Logo


Menlo Park City Council Email Log

[ Home ] [ City Council ] [ Search ] [ 05/06 Archive ] [ 07/08 Archive ] [ 09/10 Archive ] [ 2011 Archive ] [ 12/13 Archive ] [ Watch City Council Meetings ]


IN FAVOR OF BELLE HAVEN’S NEW STATE OF THE ART LIBRARY

From: domainremoved <Rachel>
Date: Tue, 22 Aug 2017 17:54:17 -0700

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Letter to Menlo Park City Council



IN FAVOR OF BELLE HAVEN’S NEW STATE OF THE ART LIBRARY



*WORDING IN BLACK – FROM YOUR STAFF REPORT

*WORDING IN PURPLE – MY QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS



*History

Serving the educational needs of the Menlo Park community is a core mission
of the Menlo Park Library. Modern libraries are shifting to meet community
demands for different kinds of learning – from spaces designed primarily to
house collections, to people-centered spaces better suited to provide
experiential learning experiences and opportunities for lifelong learning.

*If that were true, AGAIN WHERE IS BELLE HAVEN’S MODERN STATE OF THE ART
MAIN LIBRARY? WHY ARE YOU (Menlo Park City Council Members) spending time
and $20M on an already Modern Main Library on Alma. The downtown Main
Modern Library has been remodeled more times than we care to count. The
Belle Haven Branch which I wouldn’t call it a Library because it was built
and catered for the Ravenswood School District (Belle Haven school) for the
kids at the school and it reflects just that. The location, hours and
reading materials aren’t for the Belle Haven Community. It is open during
school hours and later it’s open to the Public 3:15pm-6 or 7pm and sometime
not even that. I have photos of the closed sign when I walked from my Home
to find that it was closed. I got my steps in and appreciated that but it
was a waste of my time to go and find it closed. With traffic we can’t
always go the downtown Main Library.

Having a NEW State of the Art Main BH Library for the WHOLE COMMUNITY
within walking distance would give the Kids and Adults that may not have
access to computers and internet which is needed to succeed in school.
Having access to GREAT books that will open up the World to kids that may
not be able to travel to other parts of the Country and World. The kids
that don’t attend Belle Haven school could go after their school and
activities to do research for projects and

PAGE 2

meet their classmate there. During the Summer the kids could go during the
day or after Summer camps.

     The Belle Haven Community is part of a broken school district and why
would we want to go as Adults or send our Kids to the current place you all
call a Library located at the Belle Haven school?



*To this end, three recent studies concerning library services contained
recommendations for an improved library space. The Library’s 2015
operational review recommended improved library space, an updated strategic
plan and a facility needs assessment. The Library’s 2016 Strategic Plan
recommended that the City pursue a new, state-of-the-art library space. The
Library Space Needs Study concluded that an additional 11,000 square feet
of space was required to fulfill the goals set out in the Library’s
Strategic Plan. Throughout the planning process there has been significant
input from members of the Library’s stakeholder groups and from the
community at large. Community participation has been key in developing the
goals set by the Library Strategic Plan and the resultant space
requirements set out in the Library Space Needs Study. The results of the
Space Needs Study were presented to the City Council during a study session
on March 28, 2017. In April 2017, Mr. John Arrillaga approached City staff
with a philanthropic offer to assist in the development and construction of
a new main library on the Civic Center Campus. Mr. Arrillaga’s interest in
funding a new library can, in part, be attributed to previous generous
offers where he helped fund the construction of the City’s Civic Center
Campus gymnasium, recreation center and gymnastics center. One conclusion
of the Library Space Needs Study was the City Council’s continued interest
and focus on the determining current and future needs for the Belle Haven
Branch Library. For the immediate concern, through the adoption of the
fiscal year 2017-18 budget, City Council authorized extension of the Belle
PAGE 220 Staff Report #: 17-185-CC City of Menlo Park 701 Laurel St., Menlo
Park, CA 94025 tel 650-330-6600 www.menlopark.org Haven Branch Library
hours and additional staffing. For the longer term, a Request for Proposals
(RFP) for a Belle Haven Neighborhood Library Needs Assessment was issued
August 3, 2017, with proposals due September 15, 2017. Analysis Staff has
begun the work of planning for the project, beginning to gather cost
estimates and develop timelines for



PAGE 3

moving the library project forward. Key findings to date, next steps and
the ongoing or upcoming projects that may be impacted, are summarized in
the following sections. ….



*Why has and is the Belle Haven Community having to wait for a STATE OF THE
ART LIBRARY? According to your staff’s report above the process started on
the Alma location in 2015. Why wasn’t Belle Haven included in that process?
Our needs study is just starting now and will take another 2-4 years to
complete according to staff. Had it been started back then we (Belle Haven
Community) would be ready now to accept a philanthropist’s offer of $20M or
less to complete our STATE OF THE ART LIBRARY in which we already have a 3D
model designed by Mr. Matt Henry and a location at the Community Center.
Belle Haven is ready now for the STATE OF THE ART MAIN LIBRARY. No need to
have ours needs assessed again and again. As someone mentioned, we feel
like we are on a Merry go Round and it’s time for it to stop.

The RFP is incorrect. Belle Haven’s so called Library shouldn’t be compared
to the Main Library on Alma. See the background on your our staff report. *In
1999, Menlo Park Library opened a branch library in the Belle Haven
Elementary school as part of a joint venture with the Ravenswood City
School District.

That went against the wishes of what The Belle Haven Community wanted. We
tell you time and time again what we want and deserve and you don’t listen.

*The school district was to contribute staff and other resources to the
library. In 2007, the school district no longer honored its contract with
the Library, and cooperation between the Library staff and the District is
now strained. As a result, the Library is now re-evaluating whether to
continue to operate its branch library in the Belle Haven school, and, if
not, whether to relocate the facility.

*If you would have listened back then as to the location and design of our
Library instead of listening to a broken school district we wouldn’t be
wasting our time now arguing about a so called Gift that isn’t a gift
because you are being told what to do and how to do it in your OUR CITY.
Gift’s don’t have strings attached. We would be able to focus on other
pressing issues of Affordable Housing in other areas of Menlo Park other
than in Belle Haven, the BROKEN SCHOOL

PAGE 4

DISTRICT THAT BELLE HAVEN IS IN AND NOT BEING A PART OF THE

MENLO PARK SCHOOL DISTRICT, HOMELESSNESS, AND TRAFFIC, ETC

By the way,

When will the current Belle Haven Library job (of 17 hours) be posted on
the MP web site and other job sites? The purpose of the job is to expand
the BH Library hours to be more like the Main Library’s hours. As of today,
it has not been posted although the job was approved by City Council almost
a year ago.

(Simple is good and often, can have more impact than longer, depending on
the topic.)



In short, HAVING A STATE OF THE ART LIBRARY NOW IN

BELLE HAVEN WOULD BE A BETTER ANSWER THEN SPENDING $20M DOLLARS OF OUR TAX
MONEY TO FUND AN ALREADY MODERN MAIN LIBRARY ON ALMA IS A WASTE AND YOU
SHOULD ALL BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES!!!! DON’T FORGET WHO VOTED YOU ALL IN
YOUR SEATS NOW.



Thanks,

Rachel Montgomery-Bickerstaff,

Resident of City of Menlo Park, Bayside Belle Haven Neighborhood

President of the Belle Haven Neighborhood Association – Bayside of Menlo
Park

RachelBickerstaff_at_(domainremoved)




*Rachel M. Bickerstaff*
*MERDOM*


*"the daughters fingerprints of success"415.264.7216 - Direct*





*La Poll Realtorswww.lapoll.com <http://www.lapoll.com/>[image:
file003.gif]*

[image: photo]
*Rachel M. Bickerstaff*
COO, R Bickerstaff Consulting/MERDOM/La Poll Realtors
415.264.7216 | RachelBickerstaff_at_(domainremoved)
Menlo Park, CA 94026
<http://linkedin.com/in/rachel-bickerstaff-b872a026>
Create your own email signature
<https://wisestamp.com/email-install?utm_source=promotion&utm_medium=signature&utm_campaign=create_your_own>
Received on Tue Aug 22 2017 - 17:56:28 PDT

[ Search ] [ By Date ] [ By Message ] [ By Subject ] [ By Author ]


Email communications sent to the City Council are public records. This site is an archive of emails received by the City Council at its city.council_at_(domainremoved)