Branch Locations & Hours
Live Oak

2380 Portola Drive
Santa Cruz, CA 95062-4203  (View Map View Map)

Live Oak: 831-427-7711   
Telephone Reference: 831-427-7713   

Branch Services — Beyond Books...

About the Branch:

Square Feet: 13,500

Live Oak

From its inception in 1989, the main focus of the Live Oak Library was to "orient it toward the greatest single need for Live Oak ..." which was children's services. That goal has been achieved and the popularity of the library has continued to grow over the years despite serious setbacks including: the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake which damaged the original building and closed it temporarily; rainstorms in the winter of 1995-96 that poured through the branch roof and damaged 10% of the book collection; and the acquisition and remodeling of the "Albatross" that eventually took flight as the new, open and airy, seaside home for the Live Oak Library.

The Live Oak Library opened in April, 1989 in what was meant to be a temporary store-front location in the East Cliff Village Shopping Center. After surviving minor structural damage in the Loma Prieta earthquake of October 1989, the Live Oak Library continued to thrive in its "temporary" location for more than 6 years, during which open hours and staffing were increased to meet community needs.

In late 1995, the owner of the building in the shopping center began reshaping and replacing the pitched roof. The roofing work continued into the winter through several rainstorms. A downpour on January 17, 1996 resulted in water leaking through the roof, saturating the carpet, damaging books on the lowest shelves and causing the closure of the branch. The difficult decision was made to vacate the building and begin the search for new quarters. It would turn out that the Live Oak Library's new location was to be found less than a mile away on Portola Drive on the Corcoran Lagoon.

The County Redevelopment Agency had purchased the "Zapps Bar and Diner" from an owner who had planned on opening his own nightclub which was to be called the "Albatross". Also known as the "Sail Inn", the building was constructed in 1959 and would need extensive renovation in order to house the Live Oak Library. However, that renovation would actually be the first of two remodels that would completely transform the building.

This first remodel was completed within two years. Opening ceremonies were held on a rainy and stormy February 7, 1998. An estimated 200 people were in attendance and a bit of sunshine broke through at the close of the ceremonies which included entertainment by the Shoreline Middle School Jazz Band and refreshments of gourmet pizzas.

The new library was so popular, that the idea of expanding soon began to be explored. The possibility of the Live Oak Library relocating to another site and becoming a much larger mid-county library was considered. But in the end, the decision was made to stay at the existing Portola Drive site and do a more modest expansion there. The planning process for the second remodel took almost six years and culminated in the Live Oak Library closing for a second time in late May of 2004.

The newly remodeled Live Oak Library (funded by the County Redevelopment Agency) opened to the public on January 17, 2006. The size of the branch increased from 5,967 to 13,500 square feet. It now includes an adult reading room, a young adult room, a storytime area, and a homework center--as well as significantly more space devoted to fiction, non-fiction, and media. The new building features Craftsman-Style design, public art, beautiful views of Corcoran Lagoon, and even a few elements from the old branch--such as the stained glass which hangs above the Reference Desks. The Live Oak Branch Public Art was created by artists Kipp Kobayashi and Noel Korten.

Branch Hours

  • Sun   1 PM - 5 PM
  • Mon   10 AM - 7 PM
  • Tue   10 AM - 7 PM
  • Wed   10 AM - 7 PM
  • Thu   10 AM - 7 PM
  • Fri   10 AM - 5 PM
  • Sat   10 AM - 5 PM