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Laurie Ender: It’s time to sign up for your new library card

Live from City Hall

Posted: April 30, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 30, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

As you may already know, effective July 1, the city of Santa Clarita will own and operate the three local libraries.
The local libraries will continue to be public and will be free and open to everyone.

Library patrons and online library users will enjoy an increase in books and media, along with more days and hours and familiar faces at the three branches as many current library employees choose to remain here in Santa Clarita.

For property owners in the city, the new library system will also include a reduction in their annual property-tax bill.
A portion of your property tax is allocated for libraries. Additionally, since 1997, the county has levied a library special tax, currently at $27.84 per year per property, also allocated to libraries. 

The Santa Clarita City Council has chosen not to collect a special library tax. 

Instead, the City Council plans to utilize only the existing property-tax allocation, $4.6 million annually, for libraries to operate and maintain the three city-owned libraries. 

In anticipation of opening day July 1, the city spent $900,000 on new materials for the libraries, including books, magazines, DVDs, CDs and other items. 

This will assure that the opening-day collection is fresh and robust. 

Additionally, the city will spend a substantial amount of money for the acquisition of new materials for our libraries each year.

As part of the city’s new library system, an exciting partnership with the Inland Library Network has been created, which will provide Santa Clarita residents with seamless, online access to more than 1 million titles; 90,000 more than is currently provided through the current library system. 

This partnership will allow the city to integrate its catalog with the Inland Library Network, providing an easy process for Santa Clarita library users to search both online and in the libraries, and borrow materials free of charge.

The partnership will include six day a week delivery of materials to the three local libraries to facilitate quick fulfillment of requests for books and other library materials.

Santa Clarita will also be a member of the Southern California Library Cooperative, an association of 48 independent city and special district public libraries located in Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties, which have agreed to collaborate in providing library service to the residents of all participating jurisdictions. 

Participation in this cooperative will allow patrons of the Santa Clarita Public Library system, access to collections totaling 29 million items of library materials. 

I also wanted to share with you some of the work being done with our 37-member Citizens Public Library Advisory Committee. 

Earlier this year, we conducted a communitywide library survey to find out what our residents’ thoughts and desires are for local libraries. 

The survey was conducted over a three-week period, and about 2,900 surveys were completed online. The results of the survey are very interesting, and posted on the city’s library website at www.santaclaritalibrary.com

The results of this survey, along with the results of more than 20 focus-group meetings, will be utilized to create a first-ever strategic library plan for our local library system.

The new plan is expected to be completed later this year, and will be presented to the City Council for consideration and adoption.

Finally, I want to encourage everyone to sign up for their new city of Santa Clarita public library card. You can start the process now by using our online application (or printing it out if you prefer). 

To receive your new library card, you will need to show ID and proof of address, after July 1, at one of the three local libraries.

We’ve also scheduled dates and times in June for you to obtain your city library card prior to July 1.  These include:

The city’s Main Street Construction office at 24406 Main St. (enter parking lot from Railroad Ave. or Main Street, June 13-25, Monday through Friday, 2-6 p.m.; City Hall, 23920 Valencia Blvd. #120, June 13-24, Monday through Friday, 2-6 p.m.; or Santa Clarita Sports Complex, Aquatics Center, 20850 Centre Pointe Parkway, June 13-25, Monday through Saturday, 1-7 p.m.   The application for your new city library card is available at: www.santaclaritalibrary.com.

Laurie Ender is a city councilwoman can be reached at  lender@santa-clarita.com.

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