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A woman in a multi-color matching top and pants and glasses, long blond hair, sits in the library in front of a stack of books.

People of Richmond: Do you go to the library?

on November 1, 2023

“People of Richmond” is a regular series in which reporters pose a question to people in the community. Answers are presented verbatim, though sometimes edited for brevity.

Q: Do you use the public library system?

“Definitely. My daughter loves to read, Susan (the librarian) is amazing, and we’ve got a little knitting group. We meet every Thursday and everyone’s learning together. My daughter really likes to knit, but she’ll only do it when she’s here.” (Keri Sullivan, pictured above)

A woman in gray hoodie and knit black hat sits on a green metal bench with a yellow folder on her lap.

“Yes. I love it. … [The Point Richmond Library] is quiet, the people that work there are nice, they help you when you need help. I just like the environment. It’s not really really big, but it’s not really small — it’s comfortable.”  (Tina Robinson)

A man in a black t-shirt with the word "champs" across it smiles at the camera outside what appears to be a small yellow house with green trim.

“I tend to just buy books that I like and then donate them to the library. Or there’s lots of used little neighborhood free public library boxes. I make a lot of use of those.” (Dennis Phillips)

“For my kids, I use it, yes. But not for me.” 

(Venkatesh Tanuku, Kaleidoscope Coffee owner)

“I just google anything I need. My kids, I guess they use their libraries at their school, but as far as the public library, no.”

( Robert Cannon, PG&E worker)

“Well just recently I went to Berkeley Library, they had live entertainment. It was jamming. It was very awesome.” (Micael Shaleakh)

A man in a gray beard and mustache, short dark hair, smiles, wearing a patterned blue yellow and green sweater over a black T-shirt.

“I like taking the kids and letting them explore and see the variety that they can choose from and let them experience a book one page at a time. And I feel like the library is the best hands-on experience to do that.” (Tiffany Bryan)

A woman partially smiles, long dark hair, dark-rimmed glasses, tan sweater over black shirt.

“No, I don’t. I just happen to have a Kindle so I read books on my Kindle.”

(Irene Hightower, photographer)

“I haven’t really been into the library a lot in the past but recently I got interested in it. It’s pretty accessible and I like it. I would normally use it for entertainment and personal reading.”

(Michael Ramirez)

A woman smiles with sunglasses on top of her head, dark hair pulled back, green hoodie over mustard yellow shirt.

“I do, not as often as I used to, but I do mostly for printing, things like that. I take my kids to read at the library but not so much borrowing these days. We’re in a digital age now.” (Darolyn Turner)

A woman stands in the farmers market in a maroon plaid shirt and cutoff shorts, brown hair pulled into a bun, holding a plastic bag of oranges and grapes in her left hand.

“I absolutely use the public library and not just for books. My public library has a seed bank as well, so I never have to buy seeds if I want to grow my own herbs or produce, so that’s pretty awesome. They also have ukuleles, you can check out too. So, I love books, but I also love all the other things that come with a public library.” (Ellen Olack, food access program manager)

“No I don’t, but I always think I should.”

(Lorraine Lombardo, retired police officer)

“I used to use it especially when I was in college but I didn’t go there very frequently since the pandemic. I know they have also been struggling and trying to get the community back. So I still have my library card and keep it active just to keep supporting them.”

(Elaine Moreno)

“Yes. Richmond Public Library. That’s where I usually come, and I also borrow some books. And right now, they encourage us to do it online. They said it’s a lot more convenient, but it makes it more difficult for me because I’m old-fashioned and I like physical books.” (Selena Thammasen)

A woman stands on a street with a blue jacket, blue strap of a bag across her body, dark hair

“Well it’s right there, so it’s very close and it’s convenient. And we like supporting the library.” (Roy Baker, pictured with son, Raffa)

A father in a blue cap and blue hoodie and jeans kneels on a sidewalk with his 3 or so year old son in his arms. The son is sticking out his tongue to be silly and has short blond hair and a gray jacket and black pants.

“I don’t use it anymore even though I know going to the library is always better than Google. I’m not really in school and everything can be accessed online so I find it easier to just go online.” 

(Jackie Gama, Richmond Farmers Market vendor)

“I do lately. Quite a lot actually — after many years of almost not at all — because it’s really a quiet place where I can work on my computer and get things done. And not have the distractions of a coffee house.”

(Chris Gibney, caregiver)

We asked people in Richmond: Would you consider moving?


  1. Layla Dima on November 8, 2023 at 2:16 am

    Thank You everyone, especially Kerri❤️
    We’re so lucky to have you all.

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