Why make it so hard to get a library card?
I went to the Los Altos Library to drop off donations recently and to secure a library card for my 96-year-old mother, who is a voracious reader but chooses not to leave her home very often.
I went armed with her California State Identification Card, only to be told that I would need two (essentially) “proof-of-life” pictures of her holding two consecutive days of dated newspapers – like in some bad ’70s kidnap/heist movie.
As many of us, she consumes much of her news online, so I imagined I would have to maneuver her chair in front of her iMac trying to capture Anderson Cooper on CNN while focusing on the time stamp two days in a row.
Our family has been in Los Altos since 1960. My mom has navigated four children through the Los Altos public school system, donated countless hours to “Father’s Frolics,” the Los Altos Junior Horsemen’s Association, the Junior Artists Guild and Scouting organizations, not to mention what she has contributed to the coffers of the town as well – and she can’t get a library card.
In this era when many libraries are eliminating overdue fees to encourage people to use their libraries, it seems contraindicated that a library would make it so hard to get a library card.
I guess I will just have to continue to bring her books from the San Francisco Public Library, which was awarded the Public Library of the Year award in 2018.
Following is a response from Marlene Iwamoto, community librarian at the Los Altos main library.
“I was very sorry to hear about Ms. Woodward’s experience at our library. I emailed Ms. Woodward and hope to have the opportunity to speak with her as well.
“The library clerk should have offered her the option of mailing a library card to the address on the ID or offered information about our Homebound Service, where staff will visit her mother and deliver a library card and materials.
“I am taking steps to improve service, including meeting with the library clerk to review her response. I also plan to work with the library clerk’s direct supervisor to review best practices with not only the library clerk involved, but all Los Altos and Woodland circulation staff.”
Partisan politics is not working
George Washington was an avid opponent of partisan party politics. History shows he was very far-sighted.
He was in favor of discerning the attributes of the candidate and his position on an issue as opposed to embracing the party line.
Our current occupant in the White House has cultivated a negative partisan political environment not seen since prior to the Civil War.
Vilifying immigrants was tried by California’s Republican Gov. Pete Wilson. How did that work out? The Republican Party is now the third largest party in California, behind mine, a proud “Decline to State” party member.
President Donald Trump’s latest tirade telling congresswomen to go back to where they came from because they dare question this stable genius is just the latest in his new lows. The Republican Party should be concerned.
I predict that Trump will do for the Republican Party nationwide what Wilson did for the California Republican Party.
Fellow Americans, let’s use this moment in history to help evolve the vision of our founders, to make a more perfect union.
Los Altos Hills
Mom knows bests when advising to fight back
When I was growing up in a small farming town in southeastern Iowa, I started dating in 1958, at about 14 years old. Before my first date, I remember that my beloved mother took me aside and gave me a bit of a “talking to.” She said, “If Eddie starts to get fresh, give him a strong slap across the face. This will be a definite message that you want him to stop.” She continued, “Treat your dates just like you treat the dogs and horses here on the farm, with a good slap if their behavior needs change.”
It worked for me! I wonder why mothers today do not so instruct their daughters. My grandson recently attended a camp where an out-of-control young male camper assaulted eight girls before he was sent home. My grandson said the girls “just cried and cried.” They were so powerless!
It seemed that the perpetrator would have not continued if the girls assaulted him back in the way my mom recommended.
Los Altos Hills