Shh... Please keep the noise down!
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Shh... Please keep the noise down!

I remember well hearing that (quite regularly!) from the librarian during my childhood days at the Burlingame Library where I grew up. What brings a smile to my face is remembering some of the special times I had, such as the reading circle where we all sat around and listened intently during story time. Now that was over 45 years ago. Where has the time gone?

Today, as your city council member, I represent Foster City on the San Mateo County JPA –Joint Powers Authority governing board – which oversees 12 libraries in our county. My role, along with my colleagues, is to ensure existing policies and goals are best serving all of us who use the library or might use the library in the future. At my first meeting, I was handed some materials that featured a variety of programs and special incentives offered for anyone interested in getting the most out of their library services and experience. And let me tell you, I was impressed!

Our current chair, Maryann Derwin, was quoted in the 2013 San Mateo County Library (SMCL) Annual Report saying, "Rated in the top 3% of public library services nationally, the San Mateo County Library is well positioned to provide the next generation of library service to our communities."

I was reminded after this first meeting just how much value our library brings to each of us, young and old (er, um, young at heart).

One of the new features introduced to me, was Virtual Access. The new SMCL mobile app will enhance the library experience by allowing more access to our libraries from smart phones and other mobile devices. You can search for books, movies, music and upcoming events – all from your phone! Visit and download the app. If you are like me – you'll be glad you did.

Doing my research on our own Foster City Library, I reached out to Barbara Blanchard, Branch Manager (who, by the way, after 7 years is leaving and will be missed by all those whose lives she has touched, making our Foster City library about far more than just reading a book!). To that point – here are some impressive statistics that I found quite eye-opening on how well our residents use the services available:

1) Items Circulated – 840,999 more than the other 11 cities
2) Library Visitors – 459,869 second only to Millbrae by 7,233
3) Program Attendance – 27,275 second to Belmont

Now ask yourself – do you use any of these services? I will be the first to admit that I can do more!! The old saying, "this is not your parent's library" is so true today. The programs available are vast and diverse, including: bilingual story time, Block Party, Books and Bites, Gustafer Yellowgold Family Concert and Home Brewing. For more details, visit

As a council member representing our city, I will continue to find ways to keep our library open the hours it is, and see that it continues to offer quality programming for residents of all ages and backgrounds. I will reach out to friends of the library group, who have been very instrumental in raising money for children's programs, and I offer my own personal thanks to YOU for being a friend of the library.

Foster City prides itself on how wonderful of a community we are, how supportive we are of our schools, and how appreciative we are to our city business employees. We sometimes forget how diverse of a city we have become, yet anywhere we look, we offer something for EVERYONE! When I was wishing Barbara good luck in her next venture, she mentioned to me something heartfelt. She said, "They get a lot of non-English speaking moms who bring their young kids to the library and find such comfort when a book or DVD is available in their native language." Enough said…

Feel free to leave me a comment on this or any matter about Foster City - or 650-286-3505.

Council Corner

March 12, 2014
Shh... Please keep the noise down!

City Hall - 610 Foster City Blvd.
Foster City, CA 94404
(650) 286-3200