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Libraries are the hot topic in Palo Alto

Original post made by Resident on Sep 21, 2008

People in Palo Alto are either firmly fixed to their views to vote either yes or no, or confused. There doesn't seem to be many who couldn't care less.

I get this information from talking to neighbors and acquaintances.

I think the Weekly should try to get an unbiased history of what has happened over the past 8 years or so. Many people have fuzzy memories of what the previous library bond was about and why it failed. Also we have many new residents who are unable to sort the wheat from the chaff.

This bond before us is complicated. Surveys were done, but many people ask who were surveyed and how. I myself saw a survey, not addressed to me, and the wording was indeed ambiguous.

The expensive plans drawn up for the new library(ies) show us one proposal, but there has never been any serious plans discussed for what "closing the branches" would become. Was there ever serious discussion as to what the sites of the "closed branches" would become? Were there ever any serious alternatives discussed before the planning stage? Were there ever any discussions or surveys done as to what a one branch system may offer in exchange.

Personally, I would like to know an unbiased history of this stewpot and I think many others would also - before they vote.

Comments (83)

Posted by history lesson, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 21, 2008 at 7:08 pm

"The expensive plans drawn up for the new library(ies) show us one proposal, but there has never been any serious plans discussed for what "closing the branches" would become. "

Several alternatives were brought up in public, in newspapers, in multiple polls and surveys, in Council discussion, in public meetings (at least a few dozen of those), in Library Advisory Commission meetings, in private surveys at the branches, in surveys done bt the award-winning city auditor, in dozens of meetings among stakeholders that included citizens, Friends of the Palo Alto Library, PAUSD, the Palo Alto Library Foundation and others, and so on. These meetings - including public outreach, were mostly open to the public, announced in public venues, reported on in the newspapers and online inlcuding newspapers like the Merc News, The Daily News, The Weekly, and so on),

Consultants were hired, and their reports were made public. Detailed considerations were made that included the inputs of hundreds of citizens. Reports were generated in the hundreds of pages, in fine detail. All this is public information. Go to the city website and dig this information out.

After all this, a conclusion was made based on the majority of opinion in the inputs obtained that the current bond was the most appropriate way to pursue a library bond that was pared down to be as lean as it could be, and that would repair the main components of a decaying library infrastructure that hasn't had updating in 45 years.

Thus, we have Measure N, 90% devoted to repairing buildings that should have been replaced a decade ago. Our citizens, in survey after survey and poll after poll say that they want Mitchell rebuilt and Main remodeled, and that they want to keep the branches. They want to expand collections. They love the library programming, They universally say that they love our public library.

Those who have taken the time to keep informed on library matters knows that this is the last chance to repair a system that is so far outmoded that it is in danger of simply imploding.

We must pass Measure N, because after six years of diligence and strong community engagement and conclusion we know that the time for talk and waiting is over.

Either we pass Measure N or we stand an excellent chance of losing our public library system. We must pass measure N or risk losing either Main or Mitchell, and both branches. Along with that, we could lose the whole enchilada, and be forced to hand over operations to the County. That would take a few years, during which we could lose library service altogether, including service at Children's library.

We _must_ pass this bond to save our public library.

YES! on measure N.


Posted by unbelievable, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 21, 2008 at 7:46 pm

FOPAL got together with LAC and they decided what they wanted to do with libraries. Anyone that got in their way was hounded out. We are only given one option and no other was considered. We are only now being told that they never considered any other option and have not costed any alternative. Claims they went to the community are a farce (if they did happen at all) since the community had no alternative plan available.

The audit was only done after the bond proposal was put together and they'd already spent $1.5M on it. They didn't even know that Palo Alto already spent twice as much per capita as neighboring cities until the audit was done. Even then they chose to ignore it. You stil had people from the "better libraries for Palo Alto" group not even realizing what they were signing up for and being surprised on these forums when confronted at how much waste was in the current system.

As to whether the community wants branches, 62% of Palo Altans wanted a single main library in the last bond. It was voted down by the pro-branch folks.
In the most recent survey 58% of Palo Altans consider putting our resources into only one or two libraries a convincing argument. The only other survey done on it was considered fundamentally flawed by the weekly.


Posted by person2000a, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 21, 2008 at 8:16 pm

person2000a is a registered user.

"FOPAL got together with LAC and they decided what they wanted to do with libraries. Anyone that got in their way was hounded out."

Sorry, but you are either misinformed, or purposely distorting what really happened.

The poster above has taken the time to bring those who weren't around, up to speed.

Here's the way it happened:
"Several alternatives were brought up in public, in newspapers, in multiple polls and surveys, in Council discussion, in public meetings (at least a few dozen of those), in Library Advisory Commission meetings, in private surveys at the branches, in surveys done bt the award-winning city auditor, in dozens of meetings among stakeholders that included citizens, Friends of the Palo Alto Library, PAUSD, the Palo Alto Library Foundation and others, and so on. These meetings - including public outreach, were mostly open to the public, announced in public venues, reported on in the newspapers and online inlcuding newspapers like the Merc News, The Daily News, The Weekly, and so on),

Consultants were hired, and their reports were made public. Detailed considerations were made that included the inputs of hundreds of citizens. Reports were generated in the hundreds of pages, in fine detail. All this is public information. Go to the city website and dig this information out.

After all this, a conclusion was made based on the majority of opinion in the inputs obtained that the current bond was the most appropriate way to pursue a library bond that was pared down to be as lean as it could be, and that would repair the main components of a decaying library infrastructure that hasn't had updating in 45 years.

Thus, we have Measure N, 90% devoted to repairing buildings that should have been replaced a decade ago. Our citizens, in survey after survey and poll after poll say that they want Mitchell rebuilt and Main remodeled, and that they want to keep the branches. They want to expand collections. They love the library programming, They universally say that they love our public library."


Posted by palo alto mom, a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 21, 2008 at 9:27 pm

I would still like to hear these bond numbers:

One branch- $$ per 100,000
One plus children's - $$ per 100,000
Five branches - $$ per 100,000


Posted by peter, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 21, 2008 at 10:03 pm


We are dealing with an issue from 100 yrs ago, when I go to the libraries they are full of vagrants, dvd renters and people from out of town who want a free internet which they could get for the price of a coffee at many places.

It is a boondogle, end it, build one high tech library and return the money to those who know how to spend it, the tax payers




Posted by B Fenestra-Mills, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 21, 2008 at 10:28 pm

mom, by the time we were ready to build one branch, that branch would cost more than the current bond. Think about how much the failure of Measure D in 2002 has cost us in construction inflation - almost $30M. This result was wrought by the anti-D folks in 2002.

We need to pass Measure N to keep that from happening again, because by the time we get to one branch, the price will be so high that nobody will support it.

We are looking a gift horse in the mouth - about $115 per family, per year, to repair our library and have its collection and services improve to a degree that all Palo Altans expect.

Imagine not having to go to Mt. View, Los Altos, or Menlo Park any more, because you can find what you want in your own library. That's what this bond is for!

Please vote YES on N.


Posted by fiscal responsibility, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2008 at 4:59 am

B Fenestra-Mills,

The failure of measure D in 2002 did not cost us the extra $30 million in construction costs. The city council could have proceeded with the library construction, using the COPS (Certificates of Participation), like they are doing with the police building. It would have been a $3 million/year budget item. In 2002 the city budget was around $120 million. In 2008, the city budget has grown to around $145 million. So the growth in the budget could have more than paid for the COPs cost.


Posted by RS, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 22, 2008 at 6:56 am

I have a new question. Rather than rehash all the old subjects about a decade ago when we had the flood in North Palo Alto, didn't Main flood?


Posted by question, a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 22, 2008 at 6:58 am

Maybe people would object less if it were a parcel tax evenly distributed instead of a tax on home value. Maybe not, but some people are going to pay a LOT more than $115 to average it all out. Also, the point is that you CAN'T Actually find the book you want in each of the branches, you have to order it a lot of the times. So how is that more efficient than just going to one or two, better-stocked libraries? Or is part of the bond going to pay to have identical materials in each of the branches? That would seem silly and expensively duplicative, to say the least.


Posted by unbelievable, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 22, 2008 at 7:14 am

The thing that really galls me is that, with this bond, we only get 1 new library! That new library is still only half the size of those in neighboring cities. Even worse the new library in Redwood Shores cost them the same as the amount we've paid for our "designs"! Yes, they get a 22,000 square foot library for $1.5M and we pay $75M for a 36,000 square foot library.

Not only have the people in charge of this bond never asked us what we want but they are wasting millions of dollars and we still don't get something that matches up to our neighboring cities.

It's now six weeks before the vote and it was only this weekend that they asked the public where they thought a single library would go.


Posted by RS, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 22, 2008 at 7:36 am

"It's now six weeks before the vote and it was only this weekend that they asked the public where they thought a single library would go."

Paul asked a rhethorical question on PA online. Is that what you are reffering to? If it is, I dont know that your characterization is accurate. Mind you, I agree with the basic point that what the public wants and how much they are willing to pay out of their own pockets does not appear to have been well thought through.


Posted by Yes on N for our kids, schools and community, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2008 at 7:58 am

" I agree with the basic point that what the public wants and how much they are willing to pay out of their own pockets does not appear to have been well thought through."

It's uncanny how the same people in this forum keep spreading inaccurate rumors. Ms.Fesestra-Mills, above quoted someone from a prior thread, cataloging the activities and diligence that led too this bond.

I'll quote them again: ""Several alternatives were brought up in public, in newspapers, in multiple polls and surveys, in Council discussion, in public meetings (at least a few dozen of those), in Library Advisory Commission meetings, in private surveys at the branches, in surveys done bt the award-winning city auditor, in dozens of meetings among stakeholders that included citizens, Friends of the Palo Alto Library, PAUSD, the Palo Alto Library Foundation and others, and so on. These meetings - including public outreach, were mostly open to the public, announced in public venues, reported on in the newspapers and online inlcuding newspapers like the Merc News, The Daily News, The Weekly, and so on), - - Consultants were hired, and their reports were made public. Detailed considerations were made that included the inputs of hundreds of citizens. Reports were generated in the hundreds of pages, in fine detail. All this is public information. Go to the city website and dig this information out. - - After all this, a conclusion was made based on the majority of opinion in the inputs obtained that the current bond was the most appropriate way to pursue a library bond that was pared down to be as lean as it could be, and that would repair the main components of a decaying library infrastructure that hasn't had updating in 45 years."

It's ridiculous to compare the Redwood Shores **branch library** in the Redwood City system to Mitchell Library here, as the latter is planned as the de facto Main Library of our system.

This poster names "unbelievable" IS unbelievable, because on the one hand he rails against branch libraries, but somehow thinks that a single small branch is the same as a main library.

How about Redwood City's branch system? How come he don't complain about that, but he complains that Palo Alto shouldn't have branches? Why is that? At least keep yuor preferences straight.

The inconsistencies by a just a few determined anti-library folks on these forums shows first hand how they want to bring down Palo Alto's library system. They continue to misinform, and act as if the bond is a big surprise, and that no citizens were asked what they want. That's a lie.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Also, the cost per sq. foot of Mitchell has been shown to be in the mid-range of cost per sq ft of other local libraries built or planned in the region.

Vote 'yes" on Measure N.


Posted by unbelievable, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 22, 2008 at 8:21 am

Redwood Shores pay $1.5M for a 22,000 square foot library, we pay $75M for a 36,000 square foot library and you don't see any problem? That's why you don't see any problem in Palo Alto paying twice as much per capita for its library system compared to our neighbors.
Our "de facto" main library is too small to be a main library. That's the problem. It's half the size of the main libraries in all the neighboring cities and we're paying a 500% markup when compared to a similar library in Redwood Shores!
All the polls and surveys have Palo Altans wanting a good main library! This bond doesn't address that. In fact, it outright ignores what the public wants and spends millions and what we don't want. This bond is the product of a small group of pro-bond enthusiasts hi-jacking the system. The public has not been involved. It is only now when they're asking us for money that they're trying to convince us that it is a good idea to spend $75M for a library that Redwood Shores got for $1.5M.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 22, 2008 at 8:31 am

Redwood Shores Library is a branch library. Mitchell is a de fact main library. The system will be run from Mitchell. The $75 Million includes Mitchell Library and Recreation center complex rebuild, and major upgrades to Main.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by unbelievable, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 22, 2008 at 8:47 am

No, we want a good main library. The only way to get any new library with this bond is to spend $75M. That is the choice we are being given. So, that is exactly the comparison to make.
Redwood Shores spends $1.5M on 22,000 square feet, we spend $75M on 36,000 square feet.
Even after the bond our new "main" library pales in comparison to our neighbors.
This bond failed to involve the public, it fails to address our huge cost disparity with neighboring cities, it fails to give us a decent main library, it fails.


Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 22, 2008 at 9:08 am

> We _must_ pass this bond to save our public library.

Save it from what? If it needs to be saved from anything--it is the current Management Team. These people have left the library to fall into disrepair as a management strategy.

Examples of Poor Maintenance:
Web Link
Web Link

Yet--the City can find $1.3M this year for "bonuses" for its managers, who have allowed this deterioration to occur.

There simply is no excuse for this kind of facilities management. No excuse at all!




Posted by unbelievable, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 22, 2008 at 9:18 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 22, 2008 at 10:00 am

There is simply no vision of what a 21st Century Library is, in the Measure N Library Expansion plan. Modern libraries are being built all over the world, most looking into the future as a part of their theme--often with very innovative ideas about the use of multimedia.

Take a look at these videos, of the Aarhus "library"/"exploratorium"--

Transformation Lab - Prototyping the Future
Web Link

The Children's Interactive Library (Aarhus, Denmark):
Web Link


The Measure N library is pretty much on a 1950's design, inside. The outside might be "modern", but all of the money going into "outside design" has nothing to do with books, learning and sharing.

Measure N sure seems to be a lot like Measure D.


Posted by TooMuch, a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 22, 2008 at 10:09 am

"We are looking a gift horse in the mouth - about $115 per family, per year"

Who is paying $115? I just received this years property tax bill. By my calculation I'll have to pay $478 a year. I can buy a hell of a lot of books for $478. No way am I voting for this bond. It is completely out of line.


Posted by RS, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 22, 2008 at 10:11 am

These buildings are only 50 years old. 50 years in terms of a building is not an issue. If the current buildings are problematic because they were not maintained, I dont see how building new structures fixes the underlying problem that the city is not maintaining the infrastructure in general. If the city does not have the resources to maintain 5 branches and that is the underlying problem, then it would make sense to reduce the quantity of buildings to the number they can maintain. This bond has not been thought through in terms of fiscal sense, it has however been thought through in terms of political sense.


Posted by Yes on N for our kids, schools and community, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2008 at 10:16 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by true colors, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 22, 2008 at 10:25 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Yes on N for our kids, schools and community, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2008 at 10:27 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 22, 2008 at 10:32 am

> here we have Wayne Martin, who says our libraries should close

This is a misquote, at best. I have said that the "time of Brink-and-Mortar" libraries is over. I have said that the "local nature" of libraries is changing, and the future libraries need to consider a shift from the local venue, to a global stage:

Web Link

With millions of books likely to be on-line in the coming years, and the digitizing of the Library of Congress being maybe as little as a $1B problem--spending hundreds of millions of dollars to house books which can be obtained on-line needs some very close consideration by the voters.


Posted by Yes on N for our kids, schools and community, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2008 at 10:34 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by RS, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 22, 2008 at 10:36 am

Mike,

I have to agree, libeling Wayne is not helping your cause.


Posted by Yes on N for our kids, schools and community, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2008 at 10:41 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 22, 2008 at 10:54 am

> So, here's WAYNE MARTIN, who has opposed, on principle,
> EVERY SINGLE effort to improve Palo Alto capital
> infrastructure since he's lived here. EVERY ONE!

There is some truth in this, so let's review the record:

1) $225M Storm Drain Program.

I opposed this because it was clearly unneeded--particularly in a town where it only rains 15 inches a year. The Storm Drain Tax (whoops .. the City called it a fee), was unbounded. So, the city stood to collect over $1B for Storm Drains in the future--once the project was completed. There was overwhelming rejection of this proposal.

2)2nd Storm Drain Program.

Did not actively oppose it.


3) Measure D Library.

Libraries are not infrastructure.

Did oppose it for many of the same reasons I am opposing this one.

4) Measure N Library.

Libraries are not infrastructure.

Many ideas that were proposed in the objection to the Measure D libraries have come true: 1) E-Readers that can get books from wireless networks (the Kindle is now on the market), massive digitizing projects are now underway (Google Books/The Internet Archive, etc.). Google is proposing to digitize the world's old newspapers--making of all of these old newspapers and books available on-line, and generally free to anyone who wants to read them. Additionally, the Measure N library has ignored significant "Institutional Infrastructure" needs.

I would support a parcel tax to "fix the creek"

Web Link

and fund grade separations here in Palo Alto to make crossing the railroads safer.





Posted by RS, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 22, 2008 at 10:54 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by true colors, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 22, 2008 at 11:09 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Karen White, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 22, 2008 at 11:19 am

Ours is a community of life-long learners. A community that values education values libraries! I hope you will join me in voting for Measure N, a common-sense facility plan that corrects the problems in Measure D.

As a side note: No single individual was "responsible" for what was ultimately a slight short-fall in support for Measure D, which earned 61.4% approval, an overwhelming majority. If anything is to blame, it's the fact that opponents get two votes for every one "yes" vote.


Posted by Not this N, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 22, 2008 at 11:24 am

"We must pass this library bond or we will lose our libraries."
What a crock of ----! Has this become Yes on N's slogan? I'll vote NO based on that claim alone. Here's why.
1. It's fear mongering at its worst -- an absolute distortion and flat out lie.
2. Imagine if it were true. I would *never* give additional money to an organization whose leadership cannot provide a library system with the available money. Are proponents trying to tell me that it's all or nothing? That they can't provide ANY library services without this bond? Time to replace the leaders.

With either of these two possibilities - fear mongering lies or extreme inept library management - I say NO to N.


Posted by Yes on N for our kids, schools and community, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2008 at 11:24 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 22, 2008 at 11:30 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 22, 2008 at 11:32 am

I have no idea of what happened at meetings, or were in newspapers and so on, I am not alone. Most people I have spoken to do not go to meetings or read long drawn out newspaper articles if they even see them.

The surveys sent out did not give out any type of choice. This bond does not give any type of choice. Why couldn't we be having a referendum with several options rather than voting on a bond many of us are unhappy with. Of course we want to see money spent on getting the library(ies) up to scratch, but for many people the details are only now being looked into when they want to make an informed vote.

That is why I have been asking for the Weekly to write an unbiased article detailing the history, answering questions about how this bond came about in the manner it has and why all the money was spent on plans before the electorate, the voters, had a chance to know the costs involved and the benefits that would come from it.

I know that it is too late now to give us a referendum, but at least can we read an unbiased account of this without an emotive plea from one side or the other.

That is all I am asking.


Posted by Yes on N for our kids, schools and community, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2008 at 11:36 am

"Why couldn't we be having a referendum with several options rather than voting on a bond many of us are unhappy with. "

We have already had that referendum, with literally hundreds of public meetings and multiple polls and surveys.

Another poster has provided a pretty good history of the process, above.

We need to pass Measure N or we will lose our libraries!

Vote YES on Measure N to keep our libraries open, so that they can continue to serve our future.



Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 22, 2008 at 11:41 am

When was there a referendum on the ballot? What were the choices and what were the various costs?


Posted by No on the library bond, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 22, 2008 at 11:43 am

Karen White is also resorting to using "fuzzy math" to support her positions. She states: "it's the fact that opponents get two votes for every one "yes" vote.". That is not true at all--our system for bond measures is that you need a 2/3 majority +1. That is what, we the citiznes decided on. If Ms White or others have a problem with this method of deciding bond measures, i suggest they work to have it changed.
Everybody gets a single vote on this measure, while the pro-bond people may have to work hard to reach that 66 2/3 +1, it does not mean that anyone has an unfair advantage at the polls


Posted by Paul, a resident of Professorville
on Sep 22, 2008 at 11:44 am



Libraries are outdated knowledge management systems, in this area we can do much better.

We need to vote No on N and think how we can use innovation and technology rather than 19th Century era libraries.

We should spend money to create value not indulge in nostalgia.


Posted by Yes on N for our kids, schools and community, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2008 at 11:49 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 22, 2008 at 11:51 am

> This is laughable and absurd on its face. the video that
> Mr. Martin points to is a video of an ACADEMIC library.

Yes, it is an academic library. Any while there are many functions of Academic libraries which are not appropriate for public libraries--in a town where 75% have BS or better degrees, it's difficult to understand why their lifetime learning needs would not be better served by the best tools of academic libraries being available to them.

For instance, JSTOR, is an on-line database of academic journal articles. This is available in the Stanford library, and it is also available through the San Francisco Public Library. Yet, it is not available in the Palo Alto Public Library, where 75% of the residents have post-secondary degrees, and probably would love to continue reading academic papers in their areas of expertise.

The SF Public Library reports that the cost of a JSTOR subscription for public use via the Library WEB-site is just a couple thousand dollars.

Currently, 40% of the circulation of the Palo Alto libraries is in Video/AudioCDs. This percentage is likely to increase with 4-5 years. There was a time that people used libraries for edification, and learning. The high Video/AudioCD circulation should cause voters to wonder--what's happened to our libraries as places of learning.

Moreover, Link+--which will make available about 8M books from about 45 public libraries and public/private university libraries will introduce Palo Alto library patrons to most of the books on the shelves of the member university libraries in California and Nevada.

Libraries should not be publicly-owned Blockbusters. We should be actively looking to find, and acquire technology that is appropriate to our near-term, and future-needs, considering that so much of this information/entertainment is also available on the Internet, for free, or for little cost.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 22, 2008 at 11:57 am

A referendum is very different from a survey. However, a referendum or survey that would have been comprehensive would have been similar to the following.

Which of the following options would you prefer?

A An update of our present system with 4 separate sites plus childrens which would cost $x.

B An update of Main and Mitchell, transferring College Terrace and Downtown to community centers with library material pickup/drop off facilities and classes and community services similar to the present and extended which would cost $y.

C A completely new facility built at location (E) with community centers and library material pickupdrop off facilities at the balance of the 3 branches which would cost $z.

D Any other alternatives that library buffs could envision - out of the box innovative idea- which would cost $?.

Unless we had seen something similar to the above, then I don't see how the community could have been said to have given their views.


Posted by Yes on N for our kids, schools and community, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2008 at 12:06 pm

Wayne Martin: "in a town where 75% have BS or better degrees, it's difficult to understand why their lifetime learning needs would not be better served by the best tools of academic libraries being available to them...For instance, JSTOR, is an on-line database of academic journal articles. This is available in the Stanford library, and it is also available through the San Francisco Public Library"

Mr. Martin continues to equate the Stanford Library, with oodles of money, with our small municipal library. Then he compares is to a large urban library, with great resources.

The great irony here is that Mr. Martin has worked hard to keep our library from having the very resources it needs to buy subscriptions to database services. As it is, we have an excellent collection of database services that some of our great volunteer organizations - like FoPal, have provided through gifts.

Mr Martin, who waxes on technology developments wonders why our library has pastrons borrowing CDs and DVDs? As if one can't learn from a film version of Moby Dick, as one would learn from reading that great novel. They're *different* learning modalities. Another distortion.

Mr. Martin can't produce even ONE credible study that backs up his assertion that digital media will replace books in public libraries anytime soon. Not one. Yet he persists in calling our libraries "Blockbuster", yet another insult leveled at the story time volunteers, the senior volunteers, the patrons who include our children and students, and professionals who use our library every day - by the thousands.

Mr. Martin fails to realize that Links+ is planned for Palo Alto, and also fails to realize that Links+ as deployed in other libraries is responsible for >1% of circulation. So much for another mistaken prognostication, and outright error about library technology


Posted by Yes on N for our kids, schools and community, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2008 at 12:08 pm

"Unless we had seen something similar to the above, then I don't see how the community could have been said to have given their views."

Resident, Palo Alto has done 6 years of diligence. Everything you mentioned was considered. The plan we have came from majority opinions and inputs in the thousands. The plan was massaged and sent out to the community for feedback. I'm sorr that you weren't there, but this is what we have, and it's our last chance to save the library system in Palo Alto.

Vote YES on Measure N to keep our libraries open, so that they can continue to serve our future.



Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 22, 2008 at 12:16 pm

> Mr. Martin continues to equate the Stanford Library, with oodles
> of money, with our small municipal library. Then he compares
> is to a large urban library, with great resources.

Palo Alto routinely spends $7-8M a year on its libraries. Not all of the money is reported in the library budget, unfortunately. Additionally, the PAUSD spends another $3-4M (salaries + benefits + operations).

We spend over $130,000 a year on serial publications (newspapers and magazines--about 1/3rd of the budget spent on new collections) which generally are read by just a handful of people on the library sites. On-line subscriptions to JSTOR, would be a "benefit-multiplier", which would ultimately allow more people to use the library funds more effectively than they are now being used.

Just one example, by the way.


Posted by Tired of library naysayer ignorance, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 22, 2008 at 12:20 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Martin's no librarian, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 22, 2008 at 12:27 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Sam, a resident of Southgate
on Sep 22, 2008 at 12:32 pm

I concur that neglected maintenance has been library policy.
I once offered to get some minor repairs done, at my own expense, (with the Director's approval), and was refused. Yes, a free offer of help was refused.


Posted by Sam's lawyer, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Sep 22, 2008 at 12:34 pm

"I once offered to get some minor repairs done, at my own expense, (with the Director's approval), and was refused. "

The City is not permitted to let private contractors do work because it can be SUED.


Posted by Sambrother, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 22, 2008 at 12:42 pm

Libraries do not need help!
Just Vote YES on Measure N to keep our libraries open and NO for closing.


Posted by No on the library bond, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 22, 2008 at 12:45 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 22, 2008 at 12:51 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Not this N, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 22, 2008 at 12:54 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] The libraries are NOT going to close with a no vote. Think about it, please. Our current library budget is already significantly higher than other cities. Do you really believe that they can't give us ANY library services without this bond?

Yes on N is propagating lies through repeated use ad nauseam of his/her "the library will close" threats. It's not going to happen. The libraries won't disappear; the sky won't fall.

A no vote tells the city to be fiscally responsible. It doesn't say we don't support our libraries.


Posted by Wayne Martin, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 22, 2008 at 1:11 pm

> there are no studies about e-books and libraries (or words
> to that effect)

It's hard to believe that all of the e-Ink e-Book Readers (Sony, Amazon, iRex and now Plastic Logic, of Mountain View) have invested hundreds of millions of dollars on e-Book Readers without thinking about their acceptance by the marketplace.

Amazon has announced a version for colleges, available later this year. Here's a link to an article in an Educational Technology on-line paper which reports on a teacher's warm embrace of the Kindle in the classroom:

---
Web Link

Kindles in the classroom: World history teacher is sold on the K machine

By Joe Wikert, a VP in the Professional/Trade division of John Wiley & Sons
---

The world is changing .. that is all I am trying to say.



Posted by Paul, a resident of Professorville
on Sep 22, 2008 at 1:16 pm



"Libraries should not be publicly-owned Blockbusters. We should be actively looking to find, and acquire technology that is appropriate to our near-term, and future-needs, considering that so much of this information/entertainment is also available on the Internet, for free, or for little cost."


Very true,here we are at the center of the IT/ knowledge management revolution and we are proposing to waste millions of $ on an outdated system that no body will be using in 2 years.

If you want to provide internet access for the indigent then open an internet cafe in downtown with a porn filter and some social workers.

There are also much cheaper alternatives for after school care.

I feel this whole idea of wasting money on libraries has been railroaded through with no quality decision process which considered alternatives and trade offs.

The last thing we need is luddites Web Link making decisions in Palo Alto


Posted by chris, a resident of University South
on Sep 22, 2008 at 1:21 pm

Given that people's retirement accounts and houses are tumbling in value, what are the chances that they will vote for the library issue?

The presidential debates will scare everybody to death.


Posted by Yes on N for our kids, schools and community, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Sam: "There were no contractors involved. Nothing involving safety. Just minor neglect and minor expense, that any homeowner would fix himself."

Once again Sam, it's ILLEGAL for the city to let that happen. They're not covered for incidental contractors.


"Not this N" says: "A no vote tells the city to be fiscally responsible. It doesn't say we don't support our libraries."

More distortion. Our LIBRARY SYSTEM WILL END. FINITA! if we have a no vote on N. The opposition would like to have you believe that things will remain the same; they won't. Our buildings need repair NOW; THEY NEEDED REPAIR IN 2002, WHEN THE SAME CAST OF CHARACTERS WORKED HARD TO DEFEAT THE LIBRARY BOND THEN!!

Wayne Martin: "The world is changing .. that is all I am trying to say."

No, you're taking random technology developments and making personal projections that have been SHOWN to be wrong, and using those projections to say that libraries aren't necessary. You have not produced even ONE expert study, performed by professionals, to support your claims. In fact, INternet technology has INCREASED the need for libraries - a fact you conveniently leave out of your missives.


Paul says: "There are also much cheaper alternatives for after school care."
Here we have one of the core group of anti-N people, essentially claiming that children ndo not go to libraries to learn, to wonder, to develop language skills, and so on. Do we want opinions like this about our chilidren to be the driving factors in eliminating our children's library??


Chris says: "Given that people's retirement accounts and houses are tumbling in value"

All the more reaosn to vote to make more room foro a competent library collection. People are going to be less able to afford to buy books, DVDs, subscribe to research journals, etc. etc. Public Library is the best deal going. For $115 per year, one can receive many hundreds more in return of services. Almost FREE is a good thing,





Posted by Strange, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 22, 2008 at 1:43 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by We MUST pass Measure N, to keep our libraries open!, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 22, 2008 at 2:46 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Paul, a resident of Professorville
on Sep 22, 2008 at 2:57 pm



It is called creative destruction, there is no market for buggy whips, times change, technology develops. I have never used a quill pen I must admit.

If we kept all the vestiges of the 19th Century around we would be living in a museum using morse code rather than the web.

The 42% who use the library for DVDs and Books On Tape can go to HULU and I Tunes on the web, they will save gas.


Posted by Yes on N for our kids, schools and community, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2008 at 3:03 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Yes on N for our kids, schools and community, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2008 at 3:09 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by in the know, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 22, 2008 at 3:11 pm

Only 26% of our library patrons use digital media, and book borrowing is WAY up.


Posted by channing says yes, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 22, 2008 at 3:30 pm

Almost everyone here at Channing House has already voted, and almost all voted yes. most seniors I know have already voted yes


Posted by consider changing future needs, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 22, 2008 at 3:44 pm

The changing community needs have not been taken into account. If book borrowing is up, perhaps it is because 1) the online reservation system works very well, and reduces the time it takes to find and checkout a book and 2) the economy is down and residents figured out they don't need to buy every book they want to read.

Book checkouts may be up, but by my observation, many patrons request books online, to to the library to check them out, and leave the library with books in hand. They often don't dwell in the library.

The electronic services currently offered by PA meet my needs. I don't need additional library "space" except for possible additional books. Not for meetings or as a "social" place as mentioned by another contributor.

The library survey I received didn't ask questions that were relevant to the way I use libraries, including technology and electronic-book/information needs.

If it is true that PA city libraries spend 7-8M annually and PAUSD spends 3-4M annually, couldn't there be a creative way to share these infrastructure and information resources? Why is there a financial wall between PAUSD and Palo Alto city funding?


Posted by some answers to good questions, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2008 at 4:03 pm

" by my observation, many patrons request books online, to to the library to check them out, and leave the library with books in hand"
This is not what librarians report. Instead they say that more people linger in the library, as they discover new learning and content sources.



"The library survey I received didn't ask questions that were relevant to the way I use libraries, including technology and electronic-book/information needs"
The library survey did contain questions about technology preferences, and how those preferences weigh against other preferences. Perhaps you missed this part of the survey.


" Why is there a financial wall between PAUSD and Palo Alto city funding? "
Because of Prop.13. In spite of that our excellent librarians have found ways to increase the value of our schools, and embellish our already excellent educational system. There are many language development programs at the library; multiple story times; a very comprehensive teen program; and, a very effective homework help program

If we don't pass Measure N, many of these programs will disappear, and we won't be able to increase or book or media collections.




Posted by Me Too, a resident of Meadow Park
on Sep 22, 2008 at 4:52 pm

I had posted this on the other thread, but this one seems to have the action.

We have 5 branches. Here are some other local comparisons:

Menlo Park = 2 branches; Mountain View = 1 branch; Los Altos = 2 branches; Cupertino = 1 branch; Sunnyvale = 1 branch; Santa Clara = 1 branch; Saratoga = 1 branch; Los Gatos = 1 branch; Belmont = 1 branch; Burlingame = 2 branches; Millbrae = 1 branch; San Bruno = 1 branch; San Carlos = 1 branch; San Mateo = 3 branches; Woodside = 1 branch.

Redwood City and Daly City have 4 branches.

For a slightly broader perspective, here are the cities used in the PIE school benchmark study last year:

Wellesley MA = 1.5 branches (1 branch open 14 hours/week); Scarsdale NY = 1 branch; Edina MN = 2 branches; Chapel Hill NC = 1 branch; Wilmette IL = 1 branch.

So we are an outlier, both among our neighbors and against our national peers. Of course these comparables vary by size and population, but we have more branches than any of these (some larger, some smaller, some richer, some poorer).

We also know from the Auditor's Report that our cost per capita is 1.7-2.0x what our neighboring towns pay.

Measure N asks for $75M more to support this. It seems that, like these other towns, we could have fine libraries, much better than now, while spending less.


Posted by Yes on N for our kids, schools and community, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2008 at 5:10 pm

"Wellesley MA = 1.5 branches (1 branch open 14 hours/week); Scarsdale NY = 1 branch; Edina MN = 2 branches; Chapel Hill NC = 1 branch; Wilmette IL = 1 branch."

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Perhaps this poster doesn't know that Downtown and College Terrace has a combined 142,000 visitors last year. He also doesn't mention that patrons borrowed almost 177,000 items from CT and DT last year. "Me Too" wants library to climb in their cars and drive to a mythical "single branch" library.

Me Too wants to use vacuous numbers to show what? That some communities has less library service than Palo Alto? Like that's something to be proud of?? "Me Too" has his priorities backward.

He also fails to point out that Palo Alto library staff is 2.5 times more efficient than neighboring communities, with less library branches, mind you.

Here's the data on that...

Spending per capita Library Spending Per Capita FY 2005-06, with per capita efficiency ratings for each city based on cumulative library hour service return for per capita investment (i.e. per capita spend[PCS]] **divided by**cumulative service hour [CSH]. PLease note that *the lower the number, the higher the library staff efficiency in terms of total amount of service hour delivery accomplished*)

Palo Alto's $97.01 per capita spend results in 238 cumulative service hours at 5 branches per week PCS/CSH = .41

Santa Clara $57.70 per capita results in 73 hours of cumulative service hours at one branch per week PCS/CSH = .78

Mountain View's $55.19 results in 56 cumulative service hours of library services at one branch per week PCS/CSH = .98

Menlo Park $61.68 per capita results in 57 cumulative service hours of library services at one branch per week PCS/CSH = .92

Sunnyvale $49.97 per capita results in 57 cumulative service hours of library services at one branch per week. PCS/CSH = .88

By this reckoning, Palo Alto library staff is 2-2.5 times *more* efficient than its municipal neighbors.


Posted by Dan, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 22, 2008 at 5:12 pm

Very interesting comments by Yes on N. To refute Mr. Martin's comments, he/she simple says they are not true. Where is the proof?

I haven't seen any comments about the refurbishment of the College Terrace Library - to the tune of $3 to $4 million dollars. Where did that money come from? There was no bond issue or referendum asking the community at large to approve it. If this can be done, I don't see how our libraries will be closed if N does not pass.


Posted by person2000a, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 22, 2008 at 6:25 pm

person2000a is a registered user.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

"about the refurbishment of the College Terrace Library - to the tune of $3 to $4 million dollars. Where did that money come from? There was no bond issue or referendum asking the community at large to approve it. If this can be done, I don't see how our libraries will be closed if N does not pass. "
The College Terrace building that houses the library also houses a PACCC center; the building's falling-down infrastructure had been planned for redevelopment for years. Fixing the building has NOTHING to do with keeping the library open.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Please vote YES ON MEASURE N, to save our libraries from destruction, and keep the light of our local library system shining for our kids, our students, our seniors (almost 40% of our population), our working professionals (hundreds use the library, every day), for the 880,000 visitors our library had last year, for our community's future.

We MUST pass Measure N for all these constituencies, who have said over and over that they love our libraries, and support them passionately.





Posted by paloaltolibraries, a resident of Community Center
on Sep 22, 2008 at 7:11 pm

paloaltolibraries is a registered user.

If this bond doesn't pass, the libraries will COLLAPSE. That's right, COLLAPSE. Not only that but our schools will start failing since they are only propped up by our superior libraries. We have the best libraries on the peninsular. We only need more money to make sure they don't collapse.

Vote yes on N for our schools
Vote yes on N for higher property prices
Vote yes on N for 23x ROI for each dollar spent
Vote yes on N for cleaning up our town
Vote yes on N for solving global warming
Vote yes on N!


Posted by person2000a, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 22, 2008 at 7:37 pm

person2000a is a registered user.

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by person2000a, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 22, 2008 at 8:25 pm

person2000a is a registered user.

here are some comments on the last poster's missives..

"Vote yes on N for our schools"
Our library has many programs that interface with the schools - teen programs, language and reading development programs, homework help, and so on...

"Vote yes on N for higher property prices"
Real estate agents regularly tout our libraries to promote housing value, because our branch system makes neighborhoods more walkable.

"Vote yes on N for 23x ROI for each dollar spent"
25 municipal studies show that every tax dollar spent on public libraries generates a return of anywhere from $1.30-$4.60. The last study was in San francisco, and helped lead to a bond passage there.

"Vote yes on N for cleaning up our town"
After school programs at our public library help keep kids safe, and out of trouble. Also, they have opportunities to engage in homework help and other teen and small child programs. There is a direct correlation between the presence of public libraries and success in high school

"Vote yes on N for solving global warming"
Thousands of car trips are saved every year, as residents can walk to libraries; this keeps Palo Alto's carbon load lower than otherwise.

We stand to lose all of these benefits if Measure N fails. We must approve Measure N. Tell your neighbors; tell your school chums; tell your parents.

We MUST pass Measure N to keep our library branches, and all the wonderful programming described above, and more...

Vote yes on N!


Posted by pat, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2008 at 9:09 pm

pat is a registered user.

Those 23 studies keep popping up and increasing. Now it's "25 municipal studies show that your library tax dollar spent on public libraries receives anywhere from $1.30 to $4.60 in real return nto you and your community."

The studies show that libraries provide benefit to library USERS because they can get books, CDs, DVDs, etc. for free. Nothing wrong with that – it's the purpose of public libraries. But there is no "real return into the community" in dollars and cents.

Re use of Downtown & College Terrace branches: Data from door counters show that for the year ending June 2008, just 9.8% of total library visits were to Downtown and only 6% to College Terrace.

Re library staff efficiency, CA state library statistics for FY 2006-07 show:
Staff per 1,000 served:
- Palo Alto: 0.85
- Mt. View 0.61
Circulation per librarian:
- Palo Alto: 60,038
- Mt. View: 78,032
Circulation per service hour:
- Palo Alto: 150
- Mt. View: 404


Posted by person2000a, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 22, 2008 at 9:51 pm

person2000a is a registered user.

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by person2000a, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 22, 2008 at 10:57 pm

person2000a is a registered user.

"The studies show that libraries provide benefit to library USERS because they can get books, CDs, DVDs, etc. for free. Nothing wrong with that – it's the purpose of public libraries. But there is no "real return into the community" in dollars and cents."

But there IS a return in dollars and cents Web Link - It's called "opportunity cost", and results in a DIRECT benefit. Opportunity cost translates to dollars. Any business person knows that.

In addition, our *entire community* benefits from all the *intangible* things that libraries provide. How does one put a dollar number on the thrill of discovery, or learning a new language, or a senior citizen mentoring a child in a library or teen program?

Regarding use of Downtown and College Terrace, you are trying to distort with cherry-picked numbers, as you did in the Guest Opinion that was not fact checked by the Weekly - in fact, at least 20,000 patrons visited the DT and College Terrace libraries last year. That's a lot of people, and not an insignificant number.

PAT SAYS: "The studies show that libraries provide benefit to library USERS because they can get books, CDs, DVDs, etc. for free. Nothing wrong with that – it's the purpose of public libraries. But there is no "real return into the community" in dollars and cents."

As for library efficiencies, the only real way to measure those efficiencies across library systems is to include ALL hours served divided by staff numbers.

Palo Alto is 2.5 times more efficient in delivering library services than its neighbors. PRIOR ANALYSES CLEARLY SHOW THAT.

VOTE YES ON MEASURE N TO KEEP OUR LIBRARIES OPEN AND FUNCTIONING


Posted by wmartin46, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 23, 2008 at 8:29 am

wmartin46 is a registered user.

> Only 26% of our library patrons use digital media,
> and book borrowing is WAY up.

Every year, the Palo Alto library reports its performance statistics to the CA State Library. For 2006-07, the Palo Alto library reported about 40% of its circulation in non-books (Videos/AudioCDs) and about 40% of its circulation in children's books. Leaving about 20% for what might be considered as "adult" (fiction and non-fiction).

As to the use of e-books by library patrons--the Palo Alto Libraries spends very little of its budget on digital materials. Oddly, it spends about 30% on magazines and newspapers (over $130,000) while almost nothing on digital resources--which can be used by everyone who might be interested in using those resources.

With almost 2M books on-line at Google, Internet Archive, Sony, Amazon, University of Michigan, Cornell, Questia (just to name a few of the on-line archives), people are using digital materials which the Palo Alto Library seems to be unaware of, and can't possibly keep track of. It is clear, that local library functions are moving out of the local venue, and onto the global stage. Public libraries need to understand that, and begin to rethink their roles for the future in ways that recognize the impacts of entities like Amazon.com--which can deliver e-books for $9.99 via a Kindle, or from one penny to no more than $25.00 (in most cases). Wonder how many books Amazon sells into Palo Alto?

One really does have to look into the numbers a little before a single number can make any sense.

Books-on-Line:
Web Link
Web Link


Posted by wmartin46, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 23, 2008 at 8:37 am

wmartin46 is a registered user.

Printing-on-Demand (continued from above):

People who want paper books can now download a digital-formatted book from any number of on-line sources and transfer it to a local print shop for printing and binding. Local PA print shops charge only about $3-$5 for the binding. If you don't like reading books on computers (or e-book readers), you can read a paper copy.

Printing-on-Demand:
Web Link

The Expresso printing/binding machine discussed in the link above costs only about $50,000. The City of New Orleans has purchased one of the Expresso machines, to rebuild their collections from pre-flood days. The University of Michigan (a real leader in the digital publishing domain), has purchased an Expresso machine so that students can purchase inexpensive copies of out-of-print books, as well as in-print books which have made copyright payment agreements with the University.

Public libraries could easily create consortia to purchase and operate this sort of equipment. An email request for a book somewhere on the WEB could get turned into a work order that creates a printed version for $3-5 dollars in paper costs. The book could be loaned to the requester, or sold outright. There really is no need these days to have large "stacks" which require a lot of staff time to maintain--when millions of books are available via the Internet.

All-in-all, this is an exciting time for people who want to read books that local libraries have never been able to stock in the past.


Posted by person2000a, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 23, 2008 at 12:43 pm

person2000a is a registered user.

"All-in-all, this is an exciting time for people who want to read books that local libraries have never been able to stock in the past."

Yes, this is true, but in all this Mr. Martin still cannot provide even ONE credible study that says digital and distributed media will replace the *function* of libraries anytime soon.

In fact, the Internet has stimulated an increase in digital AND print media. More peoplep than ever are visiting public libraries.

One of the current things on my plate is consulting to one of the largest Print-on-Demand providers in the world. Guess what? POD is nowhere near a stage of development that would enable a regional or even local library system to deploy POD systems in a way the integrates with their mission.

In fact, book publishers are using digital excerpts as teasers to *increase* theior print production.

What Mr. Martin fails to understand is that libraries represent *place*.

Can the Internet provide a safe place for your child after school, to wonder in, and among?

Can the Internet provide a place to bring your child for a story time with her peers. Palo Alto's branches enable multiple, simultaneous story times and other children's and teen programming that families can *walk* to.

Can the INternet provide librarian-enabled homework help that isi geared to *local* school curriculums? Palo Alto's library can.

Can most students in Mt. View, Sunnyvale, Menlo Park, all cities without branch libraries, easily walk or bike to a library after school? Nope.

Many, many seniors in Palo Alto can saunter to their local branch library to mentor youth in reading programs. I wonder if that's even nearly possible in a place like Sunnyvale, with it's large Central Branch so far removed from residences. the same goes for other communities without branches.

Can the Internet provide access to multiple subscription-based materials, 100's of them, for FREE? Our local library can. IN fact, you can walk to a branch instead of having to drive as you would in Mt. View.

What Mr. Martin and opponents of oN fail to understand about libraries, on the one hand, and branch library systems, on the other, is that they offer the ability to engage discovery without having to shrink one's experience to fit the constraints of mediated (computer) space.

Our library provides more programming, and more human options for discovery than any neighboring library.

Opponents to Measure N want to curtail that potential.

If you want our library to be able to continue to deliver these services vote for Measure N. If Measure N fails, many of the programs and physical advantages of library proximity will disappear within the next 2-3 years.

This is the last chance to save our library system - a system that is unique on the Peninsula, and operates 2.5 times more efficiently than it's neighbors, in terms of cululative hours of availability of resources and programming.

Vote for Measure N.


Posted by paloaltolibraries, a resident of Community Center
on Sep 23, 2008 at 1:51 pm

paloaltolibraries is a registered user.

Look how simple can I make this for you people. If you don't pass this bond, which will cost you $75 million, we will just run it through COPS, which will cost you $130 million.
Not going through with this is not an option after we've already spent $1.5 million on the designs. Do you really thing we're going to listen to a NO vote? Get real, we are getting these library updates regardless of how you vote. Your only choice is how much you want to spend.


Posted by person2000a, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 23, 2008 at 2:00 pm

person2000a is a registered user.

"you people"? Is that any way to address fellow citizens?

I think our citizens are beginning to understand the kind of value that our library brings?

This morning, I spoke with a small group of mothers at a day care clinic. Many of them are new to the community and don't know much about our library system.

After a brief talk, there were many questions about the library, its programs, and the bond.

There were 11 mothers in this group. Every one of them will vote for the bond. They all understand what's at stake. Two of the mothers will be working with their neighborhood associations to promote Measure N, to keep our libraries open, and fully repaired.

Once people understand the value that public libraries bring, they're sold.

Vote YES for Measure N to keep our libraries open and serving all our citizens.


Posted by paloaltolibraries, a resident of Community Center
on Sep 23, 2008 at 3:19 pm

paloaltolibraries is a registered user.

"Is that any way to address fellow citizens?"

This isn't their bond. They haven't done one thing for it. Most don't even know what it is about. How can you expect them to make an informed decision?

All they need to do is decide whether to spend $75 million by voting YES on N in November or spend $130 million by voting NO on N.

You need to keep it simple for these people.


Posted by paloaltolibraries, a resident of Community Center
on Sep 24, 2008 at 12:42 pm

paloaltolibraries is a registered user.

Even simpler. This will cost you less that one latte a week. You really can't afford to give up a latte for this bond?


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