The majestic Santa Barbara Public Library at the corner of Anacapa and Anapamu streets has pivoted quickly to respond to the needs of the community while it is closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The library’s other branches in Santa Barbara, Montecito and Carpinteria remain closed as well, but services continue online.
“We are hosting hundreds of babies and toddlers at virtual story times, assisting job seekers and people filling out unemployment forms virtually in Spanish and English, enhancing our digital collections, and we are even mailing books!” said Jessica Cadiente, library director.
“Last week, we launched a new virtual homework help program, and this program coupled with our Student Success Library Cards will ease the transition for families to online school.”
She explained that the Student Success partnership allows students to access resources that would otherwise not be available — “from read-alongs for emerging readers to test prep books and study guides for high school students. It also gives teachers more tools to supplement research needs or to support independent reading projects.”
For more information, visit www.santabarbaraca.gov/gov/depts/lib/collections/kids/student_success_library_cards.asp.
For parents having trouble assisting their children with school assignments, there is the Learning at Home Resources Webpage: www.santabarbaraca.gov/gov/depts/lib/collections/kids/homework_help.asp
“Our bilingual staff offers support to understand school assignments, figure out new apps and learning technology and answer questions related to studying from home,” said Ms. Cadiente. “Text us at 805-764-4542 or call us at 805-564-5674 from 2 to 4 p.m. Mondays or Wednesdays, and we’ll send you an invitation to a Zoom meeting so that you and/or your child can video chat with us. If a telephone call works better for you, we can do that, too. We can assist children directly with assignments or help parents with school-related challenges.”
Virtual OG Readers is a program to help children in grades 1 through 4 who are having difficulty learning to read. Students are paired with a tutor trained in the Orton-Gillingham approach, which uses multisensory learning, phonics-based instruction and other tools to demystify the process of learning to read.
Other virtual programming services include:
• Romance Book Club: 5 p.m. the first Tuesday of the month. The book on May 5 will be “It Takes Two to Tumble” by Cat Sebastian.
• Spanish Book Club: 4:30 p.m. first Monday of the month.
• Fiction Book Club: 4:30 p.m. second Tuesday of the month.
• Social Justice Book Club: 6 p.m. third Tuesday of the month.
• Cancer Center Book Club: 10 a.m. twice a month on Wednesday.
• Exploring Art: 5:30 p.m. second Thursday.
• Trail Talks: 6:30 p.m. third Thursday.
SBPL Works! offers appointments in English or Spanish via phone or video conferencing to assist with job searching, resume review, interview skills and more. For more information, visit
For the website link in Spanish, visit
“No matter the challenge or difficulty you may face during this trying time, the Santa Barbara Public Library is your lifeline and is here for you,” said Ms. Cadiente.
For more information about virtual services at the Santa Barbara Public Library during its closure, call 805-564-5608 or visit www.sblibrary.org.