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Please PAUSE pursuing new Main Library right now

From: domainremoved <Sidney>
Date: Tue, 22 May 2018 19:06:28 +0000 (UTC)

Dear MenloPark City Council,


We arewriting to urge you to press the pause button on moving forward pursuing a newMain Library at this time.  We have livedin Menlo Park for 22 years and are frequent library users.  We admire how the library staff has developed programming that is both creative and relevant to today's patrons.  However, we view a brand new Main Library or major renovation to be a nice-to-have (vs a need-to-have) project.  In order to take advantage of Mr. Arrillaga's very generous offer, the City would need to take on substantialdebt to meet the terms of his donation.  Wedo not support taking on such an amount of debt for the Main Library.


If the offerwere to build a Belle Haven library instead of the Main Library, or if the MainLibrary rebuild were truly a necessity, we think there would be less community debate and resistance.  As it is, the Main Library still serves thecommunity very well and replacing it had not been a top priority until Mr.Arrillaga’s offer came along.


Sidneyattended and expressed our thoughts above at all three of the Library SitePlanning meetings held at the Main Library in December 2017, January 2018,and February 2018.  Many others at those meetings also questionedthe need for an expensive renovation or brand new building for the Main Library.  We did advocate for prioritizing an expansionor brand new building for the Belle Haven Library, as the Belle Haven Libraryis currently housed in a school building and is not open to the public duringschool hours.  


On a relatedtopic, we do suggest the City could make more community space available for the children’sreading hours which enjoy high demand – kudos to the librarians for creating such a widely-loved program.  Could the City allow theLibrary to use the City Council chambers for story hours or other community events?  There would be plenty of room and it would bea creative way to leverage greater use out of otherwise dormant space during the day/weekends.  This would be an inexpensive solution that could be implemented right now without additional funding or footprint.

In summary,while we would of course love to have a brand new library with all the 21stcentury bells and whistles, the financial reality is that the City of MenloPark has many needs and competing interests for our tax (and debt) dollars.  We do not feel as if a brand new Main Library building ranks highly as a need-to-have priority at this time.

Thank you very much for your service to our community and for considering our comments in yourdeliberation.



Sidney &Doug Marks


Received on Tue May 22 2018 - 12:07:42 PDT

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