Capitola Branch Library

2005 Wharf Road
Capitola, CA 95010


About Us:

The Capitola Library at Clares St. and Wharf Rd. was officially dedicated on April 6, 1999 when Capitola City Councilwoman Margaret Fabrizio smashed a fizzy bottle of sparkling cider against a light pole outside the new library.

This event marked the return of a local library to the City of Capitola after an absence of almost 18 years. The former Capitola Library had closed its doors on Nov. 18, 1981. In the intervening years, many different building plans and site choices were discussed and discarded for a variety of reasons. The Rispin Mansion, an abandoned property built in the Roaring Twenties by an oil executive, was first considered as a possible home for the library in 1985 and would be reconsidered off and on until May, 1997 when plans for the current site were finalized.

In October, 1992 a Letter of Intent signed by Capitola and the County ended months of negotiation and called for a 12,500 square foot building to be built at Clares and Wharf with each agency contributing about half of the total cost. However, this agreement coincided with a downturn in the County Library system's financial situation and severe budget cuts in 1992-1993 which resulted in the plan stalling out.

In 1994, Capitola decided to move ahead with a much smaller 4,300 square foot library building that could be financed entirely by the city. It was a variation of this plan that came to fruition in 1999 with the City of Capitola funding a modular building comprised of six parts that were bolted together, and the Library system funding the opening day collection and ongoing operation of the library.

Luis Villareal's redwood sculpture "Children of the World" and the whimsical "Tot Lot" are two of the things that give the Capitola Library a unique and special feel.

Artist Villareal transformed a 3,000-pound chunk of redwood into the 6-foot-tall, 500-pound sculpture in 1979, which the United Nations had declared "International Year of the Child". The chiseled redwood depicts a globe held aloft by children's hands which is surrounded by the carved faces of children from around the world. The City of Capitola Arts Commission moved the sculpture to its new home at the Capitola Library in 2001.

The Capitola Library "Tot Lot" was designed to give parents a safe, fun place to take their toddlers. Ribbon-cutting ceremonies took place December 15, 2007 and the community is now enjoying the landscaped park with its colorful children's slide.

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