Weekday visitors to the Rivermark Plaza might notice a busy construction site and a sign attached to the fence asking pedestrians to pardon the dust. Behind the fence is the future Northside Branch Library. The construction has progressed significantly since the groundbreaking in July 2012.
During a “hardhat” tour, Ken Young, a board member of the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends, pointed out different areas of the library.
“This area would be filled with books someday,” Young says. “On that side is the program room. Outside here would be the patio for outdoor reading.”
“The construction of the facility will be done by the middle of the summer,” says Maria Daane, executive director of the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends. “The shelving, the books, and the furniture will be added this fall. They’re looking at opening the library at the end of this year.”
According to Daane, the Northside Library will be a pedestrian library. This means that local high-tech employees can swing by after having lunch in the plaza. Children can walk here after school. Stroller parents, grandparents, and nannies living nearby can come here without transportation.
“This library will be exceptionally busy and heavily used, with thousands of books checked out every month,” Daane predicts.
Daane credits community volunteers for their efforts to raise money for programming and future collection needs of the library.
“The community volunteers have raised over $50,000 so far,” Daane says. “Our goal is to raise $250,000. We are asking corporations and community groups to partner with us.”
“The $250,000 will be used for special programming, like summer reading, parenting classes, computer training programs, and author visits,” says Kathy Watanabe. Watanabe is a board member of the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends and a community volunteer working on the fundraising effort.
Watanabe and her fundraising team will host an informational event at Mezbaan Bar and Indian Cuisine later in the spring. At Don Callejon School’s Spring Fling in May, the group will also be tabling at a booth.
Any donation over $100 made in support of the Northside Library will be acknowledged on a donor tree in the library. A donation of $500 puts the donor’s name on a small leaf. A donation of $1,000 gets the donor’s name on a large leaf. Other parts of the library can also be named for a donor. For example, a $5,000 donation will honor the donor in the periodicals area, and a $50,000 donation honors the donor in the community room. Donations are tax-deductible.
Watanabe adds that donors who give $500 or more to support the Northside Library receive a “hardhat” tour of the construction site by appointment later in the spring.
There will be plenty to see on such an exclusive tour.
“Right now, there are 45 men doing 18 different trades, such as the tile setters, computer floor installers, drywall installers, electricians, and iron workers,” says Diego Rocamora, the construction project superintendent. “I grew up in East Oakland. If you want kids to stay out of trouble, you have to give them someplace safe and positive to go to, like the library.”
Visit www.lovethelibrary.org for more information about donating to the Northside Library. Volunteers who wish to be part of the community group to help fundraise for the Northside Library can contact Maria Daane at (408) 615-2987.