During repeated power outages this past winter as fierce storms blew down power lines or trees landed on them, thrusting neighborhoods into darkness, our library served as a refuge and resource for many patrons.
A recent posting from NextDoor illustrates this somewhat unusual library service:
Shout out to the El Cerrito Public Library!
We lost power for 48 hours this weekend and I needed to recharge devices and go online for work. The library had a great environment for this with power strips, Wi-Fi, and desk space. It was relatively quiet and the best part was eavesdropping on the visitors to the front desk, who were happily acquiring new library cards, interacting with the busy and professional librarians, and checking out books.
It made me happy to be a card-carrying member of the library!-Susan M.
Our current library is well suited to provide this service during winter storms.
However, during summer heat waves, our old, outmoded library that does not have an air conditioning system cannot provide similar refuge. Nor can it provide respite from smoke inhalation during firestorms.
This is why a new twenty-first century library for El Cerrito, equipped with a modern heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system would extend this valuable respite-service into a year-around benefit for our community.
Then we could say, year-around, in a safe, comfortable environment: