New York, New York was the theme of the Santa Clara City Library Foundation & Friends’ 2nd Annual Love our Library Lollapalooza, held on Saturday, Feb.7 at Central Park Library. Attendees posed for pictures at a photo booth emulating a subway station in the Big Apple. Dan Magay’s jazz group performed. Mission College’s Hospitality Management program prepared finger foods, including New York cheesecake. About 160 people came to the gala and live auction. By the end of the evening, $28,500 was raised, with an added $12,000 commitment from Kaiser Permanente to fund health and wellness programs, and a $15,000 commitment from KeyPoint Credit Union to fund summer reading programs.
“The funds will help support the programming and collection needs at all three Santa Clara City Library branches,” says Maria Daane, executive director of the library foundation. “Our Board voted two years ago to begin hosting a fundraising event that honors a local Library Hero because it brings the community together to celebrate an institution we all love so much – the Santa Clara City Library – and [to recognize] that the great work of the library relies on the efforts of local residents who serve as its supporters.”
At the gala, Kathy Watanabe, library board trustee and foundation member, presented a plaque to Lisa Gillmor, Santa Clara City Council Member, to recognize her as this year’s Library Hero. Gillmor also received a proclamation from Assemblymember Kansen Chu.
“Lisa Gillmor has been a wonderful supporter and advocate for the library throughout her time on City Council,” Daane says. “We are especially proud of her work for the Northside Library. She and the other members of the City Council voted to contract with the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends for the building of the Northside Library and they [tried to keep] the project on track. She voted in favor of resuming the project last April.”
“It’s an unexpected honor,” says Gillmor. “I attended the last Lollapalooza, which was the very first Lollapalooza where they honored Kathy Watanabe, Roger and Estela Ramirez, who are all library legends. I really humbly say I don’t believe I’m in their category. I’m very excited and honored that the foundation would bestow this award to me.”
Not only is Gillmor a current City Council Member, she also served on the City Council from 1992 to 2000, when plans to build a new library were underway.
“That was around the time the Council approved the Rivermark development, which was the entire residential, commercial, and school development,” Gillmor recalls. “And I was on the Council that set aside the property for the Northside Library. That was probably one of the last votes I took on the Council. Fast forward ten years, the library was still not built, and the redevelopment agencies were going to be dissolved, and therefore, the money we set aside to develop the library was at risk. So we had to get creative working with Kathy, Roger, and Estela, and the library foundation. We had to get very creative in preserving our library funds and getting the project completed.”