Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries

Meet Monica Parikh Ph.D., FSCPL's Interim Executive Director

Is there a whirlwind in the FSCPL office? It’s our busy and talented Interim Executive Director, Monica Parikh, Ph.D. For two years before beginning her ED term on January 2, 2024, Monica sat on the FSCPL Board of Directors bringing with her a strong higher education administration perspective and leadership skills honed at the University of California Santa Cruz and Santa Clara University.

When Executive Director Bruce Cotter had to leave FSCPL in December 2023 for health reasons, Monica quickly stepped in to coordinate the end of the fiscal year and ensure that FSCPL was fully engaged in its advocacy and fundraising roles in 2024.

Monica’s enthusiasm is a gift to the Friends: “In celebrating Women’s History Month, I’m thrilled to be featured here as a woman in a leadership role. And what could I be more proud of than leadership in support of our libraries? To counter how few we learned about in school, it’s a great time of year to read or listen to a book about influential women.”

As a Board member and Interim ED, Monica focuses on making diversity, equity, and inclusion our reality. The Friends are pleased to promote inclusion in all of our efforts. We promoted two DEI-enriching lectures, "Feminism: Challenging Patriarchy" and "Racism: Origins, Persistence and Opposition" at the La Selva Beach Branch. These important talks from Dr. Robert Strayer explore the history of feminism and racism sparking rich reflective conversations about where we are today and where we might go tomorrow.

In March, Monica invited the Triangle Speakers from the Diversity Center of Santa Cruz to the Branciforte Branch Library. Monica wrote: “Their energy and openness were amazing. What courage it takes to share with strangers. We were so honored to hear their stories and experiences. The Friends are proud to be allies and are committed to supporting libraries as safe spaces for all.”

We are so grateful that Monica is generously sharing her experiences, skill sets, and commitment to public libraries with our community.  

The Friends advocate on behalf of our local libraries and we fundraise for their collections, programs, and facilities. We are recruiting for new Board members and we’d love to talk to you about Board membership and what we do. Please email Janis O’Driscoll and let’s talk about how you can help us support the Santa Cruz Public Libraries.

Branch Art & Exhibits

Pictured here, "Infinity" by Barbara Bailey-Porter. Barbara's abstract paintings are on display at the Aptos Branch Library through May 4, 2024.

Our branch libraries across the county provide exhibit space for artists. Ceramics, oil paintings, tapestries, and photography are just some of the art forms featured. Visit the Santa Cruz Public Libraries Art & Exhibits page to view more.

Branch Events

There is a wonderful new Parents' Support Group at the Felton Branch Library!

This weekly peer group for new parents is facilitated by two local postpartum doulas. This program offers a welcoming space for new parents to learn from each other, make new friends, get breastfeeding and bottle-feeding support, and access to helpful resources. Come in with your questions, concerns, or just for a safe place to meet other parents and create community. Feel free to bring older siblings!

Tuesdays 12:30 to 2 pm starting April 2

Free, drop-in basis, no registration need

Felton Community Room

6121 Gushee Street, Felton

Branch Locations, Hours, and Additional Events

Visit for branch addresses, hours of operation, and complete listings of upcoming events, including talks, workshops, storytimes, crafting, and other activities for all ages.

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