Meet the Match!

Here’s some good news for the new year! We are in the final stages of meeting our goal to raise $300,000 as part of a matching grant from the Monterey Peninsula Foundation. The Monterey Peninsula Foundation (MPF) will provide a 1:1 match and we are within 85% of goal!

Funding from MPF and our donors is designated for the Garfield Park, Boulder Creek, and La Selva Beach libraries to supplement the funding that they will receive from Measure S. Specifically, per the agreement with the MPF, funds will be used for improvements to technical resources alongside the enhancement of programming spaces, including outdoor courtyards and children's areas.

All donations to this “mini-campaign” must be received by the end of January. Please consider making a contribution to the Friends to help us “meet the match." Time is of the essence.

In other news, The Friends are pleased to welcome Rebekah Scott to our organization as our new Operations Manager. Rebekah is a Santa Cruz native who has recently returned home after many adventures on the East Coast. We are thrilled to have her on our team!

-Martín Gómez, Interim Executive Director
Chapter Updates
Aptos and Our Community Reads: The selected book for 2021, The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai, captures the terrifying fear and anxiety about the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and early 1990s, and depicts the stigmas associated with those who contracted the disease. It is also about the dynamics of family relations and captures the heartache and the love in families. This book was chosen during a September virtual voting event attended by over 40 people.

The Friends of the Aptos Library began OCR in 2018 to create a shared experience by hosting events centered around a selected book. These events pre-pandemic were films, lectures, art exhibitions, book discussions and more. Virtually they will be able to offer a very similar experience, including a hands-on art project. The virtual format will hopefully allow participants from the entire county to join.
This year's events will include a panel discussion featuring State Senator John Laird (pictured left) about the gay scene during the 1980s in Santa Cruz. There will be two book discussion groups, one hosted by La Selva Beach Library and the other by the Felton Library. A local resident who lost her brother to AIDS will recount the struggles that their family faced during the crises. Professor of History and Politics at CSUMB David A. Reichard will discuss the history of HIV/AIDS activism and the parallels to today’s Covid pandemic. On the lighter side we will focus on the aspect of the book that deals with art. The art department of Soquel High School will participate in a competition to redesign the book jacket and Felton artist April Zilber will lead a hands-on art project. These are just a few of the events that will be offered from the end of January through the first week in March.

In addition to the Friends of the Aptos Library the 2021 season will have events hosted by the Friends of Capitola, La Selva Beach, and for the first time the Felton Library Friends. For a full schedule of events please visit:
Scotts Valley

Scotts Valley Friends plan to resume their monthly Zoom meetings on Wed. Jan. 13. The remodel of the Scotts Valley Branch continues and will hopefully be completed by early Fall 2021. Much work has been done in the Scotts Valley Branch's patio area by Friends such as improving the watering situation, pruning the trees and large shrubs, and staining the deck. The building will have a new roof soon so it will be fully ready for the rain!

Despite the many serious challenges of 2020, the Friends of the Capitola Library saw a number of outcomes for which we are grateful. Progress on the new library building was not suspended due to COVID restrictions. Otto Construction was able to continue working without interruption. When PG&E finally fixed the overhead wires in the fall, work progressed even more efficiently.

In October we were able to re-open our bookstore in a new, larger space thanks to the generosity of the Capitola Mall management. Operating the store would not have been possible without the help of a wonderful group of volunteers: Ginny Morris, Jackie and Doug Russo, Carol Fuller, Sandra Rogers, Michelle Jesberg, Irene Freiberg, Donna Badawi and Constance, Linda Jordan, and Kari Johnston.

Along with the rest of the globe, the Capitola Friends look forward to a healthier, kinder 2021.
Thanks to our generous donors, the Felton Library Friends Steering Committee has created a fund to support future programs in the Felton Library and Park. This fund has been established at the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County by our non-profit umbrella, Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries.