Community Discusses Members Only

By Kim Crail   |   October 5, 2021

Race, class, family, and belonging are central themes in Members Only, a novel by local author Sameer Pandya. Accused of racism at both his tennis club and university teaching job, the main character’s experiences provide ample opportunity for readers to use the book as both a mirror and a window. 

How do we respond when we feel threatened or misunderstood in critical areas of our lives?

Members Only will be the focus of upcoming book discussions with the intention of hearing participants’ thoughts on the book and how race and class issues play out. Having experienced a lot of social disconnect during the pandemic, we’re kicking off this conversation to make up for lost time.

Pandya will give an Author Talk for the Montecito Library on Thursday, October 7 at 5:30 pm via Zoom. A professor of Asian American Studies at UC Santa Barbara, Pandya has been published widely in the popular press, with work appearing in The Atlantic, ESPN, Salon, Sports Illustrated, New York Daily News, as well as scholarly essays in Journal of Asian American Studies, South Asian Popular Culture, and Amerasia. (Register on for Zoom details to view Pandya’s talk.)

Two hundred copies of Members Only were supported by a grant through Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Focus on Small and Rural Libraries, a division of the American Library Association. Purchased at Tecolote Book Shop, the books have been distributed at the library, during local school visits, and through a new collaboration with All Saints-by-the-Sea’s book group led by Rev. Vicki Mouradian.

The e-book is also available through the library’s Hoopla app, available for free with your library card.

Celebrating Latin American Immigrants

The Santa Barbara Public Library invites you to a month-long series of events celebrating the culture of Santa Barbara’s Latin American immigrants.

Events include “An Evening of Afro-Latino Music and Dance with Radio Café”; “Art Gallery Exhibition, Things We Do Not Say: Intergenerational Conversations through Art on Taboo Subjects in Immigrant Families”; a poetry and zine workshop for bilingual young adults led by a local poet; and “Taste of Home” – home recipe contest and cookbook collection celebrating Latin American cuisine.

More information is available at

Summer Storytime at the Y

Storytime at the Montecito Family YMCA Preschool, one of our favorite traditions, was able to take place this summer. Every week, we delivered a “magical bag” of 20 books for the teachers and kids to enjoy together all week long. Best of all, I got to read to the kids outside in the Y’s lower playground.

It doesn’t get much better than engaging with an audience of curious kids; this group of two- to five-year-olds was remarkably enthusiastic and affectionate. Some of the group’s favorite books this summer were Creepy Pair of Underwear, If Kids Could Drive, and Monster and Mouse Go Camping.

A big thank you to Preschool Director Annie Fischer and the whole preschool team for sharing your time with us. We applaud you for building a love of stories and books that the kids will carry with them forever. 

We’re Hiring

Santa Barbara Public Library is seeking a customer service-oriented Library Technician who is flexible, creative, and has a passion for public libraries. In particular, the position will focus on modeling excellent customer service at the public service desk, facilitating the circulation of materials, and assisting patrons with account information. Bilingual spoken and written language skills (Spanish and English) highly desirable.

Are you interested in working at the Montecito Library? Please see the city of Santa Barbara’s hourly openings for more information and to apply. 

October Events 

Library Van at Cold Spring School: Thursday, October 14, 3:30-5:30 pm

Montecito Book Club (Virtual) discusses Members Only: Tuesday, October 19, 5:30-6:30 pm

Storywalk at Lower Manning Park: Wednesday, October 20, 2-3:30 pm

Poetry Club: Pablo Neruda & Gabriela Mistral (Outside): Thursday, October 28, 2-3:30 pm

Current Library Hours

Tuesday and Thursday, 10 am-5 pm
Wednesday and Friday, 1-5 pm

See you at the library!


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