Atherton meeting focuses on new library | September 7, 2011 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


News - September 7, 2011

Atherton meeting focuses on new library

Community members can learn the latest information about Atherton's plans for a new library at a meeting to be held Thursday, Sept. 8, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Pavilion at Holbrook-Palmer Park.

The park is the favored location for the planned facility, which would replace the cramped existing library in the Town Center.

The meeting will include "brief informational presentations of findings by a number of experts," according to a press release from the Atherton Library Building Steering Committee, a volunteer committee studying options for building a new facility. There will be tables dedicated to different project topics, and participants will have the opportunity to ask questions at each station.

A library needs assessment analysis done two years ago is the basis for much of the drive to build a new library of about 11,000 square feet to replace the 4,790-square-foot existing facility. The new library would have greatly expanded materials collections and far more area devoted to computers.

Most of the project's financing would come from an existing fund dedicated exclusively to the library.

Although there is considerable support for the idea of building the library in the town's only park, it has been a tough pill for some to swallow. A number of residents question whether locating the library there will conflict with existing park uses, and whether the traffic generated will be too disruptive for the now generally tranquil setting.


Posted by Mark, a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Sep 7, 2011 at 10:08 pm

When the Library needs assessment was done 2 years ago, iPads did not yet exist. For the cost of a library, we could give every home in Atherton an iPad and a printer and access to a librarian call-in help line if they can't find the information they need. If they really need a library, negotiate a sharing deal with Menlo Park - which foolishly spent money they couldn't afford on their libraries.

Posted by S, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 8, 2011 at 1:17 am

I am sure most Atherton residents need and want a first-class and properly funded police department as a much higher priority than a new library. The existing library is properly staffed and funded whereas the police department has been underfunded and understaffed for some time. Charles Marsala had an excellent plan to mutually benefit the Town, its residents, the library, and the police department by having the library purchase a Town building using its surplus, and the Town then using that money to fund new facilities and otherwise fund the police department. This is the number one priority in the Town.

Posted by Keep Open Space, a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Sep 10, 2011 at 11:54 am

This is a Regional Library of which less than half the usage is from Atherton residents. The plan is to build an 11,000 square foot facility in Atherton's only park for the region. How many acres will that consume? How much of the fields will be covered for parking?

If the library needs more space, they can acquire land around the existing library.

Posted by Benjie Smith, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 12, 2011 at 10:34 pm

The library should be located near transit (it should not crowd the peaceful, tranquil Holbrook Palmer park), but Cal-train does not stop at Atherton stop any more. Go figure! . . It is in a good spot (the current out-dated library). Buy more land around the current library for more space.