure occupied by Felton Branch [1996 Plan for New Century]||Renovation turned out to be impractical. A 7,200 square foot Branch is required, which will cost upwards of $4 million, vastly more than the $730,000 predicted in 1996. A Felton Library Friends organization has been formed to work on developing a branch construction project, a community library needs assessment has been conducted and the design for a replacement building is being developed.|
|Install one-stop kiosk-type Information centers with public access computers throughout the county [1996 Plan for New Century]||The proposed sites for the kiosks were all places where we could not afford to build branch libraries: Capitola (but see Table 2), Davenport, Soquel, Bonny Doon, and the Summit. Experience with public use of the Internet and library computers leads us now to believe that this idea is a nice one, but unworkable without 24/7 staffing.|