Hello from the Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries!

As part of our August newsletter, we're excited to tell you all the updates that are happening within our organization and with the Santa Cruz Public Libraries.
Library Updates

The Libraries are open for curbside pickup

Santa Cruz Public Libraries recently started doing curbside pickup at the Aptos, Downtown, Felton, Live Oak, Scotts Valley branches. This service is available via the SCPL's website - just one call and then you can swing by to pick up your books! Check out a list of hours and more information here.

Book donations are on hold

Due to COVID-19, book donations are still on hold for our organization. For more information email karen@sploids.com on the specifics of when we might be accepting new donations soon.

Santa Cruz Libraries are hosting virtual events almost daily

The Santa Cruz Public Libraries are hosting a wide variety of events daily. With everything from weekly Dungeons and Dragons games to important community discussions such as Gaining Ground, there's something for everyone. Check out their full calendar here.

The WiFi Project is Done

In an effort to provide important utilities to the public, the Santa Cruz Public Libraries have recently completed an initiative to expand the WiFi signal at the Aptos, Felton, Downtown, Live Oak, and Scotts Valley branches. This new and improved signal extends to 600 feet beyond the buildings in all directions. Stop by, hang outside, and get some WiFi! Also, be sure to be on the lookout for the new curbside printing pickup initiative that should pop up this coming week!
Leadership Transitions at the Friends

Changes are occurring at the Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries! In July the Board elected new officers. Cindy Jackson of La Selva is the new President, Bruce Cotter of Felton was elected new Vice-president, (Bruce is also a new member of the Library Advisory Commission), Keith Gudger of Capitola is the newly elected Treasurer, and Nora Brink has been re-elected Board Secretary. The Board also elected Gail Levine, former Superintendent of Bonny Doon Schools for a two-year term beginning July 1, 2020. Congratulations to all!

Staff changes occurred in July too. We welcomed Grant Simmons as our new Coordinator for Community Engagement and said good-bye to Mary Kopp, Volunteer Manager and Marsa Greenspan, Executive Director.

I am pleased to step in as the interim Director for the Friends as the Board conducts a search for a new Executive Director.

Martín Gómez, staying safe!
Currently reading: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Branch Updates

Although the Felton Branch remains closed, curbside service for materials and online learning offer the community access to the collection and programs.
Now more than ever, we are so grateful to have a beautiful outdoor space! The Felton Discovery Park is an integral part of the new Felton Branch Library, providing opportunities for learning about watersheds, pollinators, native plants, and other aspects of the natural world.
The park features many native plants that aid pollination and play host to a healthy watershed. Volunteers are providing ongoing plant maintenance under the guidance of County Parks Volunteer Coordinator Margaret Ingraham. In June, community members worked to protect the beautiful native plantings. In July, the SLV Rotary spent a morning grooming different sections for the enjoyment of visitors. If you are interested in volunteering on future park work days or if your organization might be interested in adopting an area to maintain, please email feltonlibraryfriends@gmail.com. Volunteers may also work on their own schedules in specific areas after consultation with the County Parks Volunteer Coordinator.

The Friends of the Capitola Library are not meeting during the COVID-19 crisis. We have, however, been watching with great interest as progress is being made on the new building. As just one example of what's happening, have a look at a recent photo taken from the main reading room looking toward the children's wing. If you're interested in receiving periodic updates on the building construction, send your email address to Karen Scott at karen@sploids.com

Aptos Friends are excited to share that the library rebuild project has been approved with architects and contractors defined! The process of determining criteria for the new library included three community input meetings. The Friends were included in the review process which was managed by county and library staff. The project is expected to begin the 2nd quarter of 2021 when La Selva Beach and Capitola Libraries are complete.

Aptos, Captiola, and La Selva Beach Friends are working together on the 4th 'Our Community Reads' season, a nationwide program that brings communities together by reading a common book and holding a variety of events. This year will look very different from previous years due to the pandemic, but we are using our imagination to find ways to create meaningful programs using virtual and/or social distanced options.  

For the past 4 years, we have held monthly book sales at the library, but that stopped in March of this year. We are reviewing ways to begin mini-book sales and plan to begin in September. The sales support many of the programs we run and help fund library programming. The sales are also quite popular with many library patrons and readers in the county.
In memoriam - Debra Jones
We are sad to share the news of the passing of longtime Friends volunteer Debra Jones. Debra was a dedicated member of our organization who specialized in book sorting and selecting.

An outdoor memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 29, in Aptos. To request more information, please email debrajonesmemorial@gmail.com. In lieu of flowers, a scholarship fund for young women has been created by Robert Stephens in Debra's memory at Community Foundation Santa Cruz County. Donations may be made at www.cfscc.org/donate/debrajones or by check to Community Foundation Santa Cruz County and mailed to 7807 Soquel Drive, Aptos, CA 95003. Please include a note on the check memo line that this gift is in memory of Debra Rae Jones.
Who inspires resilience in your life during times of great challenge? 

Consider a gift to the Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries to honor someone who inspires resilience in YOUR life. We will send them a letter of recognition, and they will receive special kudos online this summer from the Friends.
Be counted

In what is an important facet of our society, we urge everyone to take part in the 2020 census if they haven't done so already. It's important, safe, and easy! Read more about the census here.
Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries