By Mayor Pro Tem Marsha McLean We’ll be starting a new chapter for the Santa Clarita Public Library, beginning July 1. Our Library will be transitioning from being staffed and operated by a private contracted service, to an in-house, City-managed service. Public libraries are vital resources for our community – overseeing and managing these resources is a task we take seriously and to which we are totally committed. Our City Council puts a strong emphasis on learning and education, which is why having a strong Public Library system remains a top priority. We have three beautiful branches available to the community in Canyon Country, Old Town Newhall and Valencia and one more on the way planned for the Saugus community. Libraries provide a safe and free place for our youth to learn about our past, keep history alive and provide a basis for our future. It is a place where ideas can be nurtured and discussed, discovering “variations on a theme,” exploring ideas and concepts and finding new and unique ways to accomplish, say or present something that may have been done in the past but may not work so well in the present day and into the future. We understand that public libraries have evolved over the decades, and in order for us to keep this crucial resource pertinent we must broaden our horizons – learn about old concepts, bring these concepts into relevance and understand why they may not necessarily work for today’s realities. We must adapt as needed, to engage our youth and stay up-to-date with what speaks to them. Even in this digital age, libraries are as important as they ever have been. We are embracing the potential in our Santa Clarita Public Library and writing the next chapter with this transition to an in-house, City-managed service. This change will benefit the community in a variety of ways. As library patrons you will not notice any drastic changes on the front-end, however, behind-the-scenes operations will be more efficient and you’ll soon notice improvements in the quality of our services and resources. Transition to an in-house operation will result in more control over the purchasing of books and circulation. Another benefit is that Library staff will be City staff, who will work to uphold the City’s philosophy statement of providing excellent customer service. We’re also pleased to note that some of our previous librarians are continuing on in new roles, including our City Librarian and two Library Administrators. The Library transition to a City-operated service will benefit everyone in the Santa Clarita Valley, not just those residing within our City limits; we also have customers who live in Castaic, Stevenson Ranch, Sunset Point, Southern Oaks and Westridge. We can’t express how pleased we are about writing the next chapter for the Santa Clarita Public Library! Another exciting event happening at the Library this summer is the return of Summer Reading. This free annual program focuses on worldly topics with the theme, “Reading Takes You Everywhere.” To participate you must have a library card and register online at SCVSummerReading.com. Part of the program includes completing a “5 Book Summer Challenge,” and logging the books read on the website. Participants may earn digital badges by completing online missions and reading books, plus they can enter into online raffles for a chance to win prizes! The Summer Reading Program runs through the week of July 28. Exciting interactive and educational programs, themed “Reading Takes You Everywhere,” will be presented at all three library branches. Events geared specifically towards children, teens, adults or families such as, “Foreign Film Night” and “Out of this World Art,” will be offered for free. As we continue our part to provide valuable programs and enhance services for our community, we hope you take the time this summer to make the Santa Clarita Public Library part of your memories. Remember, libraries are important community hubs – a place you can learn, explore and get to know others in your neighborhood. To learn more about the Library and available programs, please visit SantaClaritaLibrary.com. Have a wonderful summer and never stop learning! Marsha McLean is Mayor Pro Tem of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].