President Biden has proposed massive legislation to rebuild our infrastructure and reshape the economy. Unfortunately, the legislation ignores the critical need for funding to build and modernize public libraries. A new bill, Build America’s Libraries Act, does just that. It has bipartisan support and would provide funding to construct and modernize public libraries in underserved communities throughout the country. We thank Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla who are among the co-sponsors. Alamedans know that libraries are the foundation of our community, offering equal access for all and an inclusive place to gather, study, read, and do research. New libraries show that a community is investing in youth, seniors, students, and all community members.
Over the past year we found out how much we miss public libraries. We are grateful for the quick thinking of library professionals and staff in finding ways for us to access materials and resources through e-books and databases, virtual visits, grab bags, and take-out services. Still, it is not the same as a visit to the library.
One of the Alameda Free Library’s five-year goals is to build a library for the developing community at Alameda Point. We know that the West End Library is too small even without the expected additional growth in population. We’ve also heard from those living in the West End that they place high value on their neighborhood library. We are hopeful that through federal and state funding and support from Alamedans we will be able to build a library at Alameda Point.