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, a branch of the Santa Barbara Public Library System, 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 that it would result in a cost savings for the City of Goleta to run its own library. Instead of contracting with the City of Santa Barbara to staff the library, manage its budget, and provide services to patrons, the library’s employees would transition to be paid under the City of Goleta’s compensation schedule. In addition, Goleta would hire its own Library Director to oversee all aspects of the library including the budget. Primary reasons for the cost 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 employees would fall under Goleta’s less expensive employee retirement benefits structure.
There are still important steps the library needs to complete in order to be recognized as a municipal library. City Staff are aware of this and are working hard to make the transition as seamless as possible for patrons. To sign up to receive library updates, please click here.