The Goleta Valley Library will show off its brand-new Bookvan for the Isla Vista community at a special ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Monday at the Isla Vista Community Center parking lot, 976 Embarcadero Del Mar.
Speakers will include state Sen. Monique Limón, D-Santa Barbara, who procured the $200,000 California State Grant for the project, Santa Barbara County 3rd District Supervisor Joan Hartmann, Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte and Isla Vista Community Services District Board President Spencer Brandt.
The ribbon-cutting also marks the Bookvan’s first day of service. Starting on Monday, it will operate Monday through Friday with stops throughout the Isla Vista area. The specialty van will be able to hold approximately 500 books and will be powered with Wi-Fi and a solar battery.
The Bookvan will provide library services to the wider Isla Vista community with the delivery of books, audiovisual materials, Library of Things items, technology, craft kits for kids, honor system books, free books and more.
Library cards will be issued to anyone who wants one. There will be Wi-Fi available near the van so that people can download some of the more than one million items available through the Goleta Valley Library databases.
“Our staff is really excited about taking our show on the road and providing library service and on-the-go programming in Isla Vista. We can’t wait to see all the new faces, distribute tons of library cards, and show the Isla Vista community members the huge variety of material they can access,” said Allison Gray, Goleta Valley Library director who will be on the Bookvan for the first month of operation
“We hope the new Bookvan will spread the love of reading and reach people who may not have been able to physically get to the library,” said Ms. Perotte.
The funding secured by Sen. Limón allowed not only for the purchase of the van but for the hiring of four staff members to run it for a pilot program of two years. It also paid for computer equipment, furniture, a solar-powered energy resource, downloadable materials, a circulating collection of books, DVDs and Books on CD, as well as programming supplies.
The Bookvan schedule repeats every two weeks and is available on the library’s website, www.cityofgoleta.org. Stops include Isla Vista Friendship Manor, St. George’s Teen Center, IV Community Center, Storke Community Center, Estero Park, Studio Plaza Apartments, Sea Lookout Park, Perfect Park, UCSB Early Childhood, West Campus Playground and Isla Vista Elementary School.
Materials will be provided in English, Spanish and Simple Chinese, reflecting some of the main languages used in Isla Vista.
Also, Little Libraries have been provided by the Goleta Valley Library to a number of spots in Isla Vista with more on order. There will be a book return at the Isla Vista Community Center for people to return items early or if they cannot meet the Bookvan at one of its scheduled stops.
“Eventually, we plan to do outdoor programs in Isla Vista with families, teens and adults,” said Ms. Gray. “We look forward to the time when we can introduce story times, STEM programming and more. It can’t come soon enough for us.”