About the Library — Governance & Funding


Governance and Funding Overview

by Anne M. Turner (Library Director, 1983-2008)


The City County Library System operates under an Joint Powers Agreement among the County of Santa Cruz and the Cities of Santa Cruz, Capitola, and Scotts Valley. Oversight is provided by a Joint Powers Board, which has financial and other responsibilities for the Library. The Board contracts with the City of Santa Cruz to operate the Library System. The Director of Libraries is responsible to the Board and to the City Manager of Santa Cruz, and all staff, no matter where in the County they work, are employees of the City.

The Library Joint Powers Board is composed of two members of the Board of Supervisors, two members of the Santa Cruz City Council, and one member each of the Capitola and Scotts Valley City Councils. The Board also has three At-large Citizen members. It meets on the first Monday of the month at 7:30PM in the Community Meeting Room of the Downtown Branch at 224 Church Street in Santa Cruz.


Both the Santa Cruz City County Library System and the Watsonville Public Library are supported by City and County property and sales taxes, limited state funds, and private donations.

There are three sources of local public revenues:

  • The Cities of Santa Cruz and Watsonville contribute money from their general funds, based upon the amount they provided for library services in 1995-96.
  • Property taxes allocated for library services are collected by the County in the unincorporated areas and the Cities of Capitola and Scotts Valley.
  • A quarter cent sales tax designated for public library services is collected throughout the County.

A Library Financing Authority divides these revenues between the City-County Library System and the Watsonville Public Library, based on a population formula which gives Watsonville credit for serving people who live in the unincorporated area close to that city.

All California public libraries receive a small annual grant from the State. And the Santa Cruz City-County Library has a modest income from bequests and fine revenue. The Library System augments its money for books and other library materials with gifts from the public and from the Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Inc..