Review: Re-opened Atherton library opens the door to new opportunities


Chloe De Leon

A wide shot of the main entrance to the library. The inside has ambient lighting.

Chloe De Leon, Staff Writer

The recently re-opened Atherton library offers a low-key community space and opens access to resources for those in San Mateo County.

The Atherton library first opened in 1967 but closed for a $19 million renovation over three years ago. Following the re-opening of the library on June 4, 2022, it now holds a maker space facility and lends out items besides books. The library spans around 10,000 square feet including but not limited to a front patio, back patio, sun room, and conference rooms. 

The availability of public bikes and GoPros for borrowing are arguably the most appealing feature of the Atherton library. Any adult with a San Mateo County library card is able to check out the following items (note: waiver is required). These resources can provide opportunities for those who don’t have the resources to purchase or rent such items. While not quite as unique, the library also loans Chromebooks, portable chargers, bike locks, and ukuleles.

Another exciting addition to the Atherton library will be an on-site Mademoiselle Colette Cafe. There are existing locations around downtown areas in Redwood City, Menlo Park, and Palo Alto. My personal favorite pastry is their flaky almond croissant. The café was originally planned to open in the Fall of 2022, but contracting difficulties have pushed its opening to January 2023. The Mademoiselle Colette will surely add to the already quaint atmosphere of the Atherton library. Who wouldn’t love sitting down with their favorite coffee, pastry, and book?

The maker space provides 3D printers and a laser cutter for public use. Appointments can be booked through the website. While I don’t have much interest in these particular facilities, I could see the accessibility of them being helpful to creators of all ages.

The Atherton library and all its resources offer a hub for flourishing community building.