The Santa Monica Public Library has been selected to participate in an exclusive grant provided by the California State Library in partnership with Bibliotheca, LLC to pilot an innovative way to provide library service in a post-COVID world.  The innovation grant will allow for new technology to be installed at the Ocean Park Branch Library to expand access to the library collection to Santa Monicans through a unique self-service model.

The Open+ Pilot Project, is part of the California State Library’s Bringing the Library to You Mobile Library Solutions grant initiative. Santa Monica Public Library was one of ten California libraries selected to receive funding to increase access to physical library services via the Open+ product. The opportunity came at a time when the City restructured the organization in response to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the library experienced cuts to its budget and staff, including suspension of services at two neighborhood branch locations.

“We look forward to installing the new technology and to securely opening the doors of the beloved Ocean Park Branch to library patrons who are eager to once again explore the shelves of their local branch,” said Patty Wong, Library Services Director. “We are preparing the facility and Open+ technology and will welcome patrons back through this new self-service model as soon as we can open safely.”

The Ocean Park Branch Library will be the sole location equipped with the technology and able to operate via a comprehensive self-service model providing controlled access to the library and security cameras. Library patrons who sign the Self-Service Hours Terms and Conditions and agree to library policies can scan their Santa Monica Public Library card at the entrance to gain access to the building. Details and instructions on how to sign up for Open+ will be released as the project gets ready to launch. The technology will allow the Branch to provide service with limited resources by maintaining access to valuable library collections, space, and services.

“This is a smart way to improve service to the Santa Monica community by keeping library doors open and offering services when they’re needed. The project makes valuable library services more convenient and more accessible,” noted Greg Lucas, State Librarian.

For more information on the grant, visit

While the library buildings remain closed to the public as required by the County of Los Angeles Public Health Department, we are here to assist you. Books and audiovisual materials are available for pickup through contactless curbside service. By popular request evening hours are being added to curbside pickup. Curbside service hours at all pickup locations will be 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. Wednesdays beginning March 17. For more information visit

For general and reference questions call 310-458-8600 or email Staff are available Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The library’s digital services are available 24/7 through an Online Library.

Submitted by Constance Farrell, Public Information Officer