Renovated Rinconada Library opens to the public

The Palo Alto Main Library has undergone many rennovations and upgrades in the past few months. This includes a change in name along with new features.

The renovations of the Palo Alto Main Library, renamed the Rinconada Library, along with the Mitchell Park Library and the Downtown Library and Community Center were made possible due to the passage of Measure N, a $76 million bond measure which was passed in 2008.

This $18 million renovation included the integration of four new study groups supplied with different electronic devices as well as two outdoor patios, a new conference room with twice as much space and a community room overlooking the community garden.

The library has doubled its amount of computers to 31.

Other new features include internet access and televisions in the study and conference rooms.

Books in the new library are displayed in more of a bookstore style fashion. According to Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne, the city’s library director, Rinconada Library also plans to have a small collection dedicated to children’s books.
“We’ve kept it to serve parents with small children who come when the library is open late,” Ziesenhenne said.

According to Ziesenhenne, the Palo Alto Library Foundation raised money to fund the renovated library with new furniture, books and equipment. The foundation raised a total of $4 million for all three libraries.

An $88,000 project, provided by the Friends of the Palo Alto Library, will benefit the adult nonfiction collection in hopes of updating it.
Other collections included in the Rinconada Library consist of local interest, local authors, historical items as well as gardening and arts.

The Rinconada Library will not incorporate a drive-up and drop-off for returning books. People will have to walk inside to return the books or drop them in exterior wall slots.

Although the library is fully renovated, the programming section is still undergoing development. According to Eric Howard, the assistant library director, the library is working very hard to provide more programs.

“This library will sponsor more hardware,” Howard said, giving as one example a robot-making program that administrators hope to sponsor this summer. “Mitchell Park focuses more on software.”

The newly Rinconada Library just recently opened its doors on Feb. 14 along with the theme, “Love your library past, present and future” after being closed for about 10 months.