College Terrace Library & Budget Update

Thanks to the many neighbors who have written to the City Council these past few weeks in support of the College Terrace Library. The good news is that the latest budget proposal, released on Thursday, restores funding for a number of programs, including the College Terrace Library.

Under this new proposal, the College Terrace Library would be open three days a week, as would the Downtown and Children’s libraries. Rinconada and Mitchell Park would each be open six days a week.

Of course, nothing is certain until the budget is officially adopted. We encourage residents to continue writing to the City Council, focusing on the four council members who voted against Greg Tanaka’s motion to save the College Terrace Library during the initial budget discussions: Alison Cormack, Eric Filseth, Adrian Fine, and Liz Kniss.

The City Council will discuss the updated budget proposal starting at 1pm on Tuesday, May 26th. As before, residents can watch (and comment) via Zoom. Here are the details:

https://zoom.us/join
Meeting ID: 958 3084 9418
Phone: 1-669-900-6833

If you’re on the Zoom app or website, click the “Raise Hand” button to signal that you want to talk and you’ll eventually be given two minutes to speak. If you’re dialing in by phone, press *9.

The College Terrace Library is most than just a library – it’s a gathering place and hub for residents of College Terrace, Evergreen Park, Southgate, Mayfield, Ventura, Barron Park, Stanford, and beyond. And as we begin to slowly emerge from the isolation of shelter-in-place, we’ll need community centers like the College Terrace Library more than ever.

Cameron Park Renovation Survey

The City of Palo Alto has opened a community survey for the Cameron Park Renovation Project. You can take the survey here:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QWJMGPG

The survey will be active through June 12.

Please also visit the project web page for additional project information including the presentation at the first community meeting.

If you have further questions please email Peter Jensen at peter.jensen@cityofpaloalto.org or call 650-617-3183.

Save the College Terrace Library

On Monday night, the City Council began its discussion of the City’s revised budget proposal, which includes the staff recommendation to close the College Terrace Library. (See our last post for details.) Several College Terrace residents spoke at the meeting to urge the Council to reject this recommendation and keep the library running.

But this process isn’t over and it’s important to speak up NOW if we want to save the College Terrace Library. Here are two things you can do to help:

  1. If you haven’t already done so, please email the City Council at city.council@cityofpaloalto.org and let them know what the College Terrace Library means to you and our community. The CTRA’s letter to the Council can be found below (and was read at Monday night’s meeting by the CTRA president, Chris Saccheri).
  2. Attend tonight’s City Council meeting around 5:45pm (estimated) via Zoom and speak when the floor is open for public comment. Update: According to the agenda published this afternoon, Community and Library Services budget will be discussed from 5:45-7:45pm tonight.
    https://zoom.us/join
    Meeting ID: 958 3084 9418
    Phone: 1-669-900-6833
    If you’re on the Zoom app or website, click the “Raise Hand” button to signal that you want to talk and you’ll eventually be given two minutes to speak. If you’re dialing in by phone, press *9.

Thanks to everyone who has written to the City Council so far, and everyone who spoke on behalf of the library at Monday night’s meeting. It’s clear from the emails and messages we’ve seen that the College Terrace Library is more than just a library – it’s a gathering place, a hub, and a pillar of our community. Let’s keep it that way.


CTRA Letter to the City Council

May 10, 2020

Dear City Council,

The College Terrace Residents’ Association (CTRA) has reviewed the May 7 City Council City Staff report outlining amendments to the proposed FY 2021 budget and urges the Council to reject the proposal to close the College Terrace Library.

Built in 1936, and fully renovated just ten years ago, the College Terrace Library is the oldest and smallest of the Palo Alto library system’s five branch libraries. As the City’s only community center located west of El Camino Real, the College Terrace Library is a vital hub and gathering place for residents on this side of the city.

Families with young children listen to storytime and escape the heat on warm summer days, students stop in after school to do homework in the reading room, neighbors catch up while passing through, and, of course, people come to check out books. (Enough that, according to the library’s own report, it’s the only branch where checkouts increased year over year.)

As our community begins to slowly emerge from the isolation of shelter-in-place, we will need more places to gather and reconnect, not fewer. It would be incredibly heartbreaking and short-sighted to lose this long-standing civic gem at the very time when we need it the most. We implore you to keep the College Terrace Library open.

Sincerely,

Chris Saccheri
President, College Terrace Residents’ Association