Library finds home: Burlingame Hall
THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH'S Burlingame Hall will be the temporary home of the Sonoma Valley Regional Library.
The Sonoma Valley Regional Library has found a temporary home for the next year during construction on the Napa Street facility.
The library will be moving to Burlingame Hall at the First Congregational Church, 252 W. Spain St.
In a unanimous vote Sunday, the church's congregation decided to ink a contract with the Sonoma County Regional Library to house the temporarily orphaned facility.
Brian Smucker, the church's moderator (board chair), said the church and the library have agreed in principle, with the details to be ironed out.
The library will be on a one-year lease starting July 1, but Smucker said there will be a contingency for a month-to-month lease should the library project take longer than expected.
The idea came together in about a two-week span, Smucker said. "We don't do anything that fast," he quipped, describing the past two weeks as a "whirlwind."
He said the negotiations occurred rapidly, as the library approached its deadline to make arrangements for its activities. "Neither party had thought of Burlingame Hall as an option during the previous months when the library has been looking for space, since the church uses it every week," he said.
"We're looking at income that the church wouldn't otherwise have," Smucker said. "It's a win-win for the church and the library."
Smucker didn't know what sort of infrastructure improvements the library will have to make to Burlingame Hall and he's not sure what would be left behind when the library vacates the hall sometime in 2012.
"They'll do what they have to do," he said. "Lighting, Internet needs ... they have their tech people looking at it to make it fit their needs.
The church, which is also home to Congregation Shir Shalom and the Old Adobe Preschool, will be making plans to hold events at other sites during the time the library is in the hall.
"We're looking at outside space," Smucker said. "This will mean some adjustments for Old Adobe and Congregation Shir Shalom too."
Mary Evelyn Arnold, the First District representative on the library board, also sits on the church's board and recused herself from the discussion and votes on both sides.
But Sunday, Arnold issued a statement saying, " ... now wearing both hats, I am thrilled for the library (we now have a temporary home) and proud of the congregation, whose generosity and commitment to this community continues to inspire me."
Sonoma County Library Director Sandra Cooper is in transit and was unavailable for comment Monday.