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The latest Strategic Plan news, project status updates and inspirational messages.

“Ya Tengo Ojos” Now – I Have Eyes: Santa Monica Public Library Increases Literacy for Non-Literate Latinos

January 6, 2017
In California almost one out of ten Spanish speaking immigrants never had the opportunity to...

Santa Monica Public Library Turns Outward

January 6, 2017
After ten years as a public librarian, I thought I knew what it meant to...

Profile of Youth Services Librarian Julia Casas

November 18, 2016
I wanted to share with you  a profile in LA Parent Magazine of Ocean Park...

SMPL at the Beach 2016

September 30, 2016
It still feels like August in the Sahara Desert outside, but summer, and with it...


Learn about the process, how we got here and where we're going.



To ensure our system continues to be among the finest library systems in California, the Santa Monica Public Library embarked on a strategic planning process in October 2014.


The Strategic Planning Steering Committee met regularly throughout this process and utilized the findings gleaned from these activities and from a survey of current library literature. In August, a Strategic Plan was completed. There are four strategic focus areas: Vibrant Learning Center; Wellbeing Cultivator; Dynamic Third Place and Community and Cultural Connector.



The information-gathering process included a series of 11 community forums, a month-long city-wide survey, a retreat and meetings with the Library Board and 14 updating sessions with Library staff. Two hundred one people attended and gave feedback at community forums held in each neighborhood library.


A Library Innovation Technology Task Force consisting of entrepreneurs, innovators and educators from the community was also formed to provide insight, advice and support regarding the role of technology and innovation in 21st century library service and on the technology and learning needs of Santa Monica residents and business. Read more about it.



With approval from the Library Board on September 10, 2015  and by City Counil on December 8, 2015, the library Strategic Plan was now ready to begin implementation. Read the City Council Report.


The core concepts, which emerged through the public process, continue to inform and shape library policy and operations in the next three years and are congruent with the Council’s Learn & Thrive Strategic Goal of promoting lifelong learning and educational partnerships as well as support the City’s Cradle to Career Initiative and Wellbeing Project.  As part of implementation the library created a Strategic Planning Implementation Team whose charge it is to align projects and initiatives to the focus areas.

Strategic Planning Documents

Learn more about the process.


From the Interim City Librarian about the plan and the future of your library.

Erica Cuyugan
Interim City Librarian

Assistant City Librarian Erica Cuyugan, currently serving as the Interim City Librarian for the Santa Monica Public Library, has been with the Santa Monica Public Library for 12 years, previously overseeing  Teen Services and  Branch Manager of the Fairview Branch Library.   As the Interim City Librarian, Erica Cuyugan is helping to lead the library through the implementation of the library’s Strategic Plan supporting the four focus areas as well as the City initiative of Learn and Thrive.

Erica Cuyugan is deeply committed to the Santa Monica community and values the talented, inspiring staff that makes Santa Monica Public Library so dynamic.  She will be moving forward with new collaborations and partnerships will be working with other City Departments and community members to continue to support the growth, learning, and wellbeing of our citizens.   Please visit this site for updates on projects supporting the Strategic Plan and City Initiatives.