Gudalupe Library Fighting to Keep its Doors Open in Uncertain Financial Times

Shirley Boydstun, Friends of the Guadalupe Library president; Julie Wilsey, Guadalupe library clerk; and Carl Kraemer, Friends of the Guadalupe Library board member; are all working to keep the library from closing its doors. Photo courtesy of the Santa Maria Times.

In the city of Guadalupe, the library is not just a place to check out books, but a vital community gathering place where students, children, and adults gather to study, conduct research, do homework, and learn new skills. In a town of little more than 7,000 residents, roughly 2,200 people use the library every month, making it a valuable community treasure.

Unfortunately, the library is now facing its most difficult challenge as it may be forced to close its doors at the end of June. With the dissolution of the state’s redevelopment agencies, the Guadalupe Library will lose important funds, money it uses to pay its annual rent of $20,000. The Friends of the Guadalupe Library are currently working to raise enough funds to pay the rent for one more year. With funds in place, the library can begin to work on a plan to stabilize its future situation.

Seeing the value of this community resource and wanting to act quickly to help solve a problem, the Santa Barbara Foundation has provided a matching grant of $5,000 in support of the library. “Residents of Guadalupe have told us how important the library is to the community,” said Martha Harmon, senior vice president of community investments for the Santa Barbara Foundation. “We are hoping that the Santa Barbara Foundation matching grant will encourage others to contribute at this critical time.”

Originally, the library only consisted of two rooms. It has grown over time into a 2,000 square foot location full of books, computers, and resource materials. “The library is absolutely a necessity,” said Carl Kraemer, a Guadalupe planning commissioner and Friends of the Library board member. “Every community needs a library. Yes, people check out books for recreation, but people who visit the Guadalupe Library also use it to gain new skills, learn new things, and study. The library is a real community asset that needs to continue forever.”

The Friends of the Library are asking the community to offer financial support. To find out more information, please contact Carl Kraemer at 805-343-2127. Donations can also be made directly to the Friends of the Guadalupe Library. Please mail to Friends of the Guadalupe Library, P.O. Box 484, Guadalupe, CA, 93434.
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