Town Square

why does palo alto library not part of the santa clara county library

Original post made by justwondering, another community, on Jul 5, 2011

the county library has many more collections, newer books and multimedia material.

I wonder why we are still holding down the fort with our own library, with the older collections, the branches and pretending that we do not know the existance of the county library...

I also wonder how much money does it cost to operate these branches, vs. being part of the county library...

maybe i am not following what is going on...but i wonder...


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 6, 2011 at 11:59 am

We don't have a library, we have 5. It doesn't take a genius to work out that if we had one library we would have a superior collection and a superior facility.

We happen to be the in Santa Clara County and recently I heard that all residents of Santa Clara could use the county system except for Palo Alto, we are probably too grand for the likes of us to mingle with the riff raff (sarcasm).

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Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 6, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Justwondering - I'm "just wondering" why we have 5 branches! Ridiculous waste of land and resources - human and otherwise!

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Posted by locals
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 7, 2011 at 7:38 am

so you can walk to your local library. We can even walk to three.

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Posted by Me Too
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 7, 2011 at 7:53 am

Yes, you can walk to three sub-par branches with thin, aging collections and limited hours. Great. We, on the other hand can't walk to any, so we drive to Los Altos, where their Santa Clara County library shames every one of Palo Alto's, in terms of facility, collection, staff, hours, and any amenity you can think of. Easy call.

The city library director claims we would have to be a one branch system to get Santa Clara County to take us. Los Altos has two, but she claims that is an exception. So again, apparently we trade off well-run, efficient libraries for our sacred cow branches. The inability of Palo Alto to innovate or evolve never fails to amaze me.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 7, 2011 at 3:48 pm

San Jose libraries are reducing hours - sometimes closing all day. Oakland is closing a library(ies). Palo Alto has its head in the clouds and is revitalizing 5 libraries. I expect that soon the hours will be reduced at all 5 to save money. We will soon have 5 new buildings which no one will be able to visit at times convenient to them.

Apart from the foothills, there are no areas of Palo Alto which are not accessible to anyone on a bike.

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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 8, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Wow, we've been through this discussion before...
I support having one strong central library. Children's is historic, so it should be kept. Oh well, this is all for nought since Main will be remodelled (not sure of merit of the plans), Downtown has been remodelled, Mitchell is underway - seems like incredible over-duplication. This city isn't THAT spread out.

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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 8, 2011 at 7:45 pm

to be clear, what I meant was Main OR Mitchell as the "strong central library" PLUS Children's. That should be plenty.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 8, 2011 at 9:56 pm

It's interesting, this thread. I looooove libraries & recall many happy hours at PA & MP libraries as a child.

A friend of mine in EPA emailed PA library several times, asking if they'd like to host an author panel comprised of members of a local author group. The PA library would also be eligible to get 1k if they had any of the many authors in this group's books. PA library did have books by various authors of the some of these members, so they'd easily get the 1k. My friend even volunteered to organize the event if the library couldn't. One of the authors in this group is from PA, which is why my friend thought of this, & another of the author's in the group has PA as a setting in some of their books. No brainer, right? Wrong!

Guess what? No answer, even to several emails, an in-person inquiry & phone calls. Incidentally, my friend also asked MP library and they didn't respond. What the heck is up w/these places? Are they soooo busy they can't even respond to offers where they can make some easy money in these hard times? It was truly bizarre.