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Support of Belle Haven Library/Gift Acceptance Policy

From: domainremoved <Lynne>
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2017 16:13:40 -0700

Dear Council,

Thank you for your support last night towards the goal of building a
modern, full-service branch library in Belle Haven that met the needs of
the entire community.

The current Branch is primarily focused on children with perhaps only 100
total books for teens and adults. Also, most books are in English with few
in Spanish. This is in an area with many Spanish speakers and those who
speak other languages, such as Russian. The Branch 's limited hours detract
from usage and the uninviting entrance (more like an entrance to a
correctional facility) is easy to miss as it blends into a local school
building. I recently conducted a non-placed-based library services (i.e.
outside of the building) survey in the Belle Haven area and some
respondants were not even aware that there was a library in Belle Haven.
Others said that they didn't visit the BH Branch Library because it didn't
offer anything for them. An appropriate library, with a collection that
offered something for everyone, would be so helpful in an area with many
working poor who don't have the time to drive to the Main Library --
especially during commute hours with children in in the car. A new library
would also help ameliorate any gaps in the local educational system.

I very much appreciated Council's responsiveness to the library needs of
the Belle Haven community. I especially liked your asking library staff to
put together a plan that prioritized the timetable for building a new Belle
Haven library, to "show the residents that they are being listened to" and
that would provide "transparency" on the issue. Library Commissioners can
follow up on your directive at our commission meetings and provide needed
help to the library staff. As you will hear at our next Work Plan update,
getting a new library built in Belle Haven is the #1 Library Comission
priority.

On a related topic, I think the City needs to develop a Gift Acceptance
policy and I'm attaching a few examples that I found online this morning.
With so many wealthy people living in our area, the city may receive more
generous offers like the one discussed last night. So, I think that we need
to proactively develop a policy on the topic with possibly a separate Tip
Sheet for City Officials that would help them to negotiate terms with
donors so as to influence where the money went. This document could also be
handed to donors. This policy could help to better distribute the wealth
throughout Menlo Park to help prevent the possibility of having new
buildings only built in one part of town. I could say more, but I think you
get the idea here. Meanwhile, I will attach some examples and more are
online.

Should city staff be too busy to develop such a document, I volunteer to
draft one. My background includes 20 years working at HP where my field was
public relations and marketing communications. I have the skill set for
this type of work.

Lynne Bramlett


Received on Wed Jul 19 2017 - 16:16:48 PDT

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