News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 09/02/2014
Subject :

Save The Date As A New Chapter Begins:
Grand Opening for the Mitchell Park Library and Community Center Set for Dec. 6
Contact : Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne, Library Director    (650) 329-2516
Greg Betts, Director Community Services    (650) 463-4951
Palo Alto, CA - The City of Palo Alto can mark Dec. 6 on their collective calendars for a community celebration for the much anticipated opening of Mitchell Park Library and Community Center. In the meantime, there are a lot of preparations underway as books, technology, furniture, and other equipment are installed in anticipation of the doors opening to the public.  

The temporary Mitchel Park Library will close on Friday, Sept. 26, and library users will receive updates on plans for the grand opening, service changes, and much more via email. Cardholders are encouraged to go online or visit their local branch to update their email address on their library accounts.

"We are all excited for this beautiful new space to open. It is gorgeous and our staff is working extra hard to get it ready for the public," said Library Director Monique leConge Ziesenhenne.  “We are turning the page and entering a new chapter in the life of the library. The new library and community center offers Palo Altans a wonderful opportunity to join with their neighbors in discovery, civic engagement and learning.” 

Ziesenhenne added that during the final month, residents are encouraged to help with the move by checking out up to 100 books from the temporary Mitchell Park Library.  

“Return them to the new library once it opens. We won't charge any library late fees to anyone between Sept. 26 and Jan. 2. Make the library truly yours!”    

The Mitchell Park Library first opened in 1958 and occupied 9,478 square feet with a 10,400-square-foot community center added in 1967. The new, state-of-the-art facility boasts a combined 56,000 square feet, and includes such features as an environmentally-friendly facility; shelving for collection expansion, including books in international languages; an improved site plan with single entrance directly across from Mayview Avenue and safe corridors for children coming from the park and nearby schools; and varied and flexible library spaces—large children’s room, separate teen room, computer training room, 100-person program room, and quiet reading areas. The Community Center will also include a greatly enlarged multi-purpose event room with kitchen that can comfortably accommodate 300 guests, flexible classrooms, a game room, a half-court basketball area, and a public café.  

"The new Mitchell center is much more than simply a building,” said Community Services Director Greg Betts. “It is a dynamic place where we will offer a diverse array of study programs, dance and exercise classes, teen mentoring opportunities, and inclusive public events. We are extremely excited to be introducing a new level of services and opportunities for Palo Alto. This impressive space will allow us to serve the public of all ages, from weddings to afterschool programming, and much, much more. With a fantastic kitchen, state-of-the-art community hall, and flexible classrooms, it will bring together the community in an entirely new way.”

Betts added that Ada’s Café will provide food service to the park, community center and library, as well as provide training opportunities for young adults.   

Important Dates and Service Changes for Customers:

Monday, Sept. 22 - Limited hours at the Community Center

Friday, Sept. 26 - Temporary Mitchell Park Library will close permanently at 6 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 27 - Books held by customer request at Mitchell Park will be sent to Children’s library.

Sept. 27 – Jan. 2, 2015 - No library fines!

Saturday, Sept. 27th - “Come Together” Concert Event and guided tours of the new facility. Check library website for reservation details.

Oct. 19 – 20 - Columbus Day: All Library Branches Closed

Monday, Nov. 17 - Teen Leadership Meetings Begin at Community Center

Saturday, Dec. 6 - Grand Opening of the Mitchell Park Library. All other library branches closed to celebrate. Regular operational hours to begin.

Monday, Dec. 8 - Regular Hours at Community Center begin (8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.)

For more details visit the city’s websites: