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NO to new library

From: domainremoved <Osnat>
Date: Mon, 21 May 2018 21:13:14 -0700


Please consider the following when you make a decision tomorrow regarding
the library:

1. The process has not been fully transparent to the public, it is biased
and based on political gain rather than the real needs of our community:

- The "needs assessment" was based on very few opinions, without any
insight to cost or alternatives. It was biased to begin with and reached a
very limited circle of inner-supporters.

- Whatever public input that was gathered during the Siting Meetings, was
disregarded by Staff. Regardless of the overwhelming support for the Alma
site, Staff still went ahead and is recommending the "Laurel site".

2. We are a small town of a ~33,000 population. Comparing our needs to a
city that is twice or three times as large is not relevant.

3. The main library as it is, is perfectly suitable. It is small and cozy
and feels like "home" instead of a huge facility where you get lost.
Instead of wasting money on a grandiose endeavor, here are a few
suggestions where creativity and forward thinking can resolve some of the
demand that was suggested. I will take as example the morning story time.
From my experience it is busy, but I always wondered why easy solutions are
not implemented. For example:

- Idea 1: I pass by the Council Chambers almost every day. In the mornings
it is sitting empty. This is a perfect space for little people
(toddlers/preschoolers) to sit around and listen to a story. I attended a
show there a while ago, and the setting was perfect! This space can be
utilized during the mornings.

- Idea 2: Engage Little House in a partnership. Introduce a collaboration
between Seniors and Preschoolers, and establish a tradition of engaging
Seniors to volunteer in creating Story Time meetings for the younger
generation. This has proven to be a wonderful endeavor in many countries.

- Idea 3: Use the outdoors. I must say that the library has put together
some wonderful events outdoors, in the grassy area under the large Oak
Tree. We have so many beautiful days, the best weather in the world.
Instead of being stuck inside a room (however big or "modern" the 4 walls
can be), why don't we use the outside space that we already have more
often? Story time in summer can certainly take place outside. There can be
more of it, in smaller groups (kids do better in small groups rather than
huge crowds, so a larger space is not needed).

I am against the idea of wasting money on a perfectly viable library. I am
all for making it better: expanded hours of operations, better utilization
of the current space and other spaces that are available on this campus and
otherwise in the city.

As a mom of 2 pre-teen kids and one preschooler, I understand the
importance of a library and value the fact that we are lucky have such a
wonderful resource. When we arrived to the area, 17 years ago, the Library
was my "second home" and provided invaluable resources as a newcomer to
this area. Our family is an avid user of the facility and spends many hours
there either at Story Time, reading and checking out books and DVD's, doing
homework after school, attending events that the library sponsors, tutoring
(I used to volunteer for the Reading Program some years back, and my son
uses the space to tutor younger kids there). We never felt that the
facility is not good enough and appreciate the fact that we have it close
by! Story Time is the only program that is consistently busy, and I believe
can be structured and managed more efficiently.

I don't believe that having a bigger facility will make it better.

I believe, if the project moves forward, that it will be irresponsible use
of public money that can be used elsewhere to improve other more important

Thank you for your consideration.

Osnat Loewenthal

Mom, Long Time Menlo Park Resident, Avid Library user and supporter who
believes that what we have is good as is, Worried Resident who believes
that transparency and accountability should be leading the Council in its
decisions. Hopeful that the Current Council will show responsibility and be
strong in making a tough decision that will forever be respected!
Received on Mon May 21 2018 - 21:13:14 PDT

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