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Arrilllaga donation to correct library?

From: domainremoved <Susan>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2017 15:53:56 -0700

Dear Council Members: Thank you for your service and for juggling all the different items on the city’s current agenda.

I would appreciate your doing whatever you can to persuade Mr. Arrillaga to help us modernize and fully staff the Belle Haven branch of our city library system.

I do not think we need to put his money and an equal amount of city money into a fancy, state-of-the-art library on Alma Street.

I have seen the new 2-story libraries in Palo Alto and in Milpitas. Our library is not lacking in comparison. Our staff does wonders with the space available in the current Alma Street location. They have innovative programs for teens plus one-offs such as comic-con, the solar eclipse glasses and speakers’ series, and the adult programs that encourage tasting and learning about an ethnic cuisine or chocolate.

I do not think our library needs a fancy remodel to be effective. It is effective now.

But I do worry about the families in Belle Haven. I volunteer with first graders struggling with reading at Willow Oaks School near my house in the Willows. I know the children I work with love to go to the Belle Haven Library. It is in their neighborhood. They don’t have to have car transportation across town. I would like to see that branch open for as many hours as the Alma Street Branch.

A library is a service organization. It needs to have its doors open to the public living nearby. I’d like to see more money put into fully staffing the Belle Haven branch with an imaginative line-up of events for toddlers, teens, and adults. This is the population that doesn’t have e-books or lap-tops. They are the ones who need access to computers. They are the ones who need the next generation of literacy aids.

For instance, a fully-staffed Belle Haven library would be the perfect place to have early literacy training for young mothers who were not read to as children and don’t realize the impact of early picture books on speech and knowledge. Many times I have come across ideas and concepts that are common-knowledge to children who’ve had picture books from birth. But my children at Willow Oaks don’t know a porpoise from a whale — or don’t understand the basics of fairy-tale royalty. These are silly examples, perhaps. But they underline how much these children don’t know about the wider world that exists outside their tiny sphere of lived experience. Books make kids free. Books free their imaginations. Books help them dare to be more or do more than they see around them. Most of the children I work with aspire to be maids and police officers. That’s what they know. They don’t aspire to be veterinarians or archeologists — or whatever dream job might keep them going through as much school
ing as they can absorb.

I feel we are doing the families of Belle Haven as disservice by not having a full-time library open to them. If Mr. Arrillaga wants to fund a state-of-the-art library in Menlo Park, please persuade him that it will be most useful in Belle Haven. Please encourage him to be proud to donate his money and his attention there.

Thank you! - Susan Bryan
Received on Wed Aug 16 2017 - 15:56:15 PDT

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