Something wonderful will happen in Santa Barbara on Monday, July 2, 2012. For the first Monday in two years, the Main Branch of the Santa Barbara Public Library will be open! Budget cuts forced the Monday closings in 2010, although the Library was still kept open on all other days of the week. But now the City Council has found the funds to restore Monday service, at least from 10 a.m to 7 p.m.
At a time when financial problems are causing cutbacks in services, or even total closures, in libraries as well as parks and many other facilities all across our country, it is greatly to the credit of our civic leaders that they have chosen, in one small but significant way, to reverse this regrettable trend. Public Libraries are an essential element of any healthy modern society. I personally have always rated communities by the length of their library hours and have been proud that ours in Santa Barbara were among the best.
I therefore feel that Monday, July 2, (which happens to fall just half-way between the Solstice Parade and the revived French Festival) should be a day of special celebration in Santa Barbara. Some kind of party should be held in front of the library to mark this unique event. I myself plan to be there from 2 to 4 p.m. (giving away signed Pot-Shots) and would encourage all others whose work appears in the library in any form to come and join me. And everybody else who can should visit the library on that day, if only to show their appreciation for a precious weekday of access that we feared was permanently lost from the collection, but has now happily been returned.