Your New Library Plaza: A Safe Community Gathering Space
Source: Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation
After years of advocacy at the City Council and partnership with the Santa Barbara Public Library, the Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation is thrilled to announce the recent commitment from the City to invest $1.115 million in Measure C Funds in a new outdoor Library Plaza space at the Central Library downtown.
The Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation has been encouraging the City to invest in a public-private partnership to rebuild the downtown Library Plaza, and now the City has committed to restoring this critical public space that is needed now more than ever.
In its current state Library Plaza is inaccessible, unsafe, and requires Library patrons to make their way through blight in order to reach the Library doors. The new Library Plaza will be free of barriers and accessible for strollers, wheelchairs, and patrons of all ages and abilities. It is a crucial Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) project for the City.
Library Plaza will open doors to expanded experiences in literacy, learning, and adventure. This space anchors our historic Cultural Arts District. In its new form, Library Plaza will be a space for our community to regather –when we can-- and for our Library to lead safe open-air programming. Even in crisis, while many libraries across the country remain shuttered, the Library has continually served the public’s evolving needs as an active and ever-changing community center, providing home deliveries and now curbside service.
A safe outdoor space will expand these efforts and serve our most vulnerable community members. Imagine outdoor storytimes and literary programs for children, families, and caregivers; imagine poetry readings, art shows, and events like Juneteenth; imagine workforce development opportunities and job fairs.
The possibilities are endless and timely. Our community deserves a safe space for everyone to be seen, represented, and supported with educational opportunities. The Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation is moving forward to re-start our Library Plaza Campaign efforts, to build a space that is needed now more than ever for our Library and community. Now is the time for Santa Barbara to thrive with a revitalized public square. We have the opportunity to meet the changing needs of our community and create a legacy for generations to come.
The Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation supports the Santa Barbara Public Library by funding large-scale initiatives like the Children’s Library, SB Reads, SBPL Delivers, and the future Library Plaza. The Foundation opens doors by offering critical support not covered through public dollars. Visit our website sblibraryfoundation.org to learn more about how you can support the Santa Barbara Public Library.