The Santa Barbara Central Library's second floor. | Credit: Don Brubaker

The library had closed its doors last summer when it began the three simultaneous projects, which include construction of a new accessible elevator, a modernized staff space on the lower level, and a $5.4 million renovation of the library plaza. In September, the excavation process had progressed to where the library reopened its lobby for limited browsing and pickup service. Then by November, it had expanded its hours and opened an even larger section of the main lobby, including the lower-level Children’s Library.

Now visitors will be able to access part of the upper level, with the nonfiction, graphic novels, and young adult collections. The microfilm machine and local history archives will be available, though a significant portion of the microfilm collection is being digitized and will remain unavailable. There will be six public computers for library cardholders, and the public will once again be able to print using the library computers or personal devices using the free Wi-Fi.

In addition to the computer space, the library announced there will be extra seating and tables on the upper level, and visitors could still use the Faulkner Gallery as study space as long as there were no scheduled events.

On the main level, the adult fiction and world language collections are still unavailable, according to the library’s website, but there are curated genre displays, and staff “may be able to retrieve” items upon request.

Construction is expected to be complete in fall 2023. To sign up for library programs and services, or to view updated hours, visit

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