Editorial: Library decision could be hard to swallow
by Press-Banner editorial board
Feb 14, 2011 | 8113 views | 0 0 comments | 895 895 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Because of a bad economy and the rise of the Internet, local leaders will almost surely decide Monday, Feb. 14, that the Felton Branch Library is no longer used enough to warrant upkeep and staff from the Santa Cruz County Public Library System. That would mean Felton’s branch would no longer be a part of the Santa Cruz County Public Library System and likely would close, unless a volunteer group stepped up to run the library, a la Ben Lomond’s downtown library.

A small group of proponents — the Felton Library Friends — have touted keeping the branch active and open. They have raised thousands of dollars toward library upkeep and started plans for a new Felton branch next to the Felton Post Office on the donated Verutti property. We applaud and support these people and their efforts.

However, the statistics point out that fewer and fewer people visit the Felton branch on a daily basis. And with the completion of San Lorenzo Valley High School’s library, students will be served in a brand-new space with up-to-date technology.

Logic suggests Felton doesn’t actually need a library branch, especially if it bogs down the rest of the libraries in the county. Many of us have memories of story hours as children or weekly trips to the library as parents. These days, though, those visits have diminished along with the hours the branch is open. It’s been hard to see this iconic structure closed and fewer patrons attending.

Before pointing fingers at government leaders for eliminating services while we all pay the Measure R sales tax, consider why closure is an option in Felton and not in, say, Scotts Valley. To answer that question, Felton residents ought to ask this: When was the last time I walked into the local branch?

For most, the answer is a clear indication that Felton no longer needs its own public library branch — though many will be sad to see it go.

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