The city libraries: a community hub, aiming to bridge learning gaps  

The latest bestsellers to timeless classics are available for check out at the Valencia, old Town Newhall, and Jo Ann Darcy Libraries. Katherine Quezada/ The Signal
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Last year, the city of Santa Clarita’s three libraries circulated a total of 1,162,598 books — but talk to the library staff, and they’ll tell you the city libraries of 2024 are about even more than books. 

The city is home to a network of three libraries — the Old Town Newhall Library, the Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library, and the Valencia Library — and all three locations aim to serve as vibrant hubs of knowledge, activities and resources for residents of all ages.  

Each branch caters to the unique needs and interests of its local community and Santa Clarita residents can conveniently access library services from all three branches, fostering a culture of continuous learning.  

The three branches boast an extensive collection of books — from the latest bestsellers to classics. Individuals can explore books covering various genres and subjects, said Gina Roberson, the Valencia library administrator. Her duties consist of overseeing the day-to-day operations at one location, and she also coaches and mentors the full-time staff.  

As a teenager she fell in love with the library because it served as a place of refuge for her, she said.  

“I felt comfortable, I felt welcomed,” Roberson said. “Now in my role … it is wonderful to provide what people are looking for, to give information. But I think the most rewarding part of my current role is being able to help librarians form what impact they’re going to have on the community.”   

Children in the audience sat with their parents and stuffed animals as they laughed at Arty Loon and his magic show on Jan. 16. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal
Children in the audience sat with their parents and stuffed animals as they laughed at Arty Loon and his magic show on Jan. 16. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal

Although libraries are widely known as just a place to rent books, the online resources they provide with just a library card are extensive.  The online library is accessible 24/7 and they also offer apps that can be easily accessed through mobile phones, said Roberson.  

Other things people can access online for free with just a library card are audiobooks, and e-books, free music streaming platforms, and LinkedIn learning modules that are available for free after a grant from the state library was passed and funding was provided.  

The three city libraries also offer enrichment and cultural programs that are catered for all ages and a wide range of interests.  From their “Read to a Dog” workshops where children practice their reading skills to therapy dogs to “Sit n’ Stitch” adult educational workshops, for those interested in learning how to sew, there is something for everyone. These events foster a sense of community engagement and a place where attendees can create meaningful relationships with others who share the same hobby.  

“We really try to build a sense of community,” said Roberson. “The library really is more of a community hub for bringing people together.”  

All three city libraries offer state-of-the-art facilities and services. Public computers, free WiFi and enrichment programs that offer new experiences for people of all ages.  

Roberson said she is excited about planning that is in the early stages for new programs  set to premiere in 2025.  

The latest bestsellers to timeless classics are available for check out at the Valencia, old Town Newhall, and Jo Ann Darcy Libraries. Katherine Quezada/ The Signal
The latest bestsellers to timeless classics are available for check out at the Valencia, old Town Newhall, and Jo Ann Darcy Libraries. Katherine Quezada/ The Signal

One planned highlight is a mobile library.  

Roberson mentioned that they already have an existing pop-up library program in the community where they take books and other materials to local schools, day cares and community centers to help support curriculum.  

“But we are going to look to move that all to a mobile library,” said Roberson.  

“The mobile library will actually be a vehicle that has the ability to bring out tech instruction courses, it will also allow us to take obviously books and materials out into the community with us. This will allow us to bring all of those things to our already existing route and hopefully to additional events.”  

The goal with this program is catering to families that cannot make the commute to the physical local libraries.  

“A library that supports the community is really about meeting people where they are. This allows us to bridge that gap. So, our current pop-up program will just kind of transition into our mobile library route,” Roberson said. 

For more information about the Santa Clarita libraries and their programs, visit www.santaclaritalibrary.com. 

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