The Future Felton Branch Library — A Vision

The members of Felton Library Friends endorse the following guidelines as we work with the board and administration of the Santa Cruz Public Library towards a new Felton branch library.

• The Felton branch of the future should be envisioned as a vital community-based learning center, one that integrates current models of public libraries as gathering places, activity centers, and community- support institutions. Whenever possible, the library should take advantage of collaborative possibilities within the community, such as promoting the library and its site in relation to watershed education, the arts community, the public and private schools, the homeschool population, churches, and other organizations. The library should be built in a location easily accessible by car, bus, bicycle, and
foot, preferably in the central Felton business district, in order to maximize library usage by residents.

• The Felton branch should be designed following extensive input from community members and library professionals, resulting in a design that has the full support of both users and staff. The design should address all the needs identified in the Felton Library Needs Assessment Project of 1999. A revised
community needs assessment and a design workshop should be among the methods utilized to elicit maximum participation of all parties in the plan of a new building.

• The new Felton branch should address all the needs identified in the Felton Library Needs Assessment Project (1999), including more shelf space to accommodate a wider variety/selection of materials; separate areas for use by children, youth, and adults; comfortable furniture; good lighting; reading areas; more parking; better bathrooms; handicap and stroller access. Additional needs may be revealed in a revised community needs assessment.

• The Felton branch should include a meeting and activity space that serves the needs of children, youth, and adults. Such space could also serve a variety of other public or staff needs, following the principle of “maximum space flexibility” in library design (Standards for Library Services and Facilities,

• The Felton branch should serve the information needs of youth through the high school level, including an electronic homework center, and should therefore approach the standards set for Tier II (regional) libraries in regard to collection size, staffing, and reference service. As suggested in
Santa Cruz Libraries in the 21st Century (2006), “The
Tier System of Branch Development is an appropriate way to organize services in Santa Cruz County, and should continue to be used. However, it may be that at certain sites (notably the San Lorenzo Valley) staffing patterns and other services may need to be modified from the Tier System standards.”

• The Felton branch should meet or exceed the minimum space standard for a Tier I (community) library, as stated in Standards for Library Services and Facilities (2006): 7500 square feet, with 68% public space (5100 sq. ft.) and 32% staff work space (2400 sq. ft.).

• The Felton branch should meet the highest standards for green building (Santa Cruz Libraries in the 21st Century, 2006), should have an architectural design that reflects the character of San Lorenzo Valley (Felton Town Plan, 1987), and should be integrated
with the building site so that significant natural features are preserved.

Felton Library Friends, October 2006