Santa Ynez Library Still Lending After 100 Years
This eventwill beheld Saturday, August 25, 2012 at 5.30 p.m. at the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum.
Peter Feldman and The Very Lonesome Boys will play their foot-stomping bluegrass, New West Catering will provide their famously delicious appetizers, and On Cue Catering will include a special Booklover’s Tri-Tip menu: Sagunto Street Tri Tip, Ranch Hand Beans, City Slicker Salad, Crusty Cowboy Bread and Settler’s Sausage Bites.
A birthday cake (for the Library!) as well as All-American Cookies will be served. A no-host bar of beer, wine, an assorted non-alcoholic beverageswill be available. Allan Jones will be the Master of Ceremonies for theevening.The tiny Santa Ynez Library has been in continuous operation since itwas built in 1912. (The branch had first opened in 1910 in the CollegeHotel.) Its building holds the distinction as the oldest branch library in the entire State of California.
When the doors first opened, the patrons ofthe Santa Ynez Library were talking about the brand new States of New Mexico and Arizona, the sinking of the Titanic, and the Suffragettesmarch in New York.
Patrons were checking out books at this branch before and during World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, Sputnik, John Glenn’s firstorbit of earth. Its walls heard talk of all the history made by 18 U.S. Presidents, over the last 100 years. In 1876, the town of Santa Ynez was called ST. JOSEPH. It became NEW TOWN, then SAGUNTO, then finally, in 1882, Santa Ynez. Justthirty years later, the Santa Ynez Library building opened its doors. In its12 by 14 foot redwood building, it houses more than 850 books.
The Santa Ynez Library is Santa Barbara County Historical Landmark #11. The building was paid for with community funds, raised at a dinner dance at what was then the College Hotel. It was moved to its presentlocation in 1972, given a bit of shoring, but has had little attention since, except by loyal patrons, checking out books.
According to Carey McKinnon, Branch Supervisor, the little Santa Ynezlibrary has over 400 visitors each year, with an average of 30 visitorseach Saturday, rather remarkable given that it is open only on Saturdaysfrom 1-4 p.m.“The small branch libraries are held in high regard and with greataffection by the Santa Ynez Valley communities,” Mc Kinnon said. “Both the Santa Ynez and Los Olivos branches are truly beloved. Small, community libraries can be an important part of childhood and seem to embody the memory of the magic and power of reading. It is really meaningful to have a grandparent visit with her grandchild, share her own memories and make new ones,” said McKinnon.
The Century Celebration is planned to honor the Santa Ynez Library aswell as to raise funds “to give the old girl a facelift,” said CarolynLawrence, President of the Friends of the Library of the Santa YnezValley. The Friends will use the funds raised to restore the Library’sfloors, to upgrade the bookshelves and to paint the building.
Sponsorships are being sought to help with these improvements. All sponsors will receive printed recognition. The sponsorship levels havebeen named for book genres, as follows:
The Classics: $7500 (complimentary table for 10)
Biography: $5000 (6 tickets)
Mystery: $1000 (4 tickets)Romance: $500 (2 tickets)
Children’s Literature: $100
If you are a book lover, history hound, or just interested in enjoying agreat day of music and food for a worthy cause, you won’t want to miss, The Santa Ynez Library Centennial Celebration on Saturday, August 25,2012 at 5:30. Seating for this event is limited, tickets are $40 per person.
For information and reservations, call Barbara Davidge at 805-688-8477or email Barbara at email@example.com. Reservations can also bemade at the desk of the Solvang Library and at the Santa Ynez HistoricalMuseum
This story was amended on August 20, 2012 to remove the editorial characterization of the Santa Ynez Valley Library as “the oldest” branch library in California. Its claim to that title is in dispute. The Carpinteria Friends of the Library note that they celebrated their library’s 100th birthday in 2010, and, they point out, “The Historical marker sign on Linden Avenue in front of the location of the site where our first library building sat proudly reads ‘California’s First Branch Library – Open November 8, 1910 – City of Carpinteria.'” We at the Santa Barbara Independent will leave it to reference librarians to determine the truth of this matter.