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Board Member Profile : President John Blake

John Blake: Meet the RCLF Board President

John Blake has been a member of the RCLF board since 2004 and has served as its president at least three times, once for several years. Born in San Francisco, he spent his childhood from ages 3 through 12 in Colorado, before his family moved back to California. John’s earliest memories include prowling libraries in search of adventure and heroes, and this youthful pastime has ripened into his current appreciation of libraries.

After graduating from the University of Colorado, John attended law school at Santa Clara University and has practiced real estate law in the Bay Area since 1977, now at his own firm, John H. Blake, Esq.

John has always seen libraries as vital organs of their communities and uses professional libraries to provide the raw material for his day job. He joined the Foundation Board believing that libraries increasingly serve an educational function, providing access to technology and information and filling a gap left by government and other institutions. He sees libraries as temples of civilization, where we preserve and practice what is best in literature, art, and history and, more recently, assure universal access to these treasures by promoting literacy.

In the Bay Area in particular, to the most fortunate, wealthier residents, the library is a convenience, one of many places they could get a book, music, or other material. For other, less affluent members of the community, the library provides basic necessities — tutors for family literacy, help for students to succeed in school, and computers and wifi hotspots for community use. John believes that libraries are “evolving into more than a place that houses books, and becoming a vital organ of their local community and the global community.” He leads the Foundation in supporting the Redwood City Library in this role.

John lives in Redwood City with his wife Daisy, who brings added value and support to the Foundation. They have two sons and four grandsons. He has been an AYSO and CYSA soccer referee for more than 30 years — and in his spare time, he practices Tai Chi, reads, and occasionally enjoys fly fishing. We are lucky to have him as president of the RCLF board!

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