Campus: San Jose State University -- April 25, 2003

Unique Partnership Brings New King Library To Completion

San Josť State University and the San Josť Public Library Foundation Launch Combined Community Fundraising Campaign

In an April 23 ceremony, San José State University and the San José Public Library announced the completion of construction for the new Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Library and the successful partnership of the two institutions. The first collaboration of its kind in the country, the new King Library will serve the students and faculty of San José State University and the entire San José community, creating a resource center that will be the hub of the public library system.

"The new King Library will be a true center for life-long learning and adventure. There is something for everyone," said Patricia Senn Breivik, Dean, University Library.

Also at the ceremony, Robert L. Caret, president of SJSU, thanked donors for the more than $8 million in private gifts made to the new King Library Campaign; and Jan Fox, president of the San José Public Library Foundation, announced the launch of the "Be Part of YOUR Library" combined community campaign. Donations to the campaign will fund technology upgrades and purchases, collection enhancements and building furnishings for the new King Library and newly constructed or expanded branch libraries throughout the city. Approximately two new libraries will be built and open every year for the next eight years.

With a main library, bookmobile and network of 17 existing neighborhood branch libraries, SJPL has more than half a million cardholders and enjoys over 100,000 visits per week. Visits are up 65 percent in the last three years.

"The new Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library belongs to every resident, neighborhood, and organization in San Jose," said District 3 Councilmember Cindy Chavez. "This is an incredible community resource and I'm inspired by the partnerships that led to its creation and the generous demonstrations of support that continue even in these economically-challenging times."

The newest branch, West Valley, will open this May of this year and construction has begun on both the Tully Road and Vineland Branches. New or totally renovated branch libraries will offer patrons increased seating capacity, technology centers with more computers, enhanced community space and increased collections.

"San José's public library is on the verge of being the most dynamic library system in the country, taking its place alongside other big city library systems. We are transforming ourselves in response to the real needs of our community," said Jane Light, library director of the San José Public Library.

The San José State University Library has provided critical materials and research to educate generations of leaders and innovators in Silicon Valley. The new Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library will ensure that this tradition continues. The new Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library will provide students, faculty and the community access to the information they need for educational and personal growth throughout their lives. For more information on San José State University, on the King Library or on the "Be Part of YOUR Library," see www.newkinglibrary.org.

The San José Public Library Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides advocacy, financial support and innovative leadership to transform San José's public libraries into vibrant learning centers. Private funds raised through the San José Public Library Foundation complement the City's annual allocation. They are funds that enable new initiatives, new ideas, and new resources for the San José Public Library. For more information on the foundation or on the "Be Part of YOUR Library" campaign, see www.sjpl.lib.ca.us/Foundation.

Contacts: Caroline Punches, San José State University Library, 408–924-1474, cpunches@sjsu.edu
Michelle Mann, San José Public Library Foundation, 650-996-6590, ma_mann@pacbell.net.


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