Let’s bring the Santa Ana Main Library to our schools

A friend of mine asked me the other night, while we were hanging out at Mike Lawson’s birthday party, what I was going to do about Santa Ana’s library shortage. She was a bit upset because she felt that I had made this an issue and done nothing to alleviate the problem. In truth, I have been meeting with Tish Leon, Mary Guzman, James Spady and Ryan Gene Williams, and we have actually come up with a workable solution.

I realize that there is no money available in Santa Ana for building new libraries, or for bringing back the bookmobiles. However, I believe that we can capitalize on a network of libraries that is already in our city, but is largely untapped.

The Santa Ana Unified School District has school libraries all over the city. Opening them up to the general public is a no-go, but synchronizing them via a computer network, with the Santa Ana Main Library, could make thousands of books available to Santa Ana schoolchildren.

Such a network would allow students to request books from the Main Library collection. A courier could then deliver the books to the respective school libraries on a regular basis. He would then pick up books that are ready to return to the Main Library.

The key to this program would be allowing the school librarians to access the main library database – they could then search for books that kids need, and order them for delivery. Currently many families have a hard time getting to the Main Library. This program would solve the problem by bringing the Main Library to our local schools.

So how would such a program be funded? Well, you could sell advertising that would be located on the delivery car (think NASCAR). You could also sell ads that would be printed on the bags that the books could be delivered in. And you could seek private industry contributions to help fund the program, from social service clubs and business organizations, as well as the non-profit community. Government grants might also be available.

I hope to run this idea by SAUSD Trustee John Palacio and Santa Ana Council Members Sal Tinajero and Michele Martinez. I think it can work – but obviously it will need to be refined and we will need to drum up political and community support.

Our city will remain woefully short of needed library space, but rather than wallow in negativity, why not try something that might solve the issue, or at least improve our current situation, without costing an arm and a leg?

About Admin

"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.