contact us  |  join newsletter

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What will the new Santa Barbara Children’s Library include?

    Designed by LPA Associates, a leading library architecture firm, the Santa Barbara Public Library’s (SBPL) new Children’s Library includes:

    SPACE: The current 1,500 square foot Children’s Library is going expand to four times – to over 6,000 square feet – the current size. It will be relocated space in the Central Library.

    TECHNOLOGY: Flexible computer stations will provide an attractive learning environment for youngsters from preschoolers through school-aged children.

    PARENT/CHILD AREAS: Sunny reading nooks for sharing books; spaces to encourage the free play so important to early childhood development.

    PERFORMANCE VENUE: A theatre and program space will provide areas for regular story times and free performances from visiting artists, including musicians, theatre companies, storytellers, and science and nature programs.

    SAFETY UPGRADES: A new fire suppression system protects the community’s investment in the Children’s Library.

  • Who benefits from the Children’s Library?

    As a free resource to all community members, libraries benefit the entire community. Ninety-four percent of Americans say that having a public library improves the quality of life in a community. All local families benefit from the Children’s Library’s resources and community outreach services, such as free books, storytimes and cultural programs.

  • Why can’t the City pay for all of the expenses. Is it necessary for this to include private moneys?

    The SBPL Foundation (SBPLF) was created in response to the desire for an expanded Children’s Library and other critical library needs. The Santa Barbara Public Library is a department of the City of Santa Barbara, and staffing and basic needs have always been provided by government. However, the margin of excellence in programs and collections has long been supported by private donations. The Children’s Library expansion and renovation will only be possible with the help of private donors.

    In addition, to ensure the viability and sustainability of excellent Library programs and collections, the SBPLF has created an endowment fund. Your investment in this endowment is truly a gift that will both honor the donor’s legacy and give the library the ability to meet the future needs of the community.

  • What is the timetable for the campaign?

    Our public campaign begins in October 2014. Construction will take place in Spring 2015, with a grand opening expected later that year.

  • How much will you need to raise to build the expanded children’s space?

    The campaign goal of $5.624 million includes $3.624 million for the renovation project and $2 million for the endowment.

  • How much has the Children’s Library Campaign raised so far?

    As of August 2014, the Children’s Library Campaign has raised over $3.4 million. This amount includes $500,000 of city funds approved by City Council, along with bequests, foundation grants, corporate gifts, and individual gifts and pledges. For the current progress of the campaign, please check the Campaign News section of this website:

  • What are the options for payment?

    Donations may be made by the following methods:

    1. Online: donate at our secure website:
    2. Check: mail your check to:
      Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation
      PO Box 1019 Santa Barbara, CA 93102
      Please add “Children’s Library Campaign” in your check’s memo line.
    3. Planned Giving: By remembering SBPL Foundation in your planned giving, you continue to make a difference for families and children as a legacy for years to come. For more information on ways you can support the SBPL Foundation please call 805.564.5675 or email at
  • Are contributions tax deductible?

    Yes, the SBPL Foundation is a 501 ( C ) (3) organization and contributions are fully deductible to the extent of the law. The SBPL Foundation will acknowledge all contributions for tax records. We recommend you consult with your tax advisor to address specific questions. The SBPL Foundation’s tax ID is: 46-0750188.

  • I don’t use the library right now. Why should I contribute?

    The library helps educate the young and old alike within our community, which supports a better-qualified workforce and community. The library is also an important asset that enriches local culture and deserves both philanthropic and tax-based support from all residents and businesses.

  • How can families and business support the Children’s Library project?

    The Children’s Library Campaign offers a variety of sponsorships and naming opportunities. The SBPL Foundation is willing to work with any organization interested in investing in the children, families and community of Santa Barbara.

    Many opportunities exist to support this important community project. Contributions from individuals, families, businesses, foundations, civic groups and community organizations will be needed to help build the new library. In addition, volunteers are needed for the capital campaign. For more information about volunteering or making a contribution, please call the Foundation at (805) 564-5675.

  • Why spend funds on the Library when there are so many other needs in the community?

    Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that dollars spent on libraries provide tangible economic returns to their communities. This economic payoff comes in many forms, not the least being higher property values and quality schools. The ongoing and productive collaboration between our Library and our school system maximizes taxpayer dollars in times of fiscal constraint. Great libraries create vibrant communities and provide free resources and programs to all residents, regardless of income.

  • Will an expanded library require more staff, thereby costing Santa Barbara more to run it?

    We have proposed the addition of one full-time youth services librarian to supervise the programs and activities in the new young adult room, which is a desperately needed space for our community’s youth. With city and private support, it is our intent to add additional staff, allowing us to provide more programs and services and thus respond to a number of pressing needs.

  • How much more will it cost to operate the expanded library?

    While the new space for the Children’s Library is larger, in fact, it is mainly restructuring an existing location for more efficient and cost effective use. Since the Children’s Library will be located in a current library space, the costs to operate the new space are currently being paid. We are evaluating additional unanticipated costs associated with the use and management of the new Children’s Library. It is our plan to use existing staff members, who will have the opportunity to work more efficiently in a better configured space. Additional part-time resources will be added as funding is available.

  • How will my company’s contribution be used?

    All funds raised, regardless of their source, in this Campaign will be used in the planning, development and construction of the new Children’s Library space. In addition, we are creating an endowment for sustainability and innovation in library services.

  • In addition to our financial contribution, are there other ways my company can help the Campaign?

    Yes. Here are the various ways to support the Children’s Library:

    Links to Web Sites: Web page linkage to the Campaign web site with appropriate banners and copy, as determined by both the Campaign and the Company.

    Active Social Media: Benefits could include links to and from the Library Foundation and Campaign websites to and from a company’s website. We will work with any company to provide relevant and timely copy, as appropriate. The SBPL Foundation will work with your company, as appropriate, to tweet relevant and timely announcements, including Campaign accomplishments, events and awards.

    Traditional Media: The SBPL Foundation will work with your public relations and marketing departments to co-organize media exposure through, but not limited to, appropriate news stories through various media distribution.

    Employee Involvement: Companies have included supportive efforts for employees to learn about and support fundraising efforts through employee campaigns and other means.

    For more information about how your employees can become involved, call 805.564.5675 or email at

Santa Barbara Public Library