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In support of rebuilding Menlo Park's libraries

From: domainremoved <Libby>
Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2018 04:10:02 +0000

Dear City Council Members,

As you well know, our city is lovely and is considered by many to be a desirable place to live. One of the larger attractions of living in a community is having a place to gather, a place where all are welcome to spend time. Libraries serve this function in many locales, and in my opinion, this is an area where Menlo Park currently falls short because our libraries are outdated and not technologically up-to-par. But we can take a step towards fixing that come Tuesday evening.

My children's schools are in Menlo Park (two public elementary schools and one preschool), their friends are in Menlo Park, their community is Menlo Park. Our collective community is Menlo Park. As parents and as residents, all of us are invested in this community and want to ensure that our city's future is considered in decisions taking place in the present. How better to physically and tangibly represent our city's tax dollar investments than to decide upon the location of a structure that will enable our residents to continue to thrive as a true community in years to come?

My family represents five people among the thousands who visited the main Menlo Park library last year. And our city is only growing. Lest we forget, technology is only growing too, and exponentially at that. Our main library was built over 60 years ago. Before the time of personal computers. Before the time of internet. Before the time of USB ports. Before the time of wifi. We have a lot of catching up to do outside of the occasional patchwork updates that have provided the bare minimum to keep up with basic expectations regarding technology.

As far as I am aware, our city's residents and city staff have been involved in ongoing discussions and planning sessions to rebuild the library system in Menlo Park, including a rebuild of the Main Library as well as the Belle Haven branch library, for the past eight years. It is now finally time to act. The library needs major updating that warrants a complete rebuild given that the cost of a rebuild will be greatly assisted by a generous donor if we act now. Otherwise, what will become of our community's students, teens, readers, and other library patrons when technology renders our library nearly obsolete? Cities throughout the Bay Area have recognized the shift in society and the need for libraries as community staples. For example, the Mitchell Park Library and the Los Gatos Library are perfect examples of libraries previously akin to ours that were rebuilt for exactly the reasons stated above, and at much greater expense than it would cost Menlo Park to proceed in light of the current funding offer from a generous private donor.

Please vote on the site of the new main library and the continuation of the plans for a Belle Haven branch library so that plans can proceed such that our city is poised to accommodate the needs of our current and future populations.

My family, our friends, our neighbors, and our fellow residents urge you to vote “Yes” to approve the next steps for the library system improvements project.

Thank you.
-Libby
Received on Sun Aug 19 2018 - 21:09:24 PDT

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