You may have caught the story in the Pilot about Tom Egan and me working together on several projects tied to kids and books. Tom is on the Library Foundation Board. In better times I believe the City would certainly consider helping to fund a new main library and much needed expansion and renovation of the two branch libraries. But in lean times, we need to come up with other revenue sources. And that's what Tom and I have been talking about for months.
Tom and I began meeting to figure out ways to raise the level of interest in our libraries and the need for a central library. We came up with the idea of putting a cart of library books on the City's mobile rec van that went out to different neighborhoods each week. Although it doesn't make sense to me, the city council axed the mobile rec van project so there went our idea!
We have been visiting after school programs-SOY, MIKA, THINK and Tewinkle School--to see how we can get more books into these programs to get kids interested in going to the library. Yesterday Tom, Bob Ooten and I met for a tour of the new Tustin Library--wow! Kind of like if Tustin can build a new library, then we can too! Here is the link: http://www.tustinca.org/Library/index.html
Bob is with the Friends of the Library located on the Mesa Verde site. He read the article about Tom and me and wanted to help too. Bob collects, sells and gives books away. The money from book sales goes to the Costa Mesa libraries.
The three of us had a great conversation afterwards at the coffee shop across the street. We kept looking at the Tustin Library and thinking--this couldn't be too hard!
I am looking forward to the Library Foundation Community Forum on May 15 at the Downtown Commuynity Center. Architectural students from OCC will present their visions for a new central state of the art library and will show their renderings. (Sponsors are The Lab, The Camp, Mesa Consolidated Water District, Newport-Mesa Daily Voice, Friends, Taco Mesa and OCC.)
Are you as passionate about reading, books and libraries as we are? I hope so! Why build a new central library and update and expand our branch libraries in this computer age? Well, you would have to see the people using the Tustin library on a Friday afternoon to become a believer too: teens (they have their own room plus a homework center for tutoring), little guys with their own computers and rows of computers for adults. Others had their own computers on WiFi. And there were a few reading books!
I believe working on this worthwhile project will unite our community. We need a common goal to improve our public libraries for all residents. Libraries bring people together. If ever there was a time we need to come together, it is now. If Tustin can do it--so can we!