Menlo Park library director retires

From The Almanac

“Menlo Park Library Services Director Susan Holmer retired Oct. 5 after 16 years in the role. When she started in 2002, the library still had phonograph records in circulation, and Wi-Fi wasn’t a part of the picture, she said.The addition of self checkout machines and an automatic check-in machine has sped up the library’s circulation processes dramatically and eliminated some tedium for staff, she said.Initially, she said, “when the internet came along, people thought, ‘You don’t need libraries.'” But as time has gone on, it’s become clear that even though there is a lot of information available online, the skills that librarians possess to track down that piece of information people really want or need are as important as ever, she said.
“Libraries aren’t going to go away. Books aren’t going to go away,” she said.”


Philanthropist backs adding housing to rebuilt Menlo Park library

From The Mercury News

” A plan to rebuild Menlo Park’s downtown library could come with housing.Mayor Kirsten Keith announced last week that local philanthropist John Arrillaga, who’s offered to cover half of the library construction costs, supports the housing idea.Keith and Councilman Rich Cline — her colleague on a library rebuild subcommittee — and City Manager Alex McIntyre met with Arrillaga in McIntyre’s office on Sept. 19.“I asked about having housing on top of the library and he said, ‘Yes, that’s great. Let’s do it,’ Keith said at the council’s Sept. 26 meeting. “He’s eager to work with us and we’re moving forward. … It was a very good meeting, it was very positive.” Keith said this week that details such as the number of housing units, whether they would be rentals and what income levels they should be tailored to still need to be worked out in additional discussions and future council meetings. She said the plan could set a precedent that other Peninsula cities might follow.”

Menlo Park: Library’s ‘Peanuts’ fest a success

From Mercury News

” Hundreds of youngsters gathered outside Menlo Park Library this week to launch rockets, try out solar-powered model cars and dig up dinosaur bones.It was all in the name of science, or rather, the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) curriculum employed by California schools.The event was put on with help from the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa, which travels in a 100-mile radius year-round visiting schools, museums and libraries with its “Peanuts Naturally” festival. The festival aims to teach K-6 students about the environment and aligns with Common Core principles through hands-on learning.“It re-emphasizes the curriculum that kids are learning in schools, it’s just in a different environment,” said Sarah Jenkins, Schulz Museum outreach and public programs coordinator, who traveled in her “Peanuts” van from Santa Rosa to put on the event. This was the second year the museum has partnered with the city on the event.John Weaver, the library’s outreach coordinator and resident storyteller, said 325 kids showed up for the two-hour event Tuesday, a “much bigger crowd” than the previous summer. Roughly 15 interactive stations were manned by library and community services employees and members of the library’s teen advisory group. Weaver said two of kids’ favorite activities at the event were launching rockets and playing with live worms.”

Menlo Park may rebuild main library twice as large

From The Mercury News

“A plan to possibly double the size of Menlo Park’s main library heads to its first hearing before the City Council on March 28.While the library of the future might not harbor floors that light up in the direction of a desired book, as one early teen commenter suggested, it will need to be at least partially rebuilt to continue meeting the demands of a growing and changing community, city officials say.The current library was built in 1959 and has been renovated a number of times since then, so it is now about 2½ times the size of the original building. Library leaders say there’s no more room to make improvements.“We have reached the point where we can’t do any more of those small (remodels),” said Nick Szegda, assistant library services director. “At this point, to do further renovations, it would begin to take away operating space. … We would have to take some book stacks out.”A consultant who assessed the library in 2014 concluded it wasn’t “particularly functional” for the 21st century, according to Library Director Susan Holmer.”

Menlo Park: Group seeks state grant to digitize local recorded history

From Mercury News

” The group tasked with preserving Menlo Park’s history may receive a much-needed boost from the state.The cash-strapped Menlo Park Historical Association has already received a lift from the Menlo Park Library, where its offices are housed. It was library Director Susan Holmer who came to the group about a possible state grant to digitize its local recorded history.”

At 100, Menlo Park Library pivots to face 21st century

From The Almanac

“This year marks the 100th year of the Menlo Park Library. In its first century, the library has grown from a few books in a school building to two buildings, a $2.7 million annual budget and up to 15 full-time employees, circulating an estimated 423,000 books over the past 12 months.Over the years, the library has continued to evolve as the community and technology have changed.”

Science Night returns to the Menlo Park Library on April 14

From InMenlo

” On Thursday, April 14, the Menlo Park Library will be hosting its second Science Night for adults, teens, and elementary school-aged children, featuring guests including the Aquarium of the Bay and the Computer History Museum.”

Science Night returns to the Menlo Park Library on April 14