The Santa Barbara Public Library is hitting the road this year with a new mobile library branch.
The unit is made possible because of support from the Women’s Fund of Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation. The Women’s Fund provided a $100,000 grant.
The mobile unit will deliver books and more to residents not able to visit the library’s Santa Barbara, Eastside Santa Barbara, Carpinteria or Montecito locations. The mobile branch will start visiting neighborhoods this summer, according to a news release.
Library Director Jessica Cadiente said the vehicle meets a critical need.
“We’ve been successful at taking some of our regular library programming out into the community, and we have established a number of key community partners,” she said. “But we’ve been limited in what we can provide by lack of a dedicated vehicle designed for this purpose.”
The mobile library will make a difference, Ms. Cadiente stressed.
“A mobile van to store and transport the supplies and technology needed to offer everything from early literacy classes to resume review workshops, plus a browsing collection of popular books will allow us to reach more people more efficiently,” she said. “It will truly allow staff to recreate the experience of visiting the library outside of our buildings.”
The Library on the Go Team will work with community partners and residents to determine weekly stops throughout the Santa Barbara Public Library service area, including Santa Barbara, Montecito and Carpinteria. Beyond providing library materials to check out, trained staff will offer Stay and Play programming for children and caregivers, the library’s Works! program that helps people find jobs and one-to-one technology support for seniors learning how to use mobile devices.
Lauren Trujillo, director of the Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation, said the nonprofit has been proud to support “the library’s extraordinary efforts to reach out to our community, even through the pandemic. A mobile library van will continue to be an important access point for services, especially for the most vulnerable members of our community.”
— Dave Mason