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SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: City Libraries Serve Families, Students, Seniors | 05-01-2013
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1947 - Newhall Hardware opens on Spruce Street, now called Main Street [story]


Message from Mayor Bob Kellar
| Wednesday, May 1, 2013

bobkellar2012With nearly two years under our belts for the Santa Clarita Public Library system, I thought this might be a good time to share with you what has been happening with your local libraries.

As you may know, the city of Santa Clarita took over the three local libraries in July 2011.  During the first week of operation, the city infused $1 million in new books and media, extended the operating hours by 19 percent, and increased the annual purchase of materials by 67 percent.  In addition, city property owners no longer pay a $28-a-year special library tax.

If you have not visited the city’s newest library, the Old Town Newhall Library, you are in for a treat.  I encourage you to come and see what a 21st-century library looks like, right on Main Street in Old Town Newhall.

Here a few of the most recent highlights to date for the city’s three library branches:

* The city issued 52,865 new city library cards last year.  This year, we’re projecting we’ll reach 90,000 cards by end of the fiscal year (July 1, 2013).

* The three branches circulated 1,063,739 items last year, and the libraries are on pace to circulate well over 1.5 million items for the year.

* To date, 722,691 customers visited the library last year and by July, it is projected that the city will see 900,000 visitors at its three branches.

* To date, more than 142,636 computers sessions have been booked in the previous year, with a projected 200,000 sessions by July.

* Last year, a total of 109,279 items were requested by patrons and delivered by the city library’s delivery system, which provides delivery of materials six days per week. By July, the city is estimating it will reach 150,000 delivered materials.

* A total of 254,510 visitors used the library’s website (www.santaclaritapubliclibrary.com) last year to access electronic resources and other sources of information. By July, that number is expected to reach 350,000 visitors.

* The library began offering 34 story times each month.  The library now offers 90 story times each month. Additional story times include bilingual (Spanish/English) and elementary grade level story-time programs. In March alone, 2,872 people attended story times, up from 1,400 a year ago.

* Approximately 1,000 new titles have been added to the collection in response to patrons’ suggestions.

* The Friends of the Santa Clarita Public Library recently celebrated their first year with a membership of 110.The Friends of the Library have allocated in excess of $50,000 for programs and materials and have presented several author events at the three branches for the community.

logo-citylibraryI am very pleased with the many families, students and seniors who are enjoying our libraries.  We will continue our commitment to providing a high level of customer service to our library patrons. If you haven’t been to the city’s libraries, I would like to encourage you to visit one soon.

If you are interested in learning more about the Santa Clarita Public Library, or would like to join the Friends of the Library group, log on to www.santaclaritapubliclibrary.com, or call the library at 661-259-8942.

 

Bob Kellar is mayor of the city of Santa Clarita.

 

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3 Comments

  1. Don Ricketts says:

    Mayor Bob: You voted against withdrawal from the County Library System–for good reason–that cost to withdraw, pay the County for its buildings, land, collection and furniture was over $10 million–for libraries, collections and furniture the cititzens of Santa Clarita, as citizens of the county, already owned the libraries.

    Don Ricketts – don@donricketts.com

    • Leon Worden says:

      And as the owners, we fired the management company (the county) when it didn’t do what we told it to do, i.e., add books, services, technology, and stay open longer hours

  2. Don Ricketts says:

    Oh, Leon! That is a superficial spin and makes it look like the City acted in a fit of pique.

    I wrote a long further comment, but deleted it. What’s the point?

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