Library Opens for Students at Santa Cruz County Juvenile Hall

Juvenile Hall Library opening. Santa Cruz County Probation, the Santa Cruz County Office of Education (COE) and Santa Cruz Public Libraries (SCPL) are proud to announce the opening of the Robert A. Hartman School Library at Santa Cruz County Juvenile Hall.

The renovations, which debuted Thursday with a brief ceremony, included creating a library space for justice-involved youth, as well as the renovation of two rooms into counseling spaces and the addition of murals to classroom spaces. The design of the facility is based in part on input from youth, and included financial support from the County, COE, SCPL and Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries, while the counseling spaces were supported by state grants.

“Thanks to the collaboration between the County, Santa Cruz Public Libraries and Santa Cruz County Schools, Juvenile Hall is now equipped with a library that will provide healthy educational opportunities for justice-involved youth. The space offers relevant and engaging reading materials curated with guidance from the youth it serves, as wellas programming that allows youth to connect with one another in creative ways,” Chief Probation Officer Fernando Giraldo said.

Juvenile Hall library opening.“The Juvenile Hall Library provides access to books that meet the educational, informational, and entertainment interests of the youth at the facility,” Jesse Silva, Jail Reach & Bookmobile Coordinator for Santa Cruz Public Libraries said. “The Santa Cruz Public Library’s Jail Reach team collaborated with the youth inside to build a collection that is relevant and diverse, and we look forward to offering library programs to support literacy and foster a love of reading. We’re especially grateful to the Friends of SCPL and their fundraising project Boundless Minds.”

“This project reflects our commitment to providing engaging and supportive learning environments for all students, and none more so than those at the Robert Hartman School within Juvenile Hall. At every step, the library was built with the active involvement of the students it serves – offering not only reading material but a space for creativity, connection, and wellness. We are deeply grateful to the Santa Cruz Public Libraries and the Santa Cruz County Probation Department for partnering with us to make this project possible,” Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Faris Sabbah said.