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Laurie Ender: The new Santa Clarita public library system

Live from City Hall

Posted: December 3, 2010 10:56 p.m.
Updated: December 4, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 

The city’s new public library system becomes a reality on July 1, but as you might imagine, there is much work to be done between now and then. 

Progress is being made by the city to develop its new public library system, inclusive of the Canyon Country, Newhall and Valencia libraries.

At the last Santa Clarita City Council meeting, two important agenda items were adopted unanimously by the City Council.

The first one deals with re-opening the Canyon Country library as soon as possible.  The second sets up an exciting new volunteer Citizens Advisory Committee that will assist with conducting a community public library needs assessment and developing a first-ever strategic plan for the Santa Clarita public library system that will take our new system into the next several years and beyond.

The City Council voted to approve a plan that will help the county complete the expansion and remodeling of the Canyon Country library and re-open it as soon as possible. 

As you may know, the city-built and owned Canyon Country library (currently operating as a branch of the Los Angeles County Public Library system) was closed in May to facilitate expansion of the library into a previously unused 4,500-square-foot area of the building. 

To complete the expansion of the Canyon Country library and to reopen it by March 1, the City Council authorized a total of $622,600 payable to the county for completion of this work.

Other aspects of the agreement include the county public library supporting Santa Clarita’s application to join the Southern California Library Cooperative, an association of 46 independent city and special district public libraries located in Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties that have agreed to collaborate in providing library service to the residents of all participating jurisdictions. 

Participation in this cooperative would allow patrons of the Santa Clarita public library system to use interlibrary loan collections to access 29 million items of library materials.  It should be noted that additional library partnerships will be added in the coming weeks to provide our residents with a vast number of titles.

The City Council also selected its new 37-member Citizen Public Library Advisory Committee that will work for the next several months with city staff and Library Systems & Services LLC staff to determine the community needs for the new library system, and to create a strategic plan for the new Santa Clarita public library system. 

This is very exciting, and it will help the city develop its new library system in tandem with the specific wants and needs of our community for our new library system.

The first meeting of the newly formed Citizens Public Library Advisory Committee will be held on 6 p.m. Thursday in the Century Room at City Hall. It is open to the public.  At that meeting, the new Citizens Committee will meet facilitator Ronald Dubberly, president of public library-management operations for LSSI.  Dubberly has more than 30 years of high-level experience as a library system director and library consultant, including having served as director of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library and of the Seattle Public Library.

Finally, you can watch the construction of the city’s new 30,000-square-foot Newhall Library via our “library cam” at: www.santaclaritalibrary.com/webcam.asp.

The City Council’s plan is to create a first-rate library system, reflective of the needs and desires of our residents. Much more is taking place in anticipation of the transition, and we will continue to update the public as it evolves.  I encourage you to check back regularly at: www.santaclaritalibrary.com for new information as it emerges.

Laurie Ender is a Santa Clarita City Councilmember and can be reached at: lender@santa-clarita.com. Her column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.

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