Lifebuoy for the community: the Santa Barbara public library offers many virtual services

The majestic Santa Barbara Public Library on the corner of Anacapa and Anapamu streets has swiveled quickly to meet the needs of the community as it is closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The library’s other branches in Santa Barbara, Montecito, and Carpinteria also remain closed, but services continue online.

“We welcome hundreds of babies and toddlers to virtual story time, help job seekers and people virtually fill out unemployment forms in Spanish and English, improve our digital collections and even send books ! Said Jessica Cadiente, director of the library.

“Last week, we launched a new virtual homework assistance program, and this program, along with our Student Success Library Cards, will make it easier for families to transition to online school.”

She explained that the Student Success partnership gives students access to resources that would not otherwise be available – “from readings for emerging readers to prep books and study guides for high school students. teachers more tools to complement research needs or to support independent reading projects.

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For parents who find it difficult to help their children with homework, there is the Learning at Home Resources web page:

“Our bilingual staff provide support in understanding homework, discovering new learning applications and technologies, and answering home study-related questions,” said Ms. Cadiente. “Text us at 805-764-4542 or call us at 805-564-5674 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays or Wednesdays, and we’ll send you an invitation to a Zoom meeting so you and / or your child can video chat with us. If a phone call works better for you, we can do that, too. We can help children directly with their homework or help parents with school-related challenges.

Virtual OG Readers is a program to help children in Grades 1-4 who have difficulty learning to read. Students are paired with a tutor trained in the Orton-Gillingham approach, which uses multisensory learning, phonetics-based instruction and other tools to demystify the process of learning to read.

Other virtual programming services include:

• Romance Book Club: 5 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month. The May 5th book will be “It Takes Two to Tumble” by Cat Sebastian.

• Spanish Book Club: 4.30 p.m. on the first Monday of the month.

• Fiction Book Club: 4:30 pm the second Tuesday of the month.

• Social Justice Book Club: 6 pm on the third Tuesday of the month.

• Cancer Center Reading Club: Wednesdays at 10 am twice a month.

• Explore art: 5:30 p.m. on the second Thursday.

• Trail Talks: 6.30 pm on the third Thursday.

SBPL works! offers appointments in English or Spanish by phone or video conference to facilitate job search, CV review, interview techniques and more. For more information visit!/sbpl_works!.asp

For the website link in Spanish, visit!/sbpl_works!_en_espa%C3%B1ol.asp.

“No matter what challenge or difficulty you may face during this difficult time, the Santa Barbara Public Library is your lifeline and is there for you,” Ms. Cadiente said.

Email: [email protected]

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For more information on virtual services at the Santa Barbara Public Library while it is closed, call 805-564-5608 or visit

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Perry A. Thomasson