The Tiburon Town Council is poised to approve a large, new Library which will dismantle the charm and character of the existing “Arts and Crafts Style” building and replace it with a soulless “modern” design.
We know that the much-loved Belvedere-Tiburon library could use more space, especially for school-aged children and staff. However, the new proposed building expansion design is massive, poorly sited, and not appropriately designed to respond to the many varied concerns expressed by our community. The Library has not adequately involved the people, yet the plan still moves forward relentlessly.
The expansion’s 16,500 square feet of additional space does not respect the architecture of our present library. It completely dwarfs and overwhelms our charming 10,500 square foot building and effectively wipes out its facade. The new design eradicates many important and well-used spaces, which are much appreciated by the library users.
The general public has been unable to obtain the necessary information explaining how the library plans to finance the expansion, cover the increased costs of running a much larger operation, and sustain it in the future.
Are you aware that approximately three-quarters of a million dollars (no exact figures are available to the public) have already been spent on expansion? The library has been, and still is, using donated funds for a public relations firm, marketing consultants and fund raising advisors to support this rather unpopular design. A very aggressive public relations firm has been hired to push for public acceptance of the plan.
The library will have to cut its basic operating budget for the next year starting in July 1, 2012 because of major reductions in state funds, and various other essential income sources. The library constantly asserts that any financial shortfall will be covered by the fundraising efforts of the library foundation.
The library has stated, “The issues of size, scope and location have been decided; there will be no further debate or discussion.”
We urge the community to join us in questioning the massive size and placement of the current design. Everyone who cares about the library and its future needs to demand financial transparency of existing and projected expenses from the library.
Further debate and discussion are exactly what our community needs.