Goleta Valley Library members revisit the branch’s interior
The Goleta Valley Library system, which extends to Solvang and Buellton, opened its doors for express service Wednesday.
Since then, Library staff have welcomed small groups in shifts, giving them 15 minutes to browse and check out.
Janet Ling, a management assistant at Goleta Valley Library, compared the system to a rollercoaster. Patrons have a limited time inside, but they can get back in line and go again.
Nearly 150 people entered the Goleta library Wednesday. An additional 90 people used outdoor services, such as book pickup.
Kids pranced into the library, grabbing as many books as they could carry and stuffing them into tote bags.
One couple, Joseph and Ixchel, brought their baby into the library for his first visit. Although he is much too young to flip through the pages of a good book, the couple watched their son’s eyes as he took in the experience.
Joseph frequently visited the library prior to the pandemic, but he didn’t use any of the services the library offered outdoors.
He prefers a hands-on experience, browsing the shelves and picking up books and movies from large displays.
The experience of looking through the color-filled bookcases was a theme.
Ursula Ferrall, a retired librarian, ordered and picked up books from the library’s sidewalk service weekly.
“It’s great to be able to get books, but you lose the serendipitous, you lose the browsing component,” she told the News-Press.
She’s been a card-carrying Goleta Valley Library member for 40 years. She was impressed with the staff’s offerings during the pandemic, but she was excited to go inside the building once again.
Goleta Valley Library’s staff split into two teams of eight to provide service to patrons. One team focuses on the online offerings while the other serves in-person.
People called the library, asking when they’d reopen during the last 14 months, Ms. Ling said. Many argued that it is an essential service.
The tutoring and internet connectivity is a big help to some, she said. Some people sit in the parking lot to use the free wifi.
Library staff will be assessing their services and listening to member feedback.
This year, the summer reading program is virtual. All ages can participate in the online, eight-week program running from June 5-July 31.
Participants use Beanstack, a website and app to track reading. Readers make an account and sign up for the summer reading program at goletavalleylibrary.beanstack.org.
Local businesses have donated prizes for the program. Goleta Valley Library staff will ship the prizes in the mail, and participants from Buellton and Solvang will pick up prizes during sidewalk service and express services hours Wednesday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The libraries’ social media will show off special events, like musicians, a magician, puppeteers and the zoo.