Monday, December 15, 2008

Find Me In the Batcave

The pic is of the roof of the Camden Library, in Camden Maine

With the cold and wet weather upon us we typically take to the cozy confines of the library, but alas it seems like the rest of the town has the same idea. We need a new library. Desperately.

In October 2007, the Town Council gave the go-ahead to begin planning for a new library to be built adjacent to Town Hall. The Town's existing 14,000 square foot library was built in the 1960s when Los Gatos' population was about 9,000. With a population today of about 30,000 and the high levels of usage (over 200,000 visits per year and growing), the current library is under-serving the community.
Actually, the interest in building a new library dates back to the early 1980s when the Town Council discussed the space needs of the Library and the Police Department, as well as the possibilities for obtaining a site to build a new library.

Those naysayers who say it's too expensive, or unnecessary obviously don't patronize our dismal bat cave of a library space.

When I had a summer house in Camden Maine, the selling point for me was not the world class sailing, or amazing nature, or even the lobsta: it was the library. Beautiful and modern, built underground of the original two hundred year old library; the addition sports skylights and a multi-purpose room that hosts author events, and local special interest almost always booked solid. Different community perhaps, with Pulitzer Prize winning author Richard Russo as a neighbor. My analogy of swinging a cat without hitting a literary figure was in full force.

Different values I suppose.

The only thing I can think is that the vocal minority of those against the new building must not be readers, or users of the library system which includes Cds, DVDs, periodicals, and a social spot to do homework and study. The new RDIF technology for check out is uber easy and gives one the ability to access materials without wasting much time (if you so choose.)

The original plan was for no new taxes to be levied to pay for the new library; rather, Redevelopment Agency funds and existing reserves are the financing sources. Any body know how the "take back" of Redevelopment Agency funds could potentially impact this project??
The new library will be a two-story building of about 30,000 sq. ft., similar to other communities of Los Gatos' size. The building will provide adequate room for the library collections, as well as a technology room, group study areas, quiet reading areas, an expanded children's section,
designated space for teens, a storytelling area, and protected wall cases for the Town's history collection.
So as we wait out the weirdly east coast weather of thunder & lightning, I will reminisce about
my old library in Camden Maine while squirreled away in our own dark over crowded library.

1 comment:

Susan B said...

It is sad isn't it when we have to fight for a library. You hit a nerve with lack of literary. It's the reason behind the apathy.