During the past few weeks, new, beautiful state-of-the-art libraries opened in Castro Valley and Lafayette. Both were funded through a California State grant competitive process that included a sizable local match as well as community fundraising. Albany staff helped out at opening day for the Castro Valley Library. The day started with the Great Book Pass – 1800 residents lined up and passed books from the old library to the new. Everyone got a t-shirt (recycled cotton) with the slogan: ” 20 years to go 7/10ths of a mile.” Special features include the high LEED rating for the pro-environmental aspects of the building and the amazing art work commissioned by the Alameda County Art Commission.
Both libraries created a buzz. I was reminded of the time – almost 16 years ago, when the Albany Library opened – how there was a sense of a dream fulfilled – how many people work on this kind of a project – and how the importance of a library is conveyed to the children of a community. On the weekend following the opening, Castro Valley Manager, Carolyn Moskovitz, reflected on the achievement. She noted that everyone was using the library as had been envisioned – people were reading in comfortable chairs, job seekers were using the Internet, everyone was checking out library materials, teens were studying in the homework center and there was that other buzz – of a community library full of people.