May 19, 2022

Silicon Valley: Santa Clara Libraries Rewire for Online Era


“Kids are still coming to the library to do homework and people are still checking out books,” says Nancy Howe, acting county librarian for the Santa Clara County Library District. She adds, though: “One thing about being in Silicon Valley is that it challenges us to adapt more quickly to technology.”


Between 2001 and 2011 the number of volumes in the county collection expanded by 500,000 items—to about 1.8 million from 1.3 million—even as the population served grew by just 6,000 or so people.

Overall book circulation at the system grew to 12.3 million volumes in its 2011 fiscal year from 7.4 million in its 2000. Visitors rose to 3.7 million from 3 million over that time. The fiscal years end June 30.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.