Watch Video Highlight Reel of the Milestone Event
While Saturdays are typically a popular day at the Goleta Valley Library (GVL) located at 500 N. Fairview Avenue, Saturday, March 11, 2023, was especially busy. Patrons of all ages gathered for the GVL’s 50th at Fairview celebration. Throughout the two-hour event, patrons came to pay tribute to a library that has given so much to the community over the past five decades. Watch a recap of the special afternoon here: https://youtu.be/oA7e1cSK7PQ.
Mayor Paula Perotte, joined by the entire Goleta City Council, issued a proclamation for the GVL in recognition of its golden birthday and rich history of serving the community. She said, “It’s a pleasure to see so many people here today and so many different faces and ages. Why? Because you all enjoy and love this library. It’s more than just a library with books, it’s a library of things. It’s a safe place, a safe environment, for anyone to come and mingle and gather. We are so very fortunate to have this library.”
Community leaders with special connections to the GVL who shared their thoughts on this meaningful occasion included Santa Barbara County Supervisors Joan Hartmann and Laura Capps, Ethan Bertrand from Assemblymember Gregg Hart’s Office, Library Advisory Commissioner Lori Goodman, Friends of the Goleta Valley Library President Corinne Horowitz, Goleta Union School District Superintendent Diana Roybal and Councilmember Luz Reyes-Martin whose 1st District includes GVL. The speakers all echoed the importance of having access to a public library and the impact it can have not just on one’s life, but the community as a whole. They praised the work of the Library staff and the more than 100 volunteers who keep the place running smoothly.
A highlight of the event was finding out that one of the guests attending, Judy Arbuckle, took part in moving books into the library 50 years ago when it opened. She received a round of applause from the audience and shared some of her memories.
Another special moment came when Mayor Perotte and Neighborhood Services Director Jaime Valdez presented outgoing Library Director Allison Gray, who is retiring on March 24, 2023, with a City Tile. After 36 years of working in library service including 15 years at the GVL, leaving is bittersweet for Ms. Gray. Many guests wore the color gray in honor of her.
Jaime Valdez said, “Allison is a gem of a person. She really wants to leave the library in good shape when she leaves because that is the kind of person she is. She is making sure we are prepared for the next 50 years.”
Allison Gray, said, “What makes this library great are three things. The staff who care so much about the people who come to the library. The volunteers, without whom we would be sunk. Thirdly are the users. We are so glad we have been able to provide such great customer service to you. I look forward to joining you as a patron soon.”
Following the tributes, the attendees sang Happy 50th Birthday to the library and cheered with sparkling apple cider and mini-cupcakes.
Guests were entertained throughout the event by library staff member Nicole Lvoff and Joe Woodard. Attendees also participated in a “My Favorite Thing about the Goleta Valley Library” activity, photo station, scavenger hunt and signature frame.
“50 Years at Fairview” commemorative bookmarks were also handed out. If you were unable to attend, you can still pick up a bookmark at the library while supplies last.
Thank you to everyone who attended this special event and for your support of our Goleta Valley Library.
Group photo (left-to-right): GUSD Superintendent Dr. Diana Galindol-Roybal, Ethan Bertrand (Assemblymember Gregg Hart’s representative), 1st District Councilmember Luz Reyes- Martín, Library Director Allison Gray, Councilmember Stuart Kasdin, 3rd District Supervisor Joan Hartmann, Neighborhood Services Director Jaime Valdez, 2nd District Supervisor Laura Capps, Mayor Paula Perotte, Friends of the Goleta Valley Library President Corinne Horowitz, Mayor Pro Tempore Kyle Richards, 2nd District Councilmember James Kyriaco and Library Advisory Commissioner Lori Goodman
Library Director Allison Gray with her City Tile
Nicole Lvoff and Joe Woodard performing
“My Favorite Thing about GVL” activity
Judy Arbuckle, original GVL at Fairview staff member