Keep the Friends of the Library on the Los Altos Civic Center Campus

Keep the Friends of the Library on the Los Altos Civic Center Campus

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Friends of the Library started this petition to Los Altos city council

We, the undersigned, support the Friends of the Los Altos Library in their request for adequate work and storage space on the Los Altos Civic Center Campus near the Library in order to continue the good work they do to improve our library and our community.

What benefits do the Friends of the Library bring to this community?

  1. A place to donate your gently-used books.  5000 books per week are processed and re-purposed through the Friends’ efforts.
  2. Four huge 3-day Used Book Sales each year offered for the enjoyment of the public.  These are major community events drawing thousands of people to Downtown Los Altos.
  3. The popular Café and its tables and chairs, in the Library lobby, run by Friends volunteers every day of the week.
  4. The Ongoing Book Sale in the library – approximately 750 quality books per week are purchased by lucky patrons – restocked every day of the week by Friends volunteers.
  5. The Library’s Best Seller collection of books, DVDs and Blu-ray movies for Adults and Children – paid for by the Friends.  This Best Seller collection is available to Los Altos library patrons only.  These books do not circulate to the County.
  6. Over 750 library programs were offered at the Los Altos Libraries last year. Many of these programs were made possible through funds from the Friends of the Library.  These include the Summer Reading Programs for all ages, guest speakers, workshops, craft programs, Book Clubs, special interest programs and Teen programs.
  7. New library furniture and equipment as needed to keep up with the changing needs of our population.
  8. A strong community core of dedicated citizens, working and volunteering together, committed to improving our community by keeping our library vibrant and top-notch.  Our library district is ranked in the TOP TEN LIBRARY DISTRICTS IN THE COUNTRY and FIRST IN CALIFORNIA.  It is due in no small part to the committed Friends of the Library organizations in each of our county’s cities, all of which are strongly supported by their City governments who provide their Friends’ groups with adequate work-space and storage near their libraries at no cost.

Moving the Friends of the Library off-campus, or requiring the Friends to pay rent and expenses, or eliminating the Friends’ organization all together, will do harm to our Los Altos Library services, services which are well-loved and depended-upon by the citizens of Los Altos.  In addition, the possible elimination of the major Friends Book Sales from this City will rob thousands of local families the joy and thrill of attending this quarterly event, not to mention the local teachers and schools who will no longer be able to receive their choices of free books for their classrooms and school libraries.

The Friends of the Los Altos Library membership represents the largest base of volunteers within Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.  It is the most constantly active, all-volunteer, non-profit organization in our community with approximately 250 active volunteers and 700 members.  The Friends of the Library volunteers are mostly retirees and the moving of heavy books off-site and back again, understanding the variable nature of large book donations requiring immediate clearing of overflowing donation space, and the recurring necessity to bring back priced books to restock in-library sales shelves, make off-site operations problematic at best.

The Friends of the Library processes over 5,000 book donations per week.  Moving, sorting, storing these books off-site will require it to transition from a 100% volunteer charity with few expenses to an employer of book movers, purchaser of buildings and a truck, and require significantly different accounting and human resources demands.  All this while vastly reducing the amount of funds available to the library for programs, workshops, speakers, furniture and new Best Seller books.

The Friends of the Library provides $150,000 on average each year to the two Los Altos libraries, the Main Library on San Antonio Road and the Woodland Branch Library on Grant Road.  This funding is what is in jeopardy if the Friends closes down or will, at a minimum, result in a loss of $60,000/year if it operates off-site.

Our Library welcomes an average of 1500 visitors a day who benefit from the programs, books and services provided by the Friends of the Library.  Please show your support of our Library by signing this Petition NOW to urge the Los Altos City Council, City Manager and City Staff to continue providing the Friends of the Library, a valuable City partner, with adequate workspace and storage (minimum 24'x40' portable classroom with utilities and the two existing sheds) near the Library on the Civic Center site, at no cost, as they have for over 44 years. 

Keep our Los Altos Libraries strong, viable, well-loved, and well-used as they are today.

Respectfully Submitted,
Los Altos Neighbors and Library Patrons

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!