About the Library — Planning Documents


Community Service Model

Recommended by the Compromise Subcommittee: Ellen Pirie, David Terrazas, Sam Storey and Barbara Gorson


The model defines key library parameters and features. Detailed implementation, staffing and operational plans will be developed by staff once the Board has approved a model. The details will be reflected in the annual budget for fiscal year 2011/12. The model will be implemented in two phases: 1) beginning as soon as practical and increasing total hours by 20% by January 2012; and 2) a goal of increasing to full hours (50% increase from current hours) in July 2012.

Key Parameters:

  • Deliver service in 10 branches, the bookmobile and other community places and via the web and other technology
  • Provide convenient, increased open hours
  • Create a sustainable cost structure while building appropriate contingency funds and reserves
  • Fund materials at 8% of expenditures
  • Provide technology that meets modern library standards and evolves with changing needs and library practices

Key Features:

Branches and Hours:

Branch Current Hours per Week Hours Per Week
When Model Fully
Implemented in Phase II
Downtown 47 56
Aptos 38 48
Scotts Valley 34 48
Capitola 22 40
Live Oak 30 40
Boulder Creek 21 35
Branciforte 18 35
Felton 15 30
Garfield Park 18 30
La Selva Beach 14 30
TOTAL 257 392

While implementation and operational details are yet to be finalized, the financials for this Model are based on a total of 318 open hours per week in Phase 1: Downtown at 54 hours; Aptos and Scotts Valley at 44 hours; Capitola and Live Oak at 30 hours; Boulder Creek and Branciforte at 28 hours; Felton, Garfield Park and La Selva Beach at 20 hours.


  • Development of a cash reserve that reaches 6.8% of revenues or $795,000 by 2015/16; with a goal of funding to 10% in the following years.
  • Cumulative fund balance grows to approximately 5% of revenues by 2015/16. The intention is to ensure funds are available to handle unexpected issues in transitioning to a new model. The Board will determine the best use of the fund balance and any policies for continuing annual budget surpluses going forward.

Efficiencies & Technology:

  • Operational efficiencies planned and funded (same as Task Force models) include:
    • Self check out/self pick up of holds (currently implemented);
    • Single point of service (consolidated service desks) implemented wherever possible and funding for remodels in some branches so that this change can achieve the greatest level of efficiency possible
    • Courier service is outsourced
    • Floating collections will be implemented once the new ILS system is online and after staff evaluates the options.
    • Process improvements in collections development and management (more preprocessing, automated selection, etc.)
  • Automated Materials Handling is not funded but will be evaluated by staff and if recommended, it will be implemented using other sources of funding (e.g. vendor financing).
  • Routine technology replacement is funded
  • Additional funding for technology innovations and upgrades is provided
  • Technology needed to implement remote reference service is funded.


Staffing in this model (and all the Task Force models) relies upon a new and very different staffing model developed by a library staffing consultant in collaboration with Director Landers. It was developed to provide the maximum staffing efficiency, while maintaining flexibility; and was designed with the assumption that the above operational efficiencies are implemented. This new model restructures the organization and significantly reorganizes how work will be done. Librarians will be focused on work which requires their specialized knowledge, skills and abilities and will be formed into centralized teams to provide reference, collection development and design and delivery of programs. Branch staff will be focused on the movement of materials (circulation and routing) and responding to patron questions as appropriate.

City of Santa Cruz HR is in the process of developing new job descriptions and classifications for most of the library jobs. Once a model is approved, staff will translate this staffing model into a detailed staffing plan and convert the FTE’s calculated in the Compromise Model to actual positions filled by individuals.

Total staff is expected to be reduced approximately 11% from current levels. Regular staff is reduced by 20%, while temporary staff (pages and on calls) are increased from current levels. Management hopes to minimize layoffs through retirements (there will be a retirement incentive program in place) and attrition, but there are likely to be some layoffs.


  • Onsite (Branch) Services: The focus of Branch staff will be to handle materials flow and answer basic information and reference and readers’ advisory questions as time permits. Staffing is determined based on the volume of circulation and for Downtown, there is a square footage factor which increases staffing levels.
  • Virtual and web services will be provided
  • Reference and readers' advisory services
    • On site support in the Downtown Branch and during peak hours at Scotts Valley, Aptos and Live Oak. Note that the smaller branches do not currently have on site dedicated reference and readers’ advisory staff and that will continue with this model.
    • Remote or online access provided for all library locations and from outside library facilities (home, office, etc) during library open hours.
    • 24x7 online chat reference service provided via a contracted service.
  • Programs
    • Current levels of programming are maintained
    • There is a centralized team designing, evaluating and delivering programs system wide (in branches and in the community) at current levels
    • Bookmobile service continues basically unchanged
    • Volunteers and partners are important in expanding opportunities for programming throughout the system and the community
  • Volunteers
    • This model relies on a robust partnership and volunteer program for success
    • Volunteers will be used to assist in sorting and shelving materials in the 6 larger branches, replacing some page staff. Volunteers will also be used throughout the system to enhance and expand opportunities and programs and perform additional tasks as appropriate.
    • A full time volunteer coordinator position is funded and will be responsible for the volunteer program


  • The materials budget will be 8% of expenditures. It will be slightly less in the transitional year of 11/12, but will reach 8% in subsequent years.
  • Physical and virtual materials will be selected, managed and processed by a centralized group and process improvements will be implemented.


  • Funding for a Facilities Master Plan is included so that the Library can begin long term infrastructure planning.
  • Funds are established for routine capital replacement and maintenance.
  • Savings for additional capital projects, building remodels or construction is not provided in this model and will require separate sources of funding.


Phase I:

  • Transition to the new staffing model and organizational structure as soon as practical.
  • Increase branch open hours by January 2012.
  • Evaluate results of the new model, solicit patron feedback, make needed adjustments and get the new service model running smoothly.

Phase II:

  • Increase branch hours to the full amount – 53% increase from current levels.
  • The goal is to increase maximum hours effective July 2012.

Model Flexibility

  • It is recognized and expected that adjustments will be required as different aspects of the new model are implemented, evaluated and improved.
  • Routine evaluation of the model will be preformed to confirm that it is achieving expected results.
  • It is important to understand that no model can remain static for long. Library staffing, structures and services will evolve over time as our communities change and as library services and technologies progress. This model sets the overall parameters for our library system to provide a framework within which change and improvements can be made.

Santa Cruz Library Recommended Service Model
5 Year Projections

FY 11/12 FY 12/13 FY 13/14 FY 14/15 FY 15/16
Sales Tax $5,509,350 $5,564,444 $5,675,732 $5,789,247 $5,905,032
Maintenance of Effort $5,153,415 $5,204,949 $5,309,048 $5,415,229 $5,523,534
Other $326,794 $326,794 $326,794 $326,794 $326,794
TOTAL REVENUES $10,989,559 $11,096,187 $11,311,575 $11,531,270 $11,755,360
PERSONNEL $7,342,383 $7,546,784 $7,682,672 $7,897,062 $8,115,002
OTHER OPERATING EXPENSES $3,132,963 $3,187,777 $3,195,983 $3,245,299 $3,295,328
Facilities Master Plan $100,000        
Single Svc Remodel   $10,000 $20,000    
Single Svc Remodel Downtown   $25,000      
Centralizing Ref Tech Costs $25,000        
Technology Innovation/Upgrade   $25,000 $25,000 $25,000  
FUNDS & RESERVES          
Technology Replacement $75,000 $100,000 $100,000 $100,000 $100,000
Vehicle Replacement $73,750 $73,750 $73,750 $73,750 $73,750
Capital Maintenance $40,000 $50,000 $50,000 $50,000 $50,000
Cash Reserve     $100,000 $100,000 $100,000
TOTAL EXPENSES $10,788,896 $11,018,311 $11,247,405 $11,491,111 $11,734,080
NET GAIN/(LOSS) $200,663 $77,876 $64,170 $40,159 $21,280
$419,009 $496,884 $561,054 $601,204 $622,493
CUMULATIVE CASH RESERVES $495,000 $495,000 $595,000 $695,000 $795,000