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in a mandatory evacuation zone and was closed for several weeks. When the library reopened, there was an outpouring of support as recovery efforts began. “We were an anchor in the storms,” Kim recalls. “People needed a safe, familiar place of comfort and calm. This was a place for people to compare their experiences and perceptions and compare notes. There was also an outpouring of support from community members who were con- cerned about others and wanted to help.” Some patrons came to use the wifi and com- puters because they were displaced. And though some patrons had lost their homes and nearly all their possessions, they were still concerned about books and DVDs they were unable to return. “People would call and apologize that their books were destroyed,” says Kim in amazement. “These are the kinds of people who live in Montecito— they’re concerned about others. There are so many kind and generous people in this community and you don’t know unless you talk to them.” Senior Librarian Kristina Hernandez oversees the Montecito Library and other branch librar- ies in the southern half of the county. In a spring 2018 Friends of the Montecito Library newsletter, she wrote: “While the Montecito Library did not sustain any physical damage to its facility, the im- pact of the Library closure was definitely felt by our Library patrons. Montecito Library is one of the most heavily used with an average of 100,000 items being checked out annually.” She also reported that after the library reopened, the library staff contin- ued to provide help with storm readiness informa- tion and access to other much needed resources to keep users connected to their community library. An example is the Saving Memories from Mud project, an opportunity for people who had recov- ered photos and documents from the mud to work with an archivist to determine the best way to pre- serve treasured materials. Regular patron Christine Saunders, a Montecito resident since 1974, says her beloved “little library” was one of the first places she visited after the de- bris flows, as it provided a wonderful place of refuge in a time of crisis. “It was a place that felt normal, safe, welcoming, cozy. It was like being at home in Montecito again.” u Many thanks to the Santa Barbara Library for their research and assistance with this story. Special thanks to Senior Librarian for Adult and Public Services Jody Thomas, who spent a great deal of time compiling and writing a history of the library and a memoir about Frances Linn, and provided documents, photos and other information. 1469 East Valley Road, Montecito 805-969-5063 / Open Tuesday–Saturday MontecitoLibrary@SantaBarbaraCA.gov FREE access to the digital edition from Santa Barbara Public Library SBPLibrary.org SANT A BARBARA LIBRARY SBPLibrary.org Call Shanna Wasson Taylor, 1.805.882.0502 or email staylor@unitedwaysb.org • Earn up to a 9.5% Return • Guaranteed Life Income • Significant Tax Benefits • Improve Your Local Community Consider a Gift Annuity www.unitedwaysb.org/giftplanning l Judy Goodbody, 805.965.8 91 ext. 120 or email jgoodbody @ unitedwaysb.org It’s the Gift That Gives Both Ways % Return if Inco e fi fit O r l i United Way Charitable Gift Annuity Rates Increased July 2018 .unitedwaysb ift.org/CGA United Way of Santa Barbara County Consider a ift it 38 Montecito Magazine Fall 2018–Winter 2019