Other Voices: Provide storage space for Friends of Library

Have you ever borrowed a best-seller from the library? Taken a child to story hour at the library? Sat in the chairs to browse a magazine at the library? The services you enjoy have been given to the Los Altos Library by the volunteer group Friends of the Library of Los Altos, and this support may be coming to an end.

The volunteer group collects, sorts, stores and sells books to raise money to augment the library’s programs and services. The organization finances most of the children’s programs, including story hour. It purchases the best-seller books for us to borrow. It purchases new furniture when it is needed. It operates the cafe in the lobby. It has donated on average $170,000 with no strings attached over the last two years to the library.

All of this support is at risk of disappearing. This is at risk because the city officials say they are unable to provide a temporary, on-site solution for the operation of the volunteer group. Its operations need an on-site space for storing, sorting and selling the donated books that enable programs like story hour, best-seller purchases and financial support.

The Friends of the Library have met with the city manager and city council representatives to present an on-site proposal for a temporary solution on the vacant property behind the History House. This solution permits the continued operations that fund their significant contributions to the library to continue during the construction of new Hillview Community Center facilities.

Without an on-site solution, the volunteer group will have to disband.

It boggles the mind that the city will risk losing programs and financial support for the local library because the 60-year-old Friends of the Library organization will be homeless.

Elise Gerich is a Los Altos resident.

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