By Giana Magnoli

Noozhawk Managing Editor

Four Santa Ynez Valley library branches will move to Goleta management in July, but library users need to update their accounts now to continue checking out items.

The Buellton, Solvang, Los Olivos and Santa Ynez locations have been managed by the Santa Barbara Public Library system (run by the city of Santa Barbara) but decided to switch to the newly independent Goleta Valley Public Library.

The changeover is official July 1, but Santa Barbara Public Library staff said that, as of May 15, the Black Gold system that manages deliveries and resource sharing between branches placed a temporary block on all the Santa Ynez Valley branch users.

All those users must update their accounts and get new library cards, which are being handed out at the Buellton, Goleta and Solvang branches.

“There is nothing patrons have to do other than changing to the Santa Ynez library cards,” Goleta Library director Allison Gray said. “Otherwise, the transition will be seamless.”

If users want to stay a Santa Barbara Public Library cardholder, they can, but must pick up all “hold” items at a Santa Barbara library location (Central Santa Barbara, Eastside Santa Barbara, Montecito and Carpinteria) after June 30.

This management change comes one year after Goleta’s transition to an independent branch, and Gray gave the Goleta City Council an update last month.

“People thought with Internet, with Google, no one would need librarians,” she said. “It’s not the case.”

The Goleta Valley Public Library, at 500 N Fairview Ave., circulates more than 650,000 items a year, which leads to a “never-ending cycle of shelving returned items,” she said.

It also has a Library of Things, as does Santa Maria, with items for patrons to check out, including a code-teaching robot, virtual reality goggles and binoculars.

Goleta has more tasks now that it took on its own management, including purchasing materials, and Gray asked the city to fund a management assistant position.

“When we were part of Santa Barbara, they did all the acquisitions for us,” she said. “We knew it would be a big task, we had no idea how big it is.”

Gray also recommended adding a part-time library page, paid for by Buellton and Solvang.

She said Solvang had finished re-barcoding its collection for the management changeover, and Buellton began the process in early May.

Goleta voters passed Measure L for dedicated library funding, but county libraries have struggled with long-term sustainable funding since state money disappeared, and many have spent down their reserve funds.

A county library committee has been digging into the funding issue, and library deficits will probably be a major discussion point during the county Board of Supervisors budget hearings in June.

The Buellton Library is at 140 W. Highway 246; the Los Olivos Library in the Los Olivos Community Hall (formerly the Grange Hall) at 2374 Alamo Pintado Ave.; the Santa Ynez Library is at 3598 Sagunto St.; and the Solvang Library is at 1745 Mission Drive.

As of July 1, the Santa Barbara Public Library system branches in Santa Barbara are the Central Library, 40 E. Anapamu St.; the Eastside Library, 1102 East Montecito St.; the Montecito Library at 1469 East Valley Road; and the Carpinteria Library at 5141 Carpinteria Ave.

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at