Santa Cruz Public Libraries (SCPL), with the help of its nonprofit partner Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries (Friends), has surpassed a fundraising goal of $1 million.
The funds will aid SCPL in completing its ongoing refurbishments and rebuilds of libraries across the county. From La Selva Beach to Boulder Creek, all branches in the SCPL system are being modernized, expanded and redesigned.
A bulk of the fundraising was met back in 2016, when local voters supported Measure S, a $67 million bond measure for library facility improvements. But rising construction costs left a large gap in funding just last year.
“When the architects got back to us, the gap was a million dollars,” says Janis O’Driscoll, president of Friends. “We gulped because that is a big number, and we are in the middle of a pandemic. But we said, OK, that’s our goal.’”
Friends spent the rest of 2021 raising funds through its Realizing the Promise Campaign, reaching the million-dollar mark on Christmas Eve. More than 500 donors contributed to the cause. Some $68,000 of that amount was raised through Santa Cruz Gives, the GT holiday fundraising campaign that doubled in size in 2021.
“In spite of the pandemic, in spite of that large number, it happened,” O’Driscoll says. “We did it. I want everyone to know how much we thank them for their support. How much these facilities are going to do for this community. Thank you and we know it’s going to make a difference to all kinds of people.”
Realizing the Promise donations will first go to helping complete the Aptos, Branciforte and Garfield Park branch renovations. Later phases of the campaign will support other projects including a brand new Downtown Santa Cruz branch, which will incorporate a low-income housing project.
For information, visit santacruzpl.org and fscpl.org.