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About the Library — Planning Documents
The Branch Service Framework
The Library uses a framework for organizing its branch services that helps to rationalize two conflicting library service issues: the desire of the Santa Cruz County community to retain neighborhood-level branch libraries, and the economic necessity of maximizing funding resources by centralizing programs and services. The framework sets standards for physical size, collection contents, service and staffing needs, but it adapts and adjusts the standards to meet the needs of particular service areas.
The framework depends upon the existence of an integrated, online automation system for management of, and access to, the Library's collections and databases. It links all Branch facilities, so that the Library System can meet one of its primary service objectives—providing equal access to information to all citizens in Santa Cruz County by moving items from one branch to another.
Neighborhood Branches are the smaller community libraries that have neither the space nor the resources to provide complete information services to their communities. Instead, they provide a popular materials collection, meet the ready-reference needs of adults, and endeavor to meet the library information needs of children through the junior high level.
Regional Branches are larger, serving regional populations. They have bigger collections, provide more reference services, and endeavor to meet the information needs of youngsters through the high school level. The service area of a Regional Branch usually encompasses Neighborhood Branches as well.
The single Downtown Branch serves as System headquarters for the collections, reference and youth services, and has special collections such as Local History, Californiana, and genealogy.