Staff Report

Six outdoor sculptural libraries by artist Douglas Lochner will travel to public libraries in Goleta, Guadalupe, Los Alamos, New Cuyama, Santa Barbara and Santa Maria from mid-January through April.

The “Tiny Libraries on Tour” effort is sponsored by the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission in partnership with the cities of Goleta, Santa Barbara and Santa Maria. 

In 2019, the County Office of Arts and Culture ( commissioned Lochner to produce six brightly colored, dynamic and functional public art “libraries” shaped as life-sized punctuation marks to be exhibited on State Street in Santa Barbara.

The initial exhibition was produced by the city of Santa Barbara and Office of Arts and Culture in partnership with the Santa Barbara Public Library, Santa Barbara Beautiful, Downtown Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation and many community supporters; it is slated to return to State Street this summer.

 After that first exhibition, the Arts Commission voted to fund the transportation of the sculptures to public libraries countywide. Each library will provide corresponding programming for the duration of the exhibition. Arts Commission Chair Dennis Smitherman said that this project will “provide a platform for communities throughout the county to interact with and experience the power of public art.”

Lochner’s proposal was chosen through an open submission process juried by representatives from the Santa Barbara Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara; UCSB; Arts Commission; Santa Barbara Public Library; Santa Barbara City College; Moxi; City Arts Advisory Committee; and The Book Den.

“We hope the Tiny Libraries enjoy the same popularity they had on State Street, and serve as a reminder that the Public Library is a gateway to even more books, as well as community education classes, digital content, and more that spark curiosity and further learning,” said Library Director Jessica Cadiente for Santa Barbara, Montecito and Carpinteria.