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Public Library to Host Community Conversations
updated: Jan 11, 2017, 1:46 PM

Source: Santa Barbara Public Library

Libraries are evolving. While lending books and providing internet access will always be core Library services, changes in technology and the way information is shared create challenges and opportunities that Santa Barbara Public Library is prepared to address.

The Santa Barbara Public Library is committed to continuing to provide innovative events and services that meet the needs of the community, as well as deepening the impact of the work we do to make positive changes in Santa Barbara.

To this end, staff from Santa Barbara Public Libraries will be hosting several community conversations over the coming months. These conversations are intended to be a chance for the library to better understand people's aspirations for the community, the concerns they have, and what they believe might make a difference in strengthening the community.

"These conversations are a way for us to take the temperature of the community. By focusing on the vision that members of the community have, rather than a specific topic or issue, we hope to distill those broad, common themes that resonate with a wide spectrum of people, and let those themes inform the work we do. By listening to people tell us about their hopes for the future and what they believe needs to change in their community, we can create strategies that truly meet their needs and have impact in their lives", said Library Director, Jessica Cadiente.

While the Library can't promise that any new initiatives or programs will emerge from these conversations, the information will help inform the Library's strategic plan and our goals for helping meet the information and education needs of the community.

Santa Barbara Public Library invites members of the public to participate in a guided conversation facilitated by Library staff that will help the Library, the City, and other community organizations plan for the future. Additional dates will be added in the future.

Conversations will be held:

· Wednesday, January 25th, 5:30 pm at Faulkner Gallery, 40 E. Anapamu

· Saturday, February 4th, noon at Faulkner Gallery, 40 E. Anapamu

For questions or to RSVP for a meeting, please contact Molly Wetta at (805) 564-5642 or mwetta@santabarbaraca.gov.

If you are a member of a group - a book club, a parenting organization, a civic club, a neighborhood association, or any group that would be interested in participating in a conversation, contact Molly Wetta at (805) 564-5642 or mwetta@santabarbaraca.gov to schedule a conversation.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 751161 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-01-11 02:04 PM

Great idea, but we'd prefer to complain on Edhat, thanks though!


 COMMENT 751176 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-01-11 02:47 PM

Guided conversation' means the library has an agenda, and wants to build a "consensus" without having to compromise - the only "guiding" allowed is that which will steer the participants toward making the "proper" decision.


 COMMENT 751198 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-01-11 05:29 PM

I'm biting my tongue.


 COMMENT 751202 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-01-11 06:15 PM

So this is a Santa Barara thing, the rest of us just pay our taxes and donate to local Friends of Library?


 COMMENT 751247 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-01-12 10:03 AM

Strange things going on here. Let's talk and then I can make the cuts. Staff and Friends happy about this? I doubt it.


 COMMENT 751248 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-01-12 10:05 AM

I'd like to guide the conversation toward actually restoring some books on the shelf at SB Central after the purge of titles over the past several months. The Book Den across the street and Chaucer's have more volumes available than the library these days. Want to walk in and browse the mystery section or the sci-fi shelves? No-can-do, those categories only exist online now.
On the upside, the library is pleasant and well-lit now with all that empty space where book shelves used to be.


 COMMENT 751255 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-01-12 10:53 AM

Thank you, 248. The library seems to be concentrating on online and abandoning books, at least other than popular taste books, which are available anywhere. I haven't been in the Book Den, but Chaucers feels much more like a library than the SB Central Library. Unfortunately, with the price of new books buying much at Chaucers is not for most of us.

As very well-lit and comfortable, well, only if you like a high ceilinged warehouse which is what the main floor now feels like. Isn't there a citizen library commission? If so, what does it do?


 COMMENT 751271P agree helpful negative off topic

2017-01-12 12:22 PM

I agree that it's obvious the Library has an agenda and that it is just a pretense to invite the public to speak. The Library is slowly doing away with books in paper form and leaning toward everything being downloaded or streamed. When staff leave their positions, no replacement is hired and everyone works twice or three times as hard for no additional pay.

It's so sad. Libraries make a big difference in the lives of so many people. Many, many of us want paper books. We want to VISIT a library and TALK to a librarian and CHECK OUT BOOKS.


 COMMENT 751272 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-01-12 12:22 PM

This particular library director has done this 'purging' in several locations. She creates 'floor space' and then does nothing with it. Talks big about technology but doesn't do much in that area either.


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