As I write to you on the first day of Spring, I cannot help but feel a sense of new beginnings. My new beginning at the Santa Cruz Public Libraries started on January 3rd. I came to Santa Cruz to serve with a deep passion for libraries. The community’s commitment to renovating and building new libraries is a clear sign that they understand that libraries help local people navigate the complexities of life and support our work.
Libraries are not just community hubs for education and information. They also connect people. Providing a haven for youth, helping people stay engaged in the digital world, and connected through homebound, social, and business services. Libraries help communities develop their identity by working closely with diverse groups to understand the needs and aspirations, providing enhanced quality of life.
My career working in libraries began working as a Page while I completed my Masters of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University. After serving as a Librarian and Library Manager, I progressed to the library Director level. Throughout my career progression, I have seen that the best outcomes for our communities occur through collaboration and communication.
Over the last three months, I have begun getting to know our building projects, library team members, community members, and friends of the Libraries. Each plays a crucial role in putting together our strategic plan for the next three years. As we prepare for National Library Week, April 3-9, 2022, we'd like the community to think about how we, the library, can connect for the greater good.
We will continue to connect our mission, vision, and goals to those of the cities and County. These connections will allow us to do our part in tackling the big problems of diversity, equity and inclusion, homelessness, affordable housing, and improved educational and economic outcomes while working toward the greater good of the community.
In a few short weeks, demolition of the old Aptos Library takes place to begin the work of building a new library that incorporates the beloved Aptos History Museum collection. The new Downtown Library Mixed-Use plans continue to develop, heralding in a new era of a library, affordable housing, childcare, and commercial space collaboration.
I am honored to serve as a Santa Cruz Public Libraries team member. As soon as we complete these new beginnings, more will come. These new libraries demonstrate the best of what can happen when we take our deepest passions, connect with people to understand our common strategic goals and work together to build not just libraries but a sustainable community where everyone is welcome.
I look forward to getting to know you all more and creating that culture.