Dear Library Patrons,
One thing we have learned during this challenging time is that people love their libraries and miss visiting in person. Please know that the Library misses you too! We've worked hard to adjust our services to best meet your needs while adhering to local, state, and federal guidelines for shelter-in-place, and we're pleased to offer some exciting updates. This week we started curbside service at Aptos, Scotts Valley and Downtown to deliver books that patrons have had on hold since March. In June, we will expand our services to Felton and Live Oak. At that time, we will be responding to all new requests. After the County Health Officer reports that it is safe to do so and the Libraries are retrofitted to provide safe service, we will begin opening our doors to provide limited public access, but we do not have a date yet on when that will occur.
The Coronavirus pandemic has laid bare the socioeconomic and racial inequality in our community. SCPL had already developed our 2020 work plan before the pandemic hit, and in recognition of these inequalities had already planned to focus our efforts on digital and information literacy, helping vulnerable populations, community learning and discussion opportunities, and online services. The arrival of shelter-in-place accelerated that process for us, but did not significantly change library goals for service. Since the crisis, the Library has prioritized students and made a Digital Concierge Service that is staffed by Librarians and it is available to teachers to support them in the new arena of online learning. We also worked with vendors so that students could easily transition to a digital library card and access all of the Library's databases beyond its walls. But there is more that we need to do so that students and adults aren't left behind as digital learning becomes the main platform for academic and career growth.
Another fortunate resource that allowed us to quickly pivot and respond to the crisis was the information that our professional association, the American Library Association had the foresight to write up to help guide libraries through planning for pandemics, prior to our current crisis. Before the coronavirus reached the US, we drafted a plan to prepare for the potential implications of a pandemic to its services. And while the Library's public facilities closed on March 14th, the Library never ceased delivering services to the community.
In anticipation of more relaxed shelter-in-place orders, and in addition to ramping up virtual services since the Library closed its physical spaces, the Library has also spent the last 6 weeks carefully planning a phased roadmap to reopening our facilities. Much like the State and Federal reopening guidelines, our plan is intended to allow us to expand services when appropriate. We are also prepared to return to earlier stages of our services, if the health crisis worsens.
In the meantime, we've connected you with your local librarians through Library Programs that have gone virtual. For children, interactive and pre-recorded storytimes, STEAM activities, and crafts are held weekly. For adults, Evening Reads, Conversations for Change, and virtual book groups, are regularly scheduled, with more programs being added for both adults and children. Visit the calendar at santacruzpl.org/calendar for schedules.
SCPL's annual Summer Reading Program has also gone virtual! Imagine Your Story is the 2020 Santa Cruz Public Libraries Summer Reading Program. Kids, teens, and adults are invited to read, do activities, and attend virtual library programs to earn a book and chances to win prizes. The program runs June 1 to July 31. Register at santacruzpl.org/srp after June 1st.
If you don't have a library card, you can still apply for one online! for instant access to eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, News, Movies, and Music 24/7 from home. You can also download our mobile app, available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Spanish language version coming soon! Library staff are happy to talk you through downloading online services seven days a week, from 10am to 5pm by calling: 831-427-7713. You can also contact us for any questions at this number, via email at eLibrary@santacruzpl.org or text us at 831-264-0647.
We miss you very much! And we are constantly working to bring back services and develop new ones while maintaining the health and safety of our staff, patrons, and community.
Susan Nemitz, Director of Libraries
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