Dear Felton Library Friends —

San Lorenzo Valley residents have been asking what they can do in the light of severe cuts to our Library system, cuts that have reduced Felton branch hours to Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, 1-5 p.m.

The Felton Library Friends steering committee has endorsed the statement below, which will guide our work during the coming months. This will include advocating for at least one day of open hours from 3-7 p.m. so that working people can use the branch.

FLF invites each of you to support our efforts in two specific ways:

Despite the inconvenience of the current hours, use the Felton branch as much as possible. Designate Felton as the pickup location for your online requests. “Use it or lose it” is as true today as when the branch was threatened with closure in 2005.

Write members of the Library governing body, called the Joint Powers Board, and the new Library Director, Teresa Landers (landerst@santacruzpl.org) with your concerns about the Library system and its services to the San Lorenzo Valley. To email the Board Chair, Barbara Gorson, email gorson@pacbell.net. Contact information for all nine Board members is at: http://www.santacruzpl.org/aboutscpl/govern/ljpb/members/

The FLF statement:

In light of the dire budgetary issues facing all levels of government, FLF is focusing on retaining community branches in the Santa Cruz Public Library system. Members of Felton Library Friends attended recent meetings of the Library Joint Powers Board, and spoke forcefully against the closing of community branches. Once the library system budget improves, we will advocate for restoring some hours to the Felton branch, which has sustained the most severe cuts in the system. When the economy turns around, FLF will continue its mission of supporting a new branch building in Felton, plans for which have already been completed.

Although the Library Joint Powers Board voted to retain minimal service at all neighborhood branches, there have been proposals that library service be centralized in four large regional branch libraries, with Scotts Valley being the closest to the San Lorenzo Valley. FLF supports retaining service at community branch libraries — close to children, schools, families, and residential neighborhoods. Community branches best support literacy, equal access for all County residents, and the cultivation of lifelong learning in our communities.

FLF maintains that any proposal to move to a regional library system would be counter to Measures B and R, in which voters authorized a 1/4 cent sales tax that is a core part of Library funding. These measures promised to preserve existing libraries and extend branch library services to the unserved and underserved areas of the County. They included the goal of “augmenting branch library services in the underserved areas of…Felton [and] Boulder Creek…through expansion and renovation of facilities, increased hours of operation, and increasing available library materials.”

“At the moment that we persuade a child, any child to cross that threshold into a library, we change their lives forever, for the better” — Barack Obama

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