THE CHECK IS IN ... Palo Alto's rocky road to 21st century libraries took a welcome turn this week, thanks to the efforts of local volunteers. The Palo Alto Library Foundation, whose previous fundraising efforts helped furnish the renovated Downtown Library and the hopefully soon-to-be-completed Mitchell Park Library, on Monday submitted its latest gift to the city — a $1.2 million check to equip the possibly soon-to-be-renamed Main Library. The money will be used to purchase furniture and equipment for Newell Road facility, which is being renovated and expanded and which is the third and final component of the $76 million library bond Palo Alto voters approved in 2008. "We don't always get happy news, but this has been a wonderful experience," said Alison Cormack, one of the leaders of the fundraising effort. The list of donors is an expansive one and includes dozens of elected officials, past and present, a handful of notable locals (Google co-founder Larry Page and former 49er quarterback Steve Young) and hundreds of less-famous bibliophiles. Donations ranged from $5 to $1.5 million, the latter coming from the the Morgan Family Foundation. Susie Thom, the foundation's president and campaign co-chair, presented the giant check to the City Council Monday. The group's effort, she said, received "a broad base of support from every corner of the community." The foundation still receives six to eight checks a month for its campaign, which she said will remain open until the end of this year. For information, visit palf.org.
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