AVCA Board votes to oppose the name change for the Almaden Branch Library.
by Bob Boydston, AVCA Past President

At the Monday, June 14, 2004, AVCA Meeting, the Board voted to oppose the proposed name change for the local Branch Library.  The vote was seven to oppose the name change;  none in favor.  This vote is in response to a proposal to change the library name to the Doris Dillon Almaden Library.  The board did recommend that a Children’s Room be named in her honor.

The AVCA E-MAIL base had been polled with the following results:  forty-six opposed to the name change, six in favor and three did not care.  The majority of people opposed said they were not familiar with Doris Dillon and did not want the library name changed from the Almaden Branch Library.  However the majority did not have any objection to a room in the library being dedicated to Ms. Dillon.

The name Almaden goes back many years.  It was the name of the mercury mine in operation from the 1840's until about 1912 when the ore ran out.  The mercury ore was mined by Mexican and Cornish miners, doing difficult and dangerous work.  For that period of time, the Valley was the Mine.

The Almaden name for the mine came from the Almaden Mine in Spain, which has been in operation for about six thousand years.  The name itself really was two words, Al and Maden, which is Arabic for "The Mine".  The name is hardly sophisticated or clever, but it has survived for centuries.  AVCA does not wish to see it diminished now.

There is another point to be made.  There are many people in the Almaden Valley doing work to benefit the community.  In addition to the people in paid positions, there are the volunteers:  those individuals who are organized to pick up litter on the Almaden Expressway, who are unpaid teachers' assistants, who tutor individual students, and who work in community organizations.  None of us know all of them, but each person probably knows someone doing this work.  The total good done by this group would seem to outweigh any effort done by one individual.  From that standpoint, by singling out one individual for an honor is to make a distinction that ignores the good work for the community done by the others.  The only reward that these unsung heroes get is the satisfaction for work well done.  For most people, that is sufficient.  No additional honors are required.