Libraries Local News 

National Library Week: Ready, Set, Library

Santa Cruz Public Libraries celebrates National Library Week April 7 – 13, 2024 with the theme “Ready, Set, Library.” Santa Cruz Public Libraries invites community members to visit their local library:

“Libraries give us a green light to experience something truly special: a place to connect with others, learn new skills, and pursue our passions through book clubs, storytimes, movie nights, crafting classes, lectures, and more. All ten branches offer a wide array of programs, classes and support including in-person Tech Help, conversation clubs for English learners, and resources such as lendable items including laptops, STEM kits for kids, telescopes, ukuleles, and more!”

Sponsored by American Library Association, the first observed National Library Week was April 1958; each year features a different theme. Meg Medina, 2024 Honorary Chair said in a statement, “Libraries connect our communities and enrich our lives in ways we may not realize, and one of my greatest pleasures is discovering the unexpected and beautiful things libraries offer. From book groups to lending sports equipment to providing a safe after-school hangout space and so much more, libraries support us wherever we find ourselves on the roadmap through life’s journey.”

Santa Cruz County is home to 10 public libraries, four of which are located in the Santa Cruz Mountains: Boulder Creek Branch Library, Felton Branch Library, and Scotts Valley Branch Library are all part of the County system. Ben Lomond Library, established in 1914, was for a short time part of the Santa Cruz County Libraries system but was dropped in the 1980s due to Proposition 13 and County budget cuts. The library continues to function independently by donation and is run by volunteers.

Boulder Creek Branch Library

Inside the Boulder Creek Library | Photo by Julie Horner

Boulder Creek Branch Library, 13390 West Park Ave, Boulder Creek

Former 5th District Supervisor Joe Cucchiara originally paved the way for the library to be built on 1.3 acres on West Park Drive in Boulder Creek in the early 80s. The library received an architectural prize for its community fueled design brought to fruition by architect Jeff Oberdorfer. The 4,678 square foot building was dedicated on March 1, 1985 with artwork from San Lorenzo Valley artists integral from inception. Artists included Julie Mackie, Dan and Laurie Hennig, Bonnie Chancellor, and Virginia Fordice. The library underwent a substantial interior renovation in 2021. Damon Adlao, Project Manager at the County of Santa Cruz Department of Public Works said that the remodeled Boulder Creek Library includes elements that are consistent with new designs throughout the Santa Cruz Public Libraries system, including ADA compliant access and wifi connectivity. “We’re trying to update all libraries to this 21st Century model, which involves upgraded technology and creating spaces where students can break out into small learning groups.” Funding for the project was through Measure S and a grant from the Monterey Peninsula Foundation administered through the Boulder Creek Library Friends Chapter and the Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries.

Read more about the Boulder Creek Branch Library |

Felton Branch Library

Inside the Felton Library | Photo by Julie Horner

Felton Branch Library, 6121 Gushee Street, Felton. Follow on Facebook: @FeltonLibraryFriends

The Felton Library used to be housed in the historic Faye G. Belardi building at the corner of Gushee Street and Felton Empire Road in downtown Felton. The current library occupies a once vacant lot next to the Felton Post Office on Gushee Street. Construction began in 2017. Soquel-based architect, Teall Messer, is the artist behind the building design. Long a member of Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Library, he had designed other library projects, including converting an old restaurant in Live Oak into an interim library, and upgrading the historic Garfield Library in Santa Cruz. The Felton Library project was a longtime dream. Messer said, “This has been on my drafting board for 10 years.” Measure S gave them the funding, and Felton Library Friends pushed to get the initial plans drawn. Messer said, “If it wasn’t for them it wouldn’t have happened.”

In February 2020, more than 2,000 people celebrated the grand opening of the new Felton Library. But just a few weeks later, the Felton Branch closed due to COVID. The new landmark building sat empty for over a year while patrons picked up requested library materials at the curb, then in the lobby.

Now the Felton Library offers state-of-the art facilities and community meetings rooms and the adjacent Felton Discovery Park is a delight for all ages complete with a California natives garden, art installations, musical instruments and play structures. The sound of Bull Creek bubbles as it passes through preserved riparian habitat.

Read more about the Felton Branch Library |

Scotts Valley Branch Library

Inside the Scotts Valley Library | Photo contributed by Friends of the Scotts Valley Library

Scotts Valley Branch Library, 251 Kings Village Road Scotts Valley. Follow on Facebook: @FriendsOfTheScottsValleyLibrary

This library was founded in 1953 serving the community from a small space in the Camp Evers shopping center at the corner of Scotts Valley Drive and Mount Herman Road. In 1985 the books were moved to a space in the Kings Village Shopping Center. Friends of the Scotts Valley Library formed and helped move operations into the abandoned Scotts Valley Roller Palace on Kings Village Drive near Sky Park. The building was repurposed and began serving patrons in 2011. Measure S funds along with a Santa Cruz Public Library bond measure allowed for a considerable upgrade, and the renovated facility reopened in August of 2022.

Ben Lomond Library

Kids Corner at the Ben Lomond Library | Photo by Julie Horner

Ben Lomond Library, 9525 Mill Street, Ben Lomond. Follow on Facebook: @benlomondlibrary

The property where the library, Wilder Hall, and Ben Lomond County Park are located was deeded to the community near the turn of the 20th Century. These community gathering places were established specifically in the deed to remain in use as a library, meeting hall, and riverfront park in perpetuity.

Friends of the Ben Lomond Library have kicked off revitalization efforts for the historic Ben Lomond Library building and library operations with a meet and greet and volunteer gatherings at the library located on Mill Street in downtown Ben Lomond. The library building and surrounding property is maintained by the Santa Cruz County Parks Department and is operated by a team of dedicated volunteers. Internet has recently been restored to this overlooked lending library and safe-space, donations of books in excellent condition are accepted. The reading room is available for rent to groups. Proactive community involvement and planning are paramount in this effort to see the library continue for future generations to use and enjoy.

Read more about Ben Lomond Library:

Featured photo: Felton Branch Library by Julie Horner


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