San Mateo County Library
San Mateo County Library (SMCL) in California has a mission to provide innovative, dynamic services that connect a diverse community with opportunities for individual growth and enrichment. The organization is comprised of the cities of Atherton, Belmont, Brisbane, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Millbrae, Pacifica, Portola Valley, San Carlos, Woodside, and the unincorporated areas of the county. Approximately 276,000 people live in the district which covers 351 square miles. SMCL ranks high among its peer libraries in the state and is known nationally for its service excellence.
SMCL offers an array of library services in its role as a catalyst for learning and has served the community for more than a century. The system’s 12 community libraries and bookmobile are a source of books, periodicals, newspapers and information in multiple languages. The libraries provide access to computers, a growing digital collection, and 1 gigabit per second broadband internet access. SMCL responds to the informational, educational and cultural needs of the community by offering a broad range of programs for children, teens and adults. Library programming is conducted in English, Spanish and Chinese, and ranges from early learning and literacy classes for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, to citizenship classes and adult literacy to hands-on learning for all ages.
The vision for Toyota Family Learning in the City of East Palo Alto and the City of Half Moon Bay is to build the capacity of families living in underserved communities with a deliberate focus on supporting children’s reading proficiency by third grade. In San Mateo County, 42% of third graders overall (and 60% of Latino children) cannot read proficiently. San Mateo County Library’s Toyota Family Learning initiative engages Spanish speaking families in both communities, ranging in age from six to ten years old. SMCL has implemented successful Summer Library Learning Camps recruiting students struggling the most at the lowest performing schools. Library staff has built relationships with these students and their families which will strengthen Toyota Family Learning. Toyota Family Learning allows SMCL the opportunity to continue support year-round, with an integrated focus on deepening the strengths of families and the power they can bring to their communities.