are the issues?
A: Maintaining an excellent library
system throughout Santa Cruz County is important to our quality
of life. Thanks to the ¼% sales tax passed by voters 12 years
ago, our libraries have been able to extend open hours, expand
collections of books and other materials, increase outreach
programs and make needed improvements throughout the system.
The current revenue source will expire in
just a few years. Without continued support as provided by
Measure R, our libraries will lose over half of their funding,
forcing drastic cuts in book collections, services, and open
hours. By voting “yes” on R, we can continue to protect our
libraries, with no increase in taxes and maintain the momentum
of ongoing improvements.
A “yes” vote on R ensures our libraries continue
to promote childhood learning and development with programs
and books for young children, resource materials for school-age
children, and programs for teens and pre-teens. By maintaining
outreach services for seniors, the homebound, and people
in remote areas, “yes” on R insures our libraries remain
accessible to all. By offering resources for research and
enjoyment for people of all ages – from data bases to genealogy,
recent novels to books on tape – “yes” on R helps meet the
diverse information needs of our community.
As places to learn for kids, families and
the community, our libraries ensure that information is freely
Q: What libraries are we talking
A: Santa Cruz County residents
are served by two library systems: The Santa Cruz City/County
system operates branches in Boulder Creek, Felton, Scotts
Valley, Santa Cruz (Garfield, Central and Branciforte), Capitola,
Aptos and La Selva Beach, plus bookmobiles and outreach programs.
The Watsonville system provides services in Watsonville,
Freedom, and the Greater Pajaro Valley.
Boards that include elected officials and
community members oversee both systems. Meetings are open
to the public, and finances are audited annually. In each
system, a “Friends of the Library” organization provides
volunteer and financial support.
Q: How will my library benefit
A: Every library throughout Santa
Cruz County will benefit from Measure R because it:
- Protects and maintains our local libraries, with no
increase in taxes;
- Maintains programs and provides books for young children;
- Increases resource materials for school-age children
from elementary through high school;
- Ensures library outreach services for seniors and the
- Ensures summer reading clubs and story time are available
for our children;
- Updates book collections and electronic resources and
maintains open hours;
- Ensures that information remains freely available;
- Creates stable funding for long-range planning projects.
Q: Why now?
A: Yes on R demonstrates sound
planning. Community funding for our libraries is due to expire.
Without Measure R our libraries will be forced to make deep
cutbacks in book collections, services, and open hours.
We can’t do long range planning for the future
development of the system without stable, long term funding.
Without Measure R, our libraries would be unable to proceed
with planned upgrades. Yes on R ensures every branch library
gets its fair share with stable funding for current needs,
future operations and improvements.
The governing boards of the libraries chose
to put this on the June ballot in order to avoid conflicts
with other local revenue measures that were anticipated in
Q: How can voters be sure that
funds are spent as promised?
A: Measure R requires strict financial
accountability and oversight, beyond that required by law.
Published annual audits and citizens’ oversight ensure expenses
are controlled and funds are spent as promised to voters.
Yes on R ensures every community in our county monitors library
spending. Library oversight boards include elected officials
and citizens from throughout the county, and meetings are
open to the public.
The Santa Cruz libraries are proud of their
strong track record of fiscal responsibility. Funds from
the existing sales tax have been spent as promised since
first approved by the voters in 1996. Since then, our libraries
have increased and updated book, electronic resources, and
other collections, expanded children’s programs and outreach
services to seniors, increased open hours by almost 70%,
provided outreach and education programs, built new and remodeled
facilities, and added resources in response to changing needs
and technology. Long-range plans have been developed for
projects in Felton, Scotts Valley, Capitola and Aptos as
Q: What’s the role for libraries
A: People need help sorting out
the vast amount of information available to them. They turn
to libraries for personal enrichment through books, music
and the spoken word. Libraries are community gathering places,
serving groups as diverse as young parents and seniors.
Q: When will the election be
A: Tuesday, June 3rd. For information
on voting (including registering to vote or vote by mail)
contact the County Elections Office at www.votescount.com
Q: How can I help or volunteer
to protect our libraries?
Q: How can I learn more about
local library services?
A: Visit the websites of the
two systems serving Santa Cruz County for more information
on branch location, services, governance, finances and more.
Santa Cruz City/County system: www.santacruzpl.org
Watsonville system: www.watsonville.lib.ca.us