Frequently Asked Questions - General


Can I check out items from one branch library and return them to another branch?

Yes, items can be returned to any SCPL branch library. (Watsonville is a separate library system.)

Can I renew an item that I don't have with me?

Yes, as long as there is no outstanding request on the item and you have less than $9.99 in fines on your account.

How can I donate to the library?

You may bring book and media donations to any branch library. Please call the branch first to insure there is adequate space to receive your donation.

Gifts, donations, and Bequests can be directed to the Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries. The donation of books, media, as well as cash and/or security donations given to the Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries do qualify as charitable contributions under the Internal Revenue Code. Gifts to the Friends may be given to support their organization in its efforts to support library service system-wide, for specific projects, monetary gifts in various forms directly benefit the book and media fund, or for services at a particular branch.

How can I get a human being on the phone when I call my branch?

To speak to a staff person at a branch, call the branch's main number. When you hear the list of options for directing your call, press 5 to speak to staff.

For a list of branches and their phone numbers, please refer to this page.

How do I find articles and magazines?

Electronic magazines, newspapers, encyclopedias, websites, databases, links to local resources, and more may be accessed from within the library without a library card. These resources can be found under the Internet Resources tab on our home page. Subscription databases can also be accessed from home, but most require a Santa Cruz library card and a PIN.

The library also subscribes to many print magazines. You may search for magazine titles in the library Catalog to find out which branch has the title you are looking for.

If you need additional help finding articles and magazines, you may call Telephone Reference at 427-7713 Monday through Thursday 10AM - 7PM, Saturday 10AM - 5PM, and Sunday 1PM - 5PM. For complete information about getting reference help, see our Reference Services Flyer.

How do I find books and other library materials?

You can search for books and other library materials from home on the internet with our online Catalog search, which allows you to search by keyword, title, author, or subject. You may limit your search to a particular branch, or limit by format.

If you are having trouble finding library materials and would like help from our friendly staff, you may call Telephone Reference at 427-7713 Monday through Thursday 10AM – 7PM, Saturday 10AM – 5PM and Sunday 1PM - 5PM. For complete information about getting reference help, see our Reference Services Flyer.

How do I obtain a copy of an obituary?

Obituary requests are handled by the Genealogical Society of Santa Cruz County. Check their fee schedule and contact them directly for a copy of an obituary.

The Genealogical Society of Santa Cruz County
P.O. Box 72
Santa Cruz, CA 95063-0072
(831) 427-7707 ext. 5794

How do I request a copy of an article from a Santa Cruz area newspaper?

If You Live Outside Santa Cruz County:

The library charges $5.00 for up to five (5) article requests, and $1.00 for each additional article in the same request. Please make check or money order payable to Santa Cruz Public Library.

In a letter, please give the complete citation for the article(s) you are requesting and mail it (along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope and your check or money order) to:

Reference Department
Santa Cruz Public Library
224 Church St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

A staff member will contact you with any additional questions or fees. Please know that due to limited staff, requests are filled on an "as received" basis and processed as staff time permits.

**Please note that obituary requests are handled by the Genealogical Society of Santa Cruz County. Check their fee schedule and contact them directly for a copy of an obituary.

The Genealogical Society of Santa Cruz County
P.O. Box 72
Santa Cruz, CA 95063-0072
(831) 427-7707 ext. 5794

If You Live in Santa Cruz County:

Please note the complete citation of the article that you are interested in (the title of the article, the paper it appeared in, and the date it appeared). Then visit the Reference Desk at the branch library that has the article on microfilm or in a clipping file. Articles referenced in the Newspaper Clipping File database may be browsed or copied. The majority of local articles are also available on microfilm at the Downtown Branch.

You Can Do That @ the Library?!

Celebrate a Birthday

Give the gift of reading to your child! Library cards are now available for kids of ALL ages.


See our Calendar, Online Catalog or Branch pages for more details and contact information.