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September 22, 2023

Scotts Valley Library Reopens Saturday

It’s happening a few months later than originally hoped, but now, literacy fans and community boosters can rejoice—the Scotts Valley Branch Library is coming back to life.

The Grand Reopening is to go from 10am-2pm on Saturday, at its previous 251 Kings Village Road location. But former borrowers may find it unrecognizable.

“I know the community is excited,” said Yolande Wilburn, the Santa Cruz County Public Libraries director. “We’ve heard from the community members about how much they use the library, and how much they depend on it.”

The event will feature guest speakers, a refreshment café hosted by the Friends of the Scotts Valley Library, storytime for children with Librarian Kari and craft-making.

The library even tapped magician James Chan—a teenager—to help unveil the space.

It’s the result of a June 2016 county-wide initiative approved by voters, called Measure S, that secured approval for $67 million in financing to update branches system-wide.

Felton’s library rework was completed in February 2020 (although most of the community didn’t get to experience it until after coronavirus restrictions were loosened).

Boulder Creek’s branch re-opened in May, and Wilburn urges people to have a peek up there when they can.

“If you have not been to see it, I highly recommend you go,” she said, highlighting the uniqueness of its children’s room. “It’s almost like you’re in a treehouse.”

At the Scotts Valley site Wednesday, landscapers were planting the final ornamental grasses.

Narissa Karthy-Dundas, a library aide, and Paul Williams, a library assistant, emptied the outside return bin of titles such as “The Shamans of Prehistory” and “Dylan Thomas: the Collected Stories.”

Some shelves remained empty. But they’d already stocked most of them.

“I just started a couple weeks ago,” Karthy-Dundas said. “It’s very exciting to be able to bring the resources that the community needs back to them.”

Interim Branch Manager Heather Pereira, who’s working here since her Aptos branch is under construction, said she appreciates the retro aesthetic that serves as a throw-back to the building’s roller rink days.

Local resident Helen Youmans, 50, says she’s happy, after months of construction, to see plans coming to fruition.

“My daughter uses the online version a lot,” she said. “We used it a lot when the kids were little.”

Her parents, in the UK, even purchased a brick in honor of her daughter, during an earlier library promotional drive, years ago.

“I’m excited it’s reopening,” she said.

Drew Penner
Drew Penner is an award-winning Canadian journalist whose reporting has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Good Times Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times, Scotts Valley Press Banner, San Diego Union-Tribune, KCRW and the Vancouver Sun. Please send your Los Gatos and Santa Cruz County news tips to [email protected].


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