San Mateo Library

The City of San Mateo citizens service academy spent an evening at the library. These are some of my notes and pictures...

Glenn Tenney

kg It's difficult to find interesting pictures at the public library, especially when you're meeting in one room... but I thought you'd like to meet a few of the people that were at this meeting. The City Librarian is K. G. Ouye. San Mateo is a bit unique in that our city charter explicitly calls for the position of a City Librarian.

Unfortunately, the pictures of KG smiling didn't turn out, so I've used this one... Sorry, KG!

It was interesting to find out that the for-fee research group within the library is no longer active at our library. Instead, this is being handled from the South Bay reference center which leaves our reference department dedicated to handling the requests of the patrons.

All of the staff and volunteers are finger-printed with background checks being performed. Although this is now the law of the city for anyone working with kids, it seems that the library's been doing it for a while.

Our library is painfully out of room. KG estimated that if we re-did all the shelving to comply with the ADA that we'd have to remove about one third of the books. It seems that most patrons complain of the lack of adequate parking. KG believes that we need 300 parking places (for 8,000 visitors a week) instead of the 49 we currently have. Considering that some large shopping centers with many more people have fewer parking places, this seems a bit inflated... nice, but I doubt the city's parking rules would call for that many places. The library staff plans to take proposals for a new library to the City Council sometime this fall.

staff Bill Calhoun is the "team coordinator" for the branches, and Sharon Henegar is the "team coordinator" for children's services. "Team coordinator" seems to be the new word for librarian... or manager. We have a main library and two branches - the Hillsdale branch and the Marina branch.

Because of the recent push to get kids into the library we've recently added 1,988 new library cards for kids. They've also given out 1,500 kid packs as they've been making the rounds at schools.

linda Linda Lubovich covered the reference services as well as demoing the online "card catalog" as well as the public access internet. Thankfully, our library does not use any censoring or blocking software -- believing, rightly so, that this is the parents' job. Our main library handles some 70,000 queries a year; we have almost the same number of inter-library loan requests as we loan out.

If you want to check out the library's web site, look at and see some of the services we have available.

group It's interesting to see some of our group listening to the talks...

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