Goleta Library

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On August 15, 2017, the Goleta City Council unanimously voted to assume direct management and operation of the Goleta Library, effective July 1, 2018. Currently, the Goleta Library is a branch of the Santa Barbara Public Library System and has been staffed and managed by the City of Santa Barbara under a contract with the City of Goleta. For a number of years, the Goleta Library and other libraries in the County have had a shortage of revenue oftentimes causing them to dip into reserves to balance their budgets. At the request of City Council, City staff conducted a financial feasibility analysis to determine whether it would be more cost effective for the City of Goleta to assume direct management and operation of its library.

Results of the study showed there would be a cost savings for the City of Goleta to run its own library. Primary reasons for the savings are that the City of Goleta will no longer have to pay expensive overhead fees to the City of Santa Barbara, and the library's employees will transition to Goleta’s less expensive employee retirement benefits structure.

City staff are working hard to make the transition to a Goleta Municipal Library as seamless as possible for patrons.  Click here to see the full staff report presented at the August 15, 2017 meeting.

Current Phase

During the next few months, the City will be working closely with the Black Gold Cooperative Library System (Black Gold) to coordinate various efforts critical to a smooth transition to a Goleta Municipal Library. The City was accepted into Black Gold as a new member, which becomes effective July 1, 2018. Achieving membership into Black Gold was an important milestone, as it allows the Goleta Library to continue benefiting from the cooperative's collection materials (books and electronic materials) that are distributed and shared among the member libraries in the region.

To receive formal affiliation with Black Gold, the City was also required to obtain approval from the California Library Services Board (California State Library). The Board approved Goleta’s request on October 17, 2017, which completes the regulatory process required for the formation of a Goleta Municipal Library. 

The City is in the process of recruiting for and hiring a Library Director to oversee aspects of the library's transition and provide ongoing management of the library. The City anticipates hiring this position by January of 2018.

Strategic Plan Goals

City-Wide Strategy: Support Community Vitality and Enhanced Recreational Opportunities

Strategic Goal: Support the Goleta Library as a robust community resource.


The Goleta Library’s two major funding sources include a service area population-based contribution from Santa Barbara County and revenues from a library special tax that Goleta residents and County residents located within County Service Area 3 pay. In addition to these sources, the City makes an annual contribution from its General Fund and the Friends of the Goleta Library make generous contributions through donations and book sales.

Project Manager:

Dana Grossi
(805) 562-5507