Top Funding Priorities
The Foundation’s priority will be to purchase and outfit a fuel-efficient mobile branch library (mobile library), to offer a full range of library services to the underserved areas and people of Ventura County. This includes the unincorporated areas where many people have little or no library service, as well as the areas of larger cities where lack of transportation, age or disability may bar residents from having access to library buildings.
The mobile library will offer most of the same services that patrons find in their community libraries, including popular materials in multiple formats, story times, class visits, computer access, wifi, printing and participation in community events. It will serve communities with collections that include materials for children, teens, adults and seniors in English and Spanish. Our patrons will be able to use the mobile library just as they would any public library.
The Foundation realizes how important it is to provide an extension of the library to the citizens of Ventura County, especially those who are not able to visit the library often. It will be ADA compliant. The mobile library also is a great opportunity to introduce the love of reading to children and to discover the benefits of lifelong learning.
A mobile library will play an important outreach role, connecting new users and raising awareness of library services throughout the county.
Bridging the digital divide. There is a gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” in the digital age. A recent Pew Survey found a quarter of all adults used the internet at a library in the previous year, with the numbers higher for Latinos and blacks. Respondents used internet library access for important tasks such as applying for jobs, doing homework, getting information about health care, finding out about government benefits and managing their finances. Our role is to support the enhancement and expansion of the technology available through the current Ventura County Library System.
Literacy and Education. Research reveals lower literacy rates correlate to lower academic achievement, fewer job skills and less opportunity for personal advancement. Literacy also is essential to a healthy democracy, with lower skilled readers less likely to vote or actively engage in social and civic activities. Private support will help the library expand the world of books and reading to adult learners and children.