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San Mateo Public Library

Library Hours
Community, San Mateo Public Library

Restoration of Library Hours

Library lovers, rejoice! The San Mateo Public Library is restoring its hours to the level that was in place before budget restrictions in 2004. The City Council meeting on June 20th saw the adoption of the 2016-17 budget, which allows for this restoration of library hours, benefitting frequenters of the library.

Win Prizes Reading SummerEffective on July 5, 2016, all three branches in San Mateo are restoring their hours to benefit students completing homework assignments, community members needing access to the library after work, and anyone else who craves greater accessibility to the library. The Main Library will be open 62 hours a week and the Hillsdale and Marina branches will be open 40 hours a week. Both Marina and Hillsdale branches will now be open 6 days a week, as opposed to being closed Thursdays and Fridays respectively.

“The restoration of library hours will address the library’s highest priority which is to provide the community with greater access to its programs, services and resources,” said City Librarian Ben Ocón.

In early July, San Mateo libraries will become accessible to library patrons in the evenings. The restored hours for the Main Library of 62 hours a week will match the library service hours of neighboring cities like Burlingame, Foster City, Belmont, and Redwood City. The Main Library restored hours will be:

  • Monday-Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Friday-Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.

The east and south ends of the City will also once again have greater access to their branch libraries. Each branch will be open 40 hours a week, including Thursdays and Fridays.

The Hillsdale branch hours will be:

  • Monday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Friday 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday CLOSED

The Marina branch hours will be:

  • Monday 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Friday 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday CLOSED

The funding to restore the library’s hours will be provided by Measure S funds and the San Mateo Public Library Foundation in a public-private partnership. In 2017-18, the City will be able to fully fund and sustain the restored level of service hours.

Naturalization Ceremony San Mateo Public Library
Community, San Mateo Public Library

Naturalization Ceremony held at San Mateo Public Library

Naturalization Ceremony San Mateo Public Library

An important and memorable day for 20 new U.S. citizens. The city of San Mateo is proud to host this moving occasion.

This morning at the main branch of the San Mateo Public Library a naturalization ceremony was held. Twenty immigrants who came to the Bay Area from sixteen different countries of origin took the Oath of Allegiance to the United States and became U.S. citizens.

The ceremony was held in collaboration with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency and the office of U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA, 14th Congressional District), who was the keynote speaker.

With refreshments available, many patriotically themed, the ceremony was well-attended by families, friends, and anyone else who wanted to wish these new citizens well. Many waved small American flags and the sense of togetherness was palpable.

The ceremony began with a short video showing immigrants coming to America throughout the years along side happy quotes showcasing America’s welcoming and open arms. Followed by everyone in the room singing the Star Spangled Banner together, the special occasion officially began.

After several inspiring speeches, the twenty immigrants took the Oath of Allegiance. These twenty came to the U.S. from sixteen different countries around the world: Algeria, Burma, Cambodia, China, Colombia, France, Guatemala, India, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Nepal, Peru, Philippines, and Russia.

Naturalization Ceremony San Mateo Public Library

Congresswoman Jackie Speier speaks to the diversity of the United States and recognizes that it has always been embraced by our nation.

After the oath, Congresswoman Speier addressed the crowd. She invited everyone to wave their flags out of excitement for being new U.S. citizens. “You have lifted my heart and soul this morning because there is nothing more exciting than watching you be sworn in as U.S. citizens,” said Speier. “Going through this process and seeing what you are being witness to is pretty profound.”

Speier referenced the Louisiana Purchase documents, saying they’re a great reminder of our country’s diversity having been written in three different languages: English, Spanish, and French. “Our country has always been diverse and has always embraced diversity. It is one of the factors that makes our country so great.”

“We pride ourselves on being a melting pot, and you represent that melting pot so beautifully,” Speier said.

In addition to naturalizing twenty new U.S. citizens, the ceremony also commemorated Flag Day, which was this past Tuesday, and World Refugee Day on June 20th. World Refugee Day is a global event to draw the public’s attention to the millions of refugees and displaced persons worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes due to war, conflict, and persecution.

After honoring both of these national days, the room recited the pledge of allegiance. Information about passport services and social security was given, and then a video was shown of President Obama giving the new U.S. citizens congratulatory remarks. Following the playing of America the Beautiful, the new citizens were then called up one by one to receive their certificates. Families seized the opportunity to snap proud pictures.

“The San Mateo Public Library is honored to host this very special ceremony,” said City Librarian Ben Ocón, who immigrated from Mexico himself when he was a child. “The library is a great resource of information and services to immigrants and new citizens.” Ocón added that later this year the Library will add a new Citizenship Corner where citizenship materials will be made available to community members on how to become a U.S. citizen.

3 Bees Cafe
Community, Local Business, San Mateo Public Library

3 Bees Café to Open in Library This Week

Exciting news! This week the San Mateo Main Library is welcoming a new café proprietor: 3 Bees Café. This will be the second location for the popular downtown coffee shop 3 Bees Coffee House. The grand opening of the new library café will be this Thursday, June 16 at 10:30 AM.

3 Bees CafeLoved deeply by San Mateo locals, the opening of a second location of the coffee shop has their loyal clientele excited. The original shop, located at 224 East 3rd Avenue, has been locally owned and operated since 2002 and sells coffee, espresso, tea, and other various treats to perk up your day. The name for the shop was inspired by their location on the cross-streets of 3rd Avenue and B Street.

Located on the third floor of the Main Library, the 3 Bees Café will fulfill the strong desire of library patrons for a café presence in the library, an important feature that was envisioned by the community when the new Main Library was planned. After the previous vendor left the library, the strong desire for maintaining a café presence among both visitors and library staff led to the Request for Proposal (RFP) process launched in February.

A five-member Selection Committee made up of library and City of San Mateo employees, and representatives from the Library Board of Trustees and the San Mateo Public Library Foundation, then 3 Bees Cafereviewed proposals and considered qualifications to choose a new vendor. There were five submitted proposals and the Selection Committee chose Rafat Hadad’s 3 Bees Coffee House to be the new proprietor.

“We are looking forward to welcoming our new café services provider who has deep San Mateo roots and is so well regarded by the community.  3 Bees Café will really enhance the library visitor experience,” said City Librarian Ben Ocón.

3 Bees Café will offer hot and iced drinks, fresh baked goods, a variety of sandwiches and wraps, and other treats to library visitors. For groups meeting in the library’s meeting rooms, there are catering services available.

So head down to the library this Thursday for the grand opening, and get ready to enjoy some delicious food and drink while you browse the books!

Win Prizes Reading Summer
Community Events, San Mateo Public Library

Win Prizes Through Reading This Summer!

Summer vacation is just around the corner, and students couldn’t be happier. With school out, kids are promised lots of free time to hang out, play games, and see friends. To keep them active and practice their skills, the Win Prizes Reading SummerSan Mateo Public Library and Peninsula Library System are urging kids to add reading to their list of summertime activities!

The Peninsula Library System has started up their summer reading program again, and are offering lots of cool prizes and activities for those who participate. Operating throughout the public libraries in San Mateo County, this means that readers can pick up and drop off reading logs at any of the libraries in San Mateo County. However, prizes will be different between the branches.

The Summer Learning Challenge

The reading program is open to anyone under 18 and split into age groups – the Children’s Summer Learning Challenge and the Teen Summer Learning Challenge. The only differences between age groups are different requirements for completing logs and the prizes awarded. This Win Prizes Reading Summermakes it easy for students of all ages to exercise their brains during these upcoming summer months! Adult and Teen Librarian Addie Spanbock, who coordinates the Teen Summer Learning Challenge (grades 9th-12th), has a tip for local high schoolers:” Many of the high schools in the area have required summer reading and I encourage local students to read a few more books of their choosing in addition to the required high school reading so they can complete the program and take advantage of the incentives we provide.”

To complete a log, participants must read five books, write a one sentence review for each one, and do six activities that could be going to the library, cooking, crafting, or “anything that interests them that keeps them active,” said Spanbock. Then they can turn in their log (and be entered for prizes) and pick up another one!

There is no limit for the amount of logs that readers can complete this summer. The more logs they complete and the more times they come in to the library, the more likely they are to win a prize! This is because every time a reader completes and turns in a log, they get a scratcher to potentially win gift cards to local business and the grand prize of a Kindle Fire. Submitted logs also enter participants into a drawing for a $1,000 scholarship. The first log a teen turns in a log they will receive a $10 gift card to Books, Inc. In addition to these prizes, readers will also get a free book when they sign up, and each time they turn in a log. Some popular titles included in these free books readers can get are The Fault in Our Stars, The Maze Runner series, and The Hunger Games series. Free books and prizes jWin Prizes Reading Summerust for reading this summer!

There aren’t any requirements for what books need to be read, as long as these kids are reading. The whole point of the program is to keep kids engaged with books and actively practice their reading skills. Reading over the summer is an important skill to practice and for parents to emphasize, said Alison Day, Children’s Librarian for the San Mateo Public Library. Studies have shown that reading levels do tend to go down over the summer break in younger children, so by having a program such as this, librarians hope to encourage reading and make it fun.

Day said that she loves this reading program because it’s “nice to see the kids excited about reading when they come into the library” and Spanbock loves the look of excitement that readers get when they receive their free books and learn that they won’t have to return it to the library.

So crack open those books and get reading, San Mateo! This is a great program for readers of all ages and something to easily get excited about with so many great prizes. For more information, visit the public library’s website to watch a short video detailing the program. For teens, click here. For children, click here.