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Let's Build New Libraries

From: domainremoved <Monica>
Date: Sun, 19 Aug 2018 19:36:40 +0000

Dear Council Members:

Menlo Park is poised to take a major step towards delivering a 21st century main library to its citizens. After eight years of planning, deliberation, and discussion by Menlo Park residents, the City Council, City staff and other community stakeholders, the site plan for a new state-of-the-art main library is ready to be approved. And right behind it, is a plan for a new Belle Haven branch library. On August 21, the Menlo Park City Council needs to choose whether to approve a main library site plan and keep this project moving forward,

It's been said that great libraries build great communities. And since the year 2000, close to 50 new or substantially remodeled libraries have been completed in Bay Area towns and cities alone. For example, this week, Hayward opened a brand new 58,000-square-foot library in the heart of their city. It was overwhelmingly approved by 67% the voters, with only $10 million in private donations and the remaining $55 million coming from public funds. We have a much better deal before us.

Menlo Park has a very substantial offer from a donor who also helped build Menlo Park's Gymnasium and the Family Gymnastics Center. He has helped numerous other Bay Area communities and institutions build their projects and is ready to do it again for Menlo Park. He has offered that if Menlo Park pays $20 million in building costs, he will pay for the rest of the construction, including an underground parking garage. It could cost Menlo Park in excess of $60 million to build a new main library on its own.

It's been well documented that the main library and Belle Haven branch do not meet the current and future needs of the communities they serve. And we recognize that Menlo Park, like other Peninsula communities, faces many other challenges in the coming decades- housing, transportation and others.

But we cannot let this perfect alignment of a great new community library, supported by a most generous donor's offer to fail because we do not have the vision and understanding of what these great libraries will mean to the people of Menlo Park.

I urge you to vote "Yes" and approve next steps for the library system improvements project.

Monica Corman
President, Menlo Park Library Foundation
Received on Sun Aug 19 2018 - 12:36:05 PDT

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