Parked in front of Northside Library on April 30 was a shiny DeLorean time machine, a vehicle with gull-wing doors. On this evening, the library was caught in multiple time warps as attendees came dressed in fashions representing 1885, 1955, 1985 and 2015, the years featured in the “Back to the Future” movies, the theme of this year’s Librarypalooza.
Hosted by the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends (SCCLFF) the fundraiser was also a celebration of the nonprofit organization’s 21st anniversary. About 120 tickets were sold.
Attendees received blue flyers headlined “Save The Clock Tower” with a list of the event sponsors, which included Related, 8 Blocks Real Estate, Mark and Diana Louie and Cerulean Dental Spa.
Prepared by Mission College Caterers, the buffet dinner included a movie-themed cookbook’s recipes, such as the Plutonium Pesto Salad, Sleep Inducer’s Loaded Baked Potato Rounds, Make Like a Tree and Leaf Salad, Biff’s Bananas Foster and HV Clock Tower Inaugural Chicken Fry. During dinner, Librarypalooza attendees bid on items set up in the area for the silent auction.
The formal program took place in the community room, decorated with a prom theme. Here, Ram Visvanathan, President of the SCCLFF, presented an analogy about the library and the role of the library foundation, by comparing the library to a cake, and the foundation, supporting the library’s programs, to icing and the cherry on the cake.
Patty Wong, City Librarian, talked about programming areas the SCCLFF has supported, such as health and wellness, cultural celebrations, author talks, job and career development, Comic-Con, Read Santa Clara, Pride Month, summer reading and English as a Second Language (ESL).
JoAnn Davis, Executive Director of the SCCLFF, expressed gratitude for the founders of the SCCLFF, including former Mayor Judy Nadler, former City Manager Jennifer Sparacino, former City Librarians Karen Duffy and Don Fuller, and attendee Nancy Toledo, the first SCCLFF President who remains active on the SCCLFF Board. Davis also said that many people were instrumental in forming the foundation, and not all of these people could be named.
“20 years ago, we had a group of volunteers that had been supporting the library, and led by our own Nancy Toledo, and dozens of other volunteers, they decided that it might be a good idea to start a foundation,” Davis said. “We just are so pleased and so excited that after 20 years, we are still going strong.”
Moderated by auctioneer Ben Gonzales, the live auction had a number of items up for bidding, including a downtown San Jose mural walking tour coupled with a tour of the Institute of Contemporary Art, lunch with the current City Librarian with a behind-the-scenes tour of Central Park Library, a historic tour of Santa Clara with former librarian Mary Hanel and a private wine class for 20 adults.
“The money we raise will support new, existing or ongoing programs at the library,” Davis said. “At Librarypalooza, aside from fundraising, we are reconnecting with the community.”