Redwood Shores is brimming with excitement over its long-awaited library, which is currently under construction and just received a $50,000 donation to help pay for its new book collection.
The recent donation comes from eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife, Pamela, by way of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which helps determine recipients for the Omidyars’ money.
The gift brings the Redwood Shores Library campaign to within $250,000 of its goal to raise $850,000 for 40,000 new books, CDs and DVDs, according to Celia LaRiviere, resource development supervisor for the city’s library department.
“When we requested money from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, they cycled it through private individual funds, and [the Omidyars] were very interested in libraries, ” said Redwood City Vice Mayor Rosanne Foust, one of the leaders of the library fundraising campaign.
Representatives from the Omidyar Network and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation did not return calls for comment Tuesday.
Construction on the library broke ground in February. Its foundation and some of the wall and roof supports can be clearly seen by passers-by, according to LaRiviere.
Plans for the Redwood Shores Library began more than four years ago, when city officials applied for $10 million in funding from Prop. 14, a state library bond passed in 2000.
The $14 million, 22,500-square-foot facility on Marine Parkway near Bridge Parkway was designed in part by residents. It will have an open, airy feel, with views of the waterfront and plentiful community meeting rooms, as well as a café with outdoor seating and 50 Internet-connected workstations, according to library director Dave Genesy.
It is slated to open in the fall of 2008, almost a year behind its original schedule. During the wait, residents can use a “virtual library” at the Sandpiper Community Center, where they can pick up held books, return books or use Internet stations.
At the same time, supporters are working hard to raise the final $250,000 through matching grants, local businesses and residents throughout Redwood City, according to campaign director Scott Johnson. Past donors have included major local corporations, such as Oracle.
“We’re trying to build a state-of-the-art collection for people in Redwood Shores — and anyone who walks through the doors,” LaRiviere said. “We want it to be sparkling and brand-new, and we want to have an adequate collection for children.”
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