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We want to ensure the children, teens, and adults of our community receive the books, programs, and online services that a modern library can provide. Our upgraded library will be an exemplary learning environment and a safe and secure place to grow, develop skills, and interact with friends and neighbors.
The City adopted a Strategic Plan for El Cerrito’s future in 2013. Based on community input, the Library was selected as a community focal point.
The City has held Town Halls and other community meetings as part of the Library Needs Assessment study to further understand our community’s Library service priorities and needs.
The City and El Cerrito Library Foundation learned the Library does not meet the space, technological, educational, or safety needs of El Cerrito’s residents.
How can the Library meet our community needs?
A safe, modern Library that meets our community’s educational and informational needs could provide:
- Public access computers, a computer learning center, and free Wi-Fi.
- A children’s area with space for story times.
- Improved access for seniors and disabled residents.
- Programs for children and teens, including homework help and reading resources, that are critical to providing our students with the resources they need.
What are the demands on our Library?
- The 67-year-old El Cerrito Library was built in 1948, and does not currently meet earthquake safety standards.
- The old library is not energy-efficient.
- When school gets out, the Library is packed with school children, and simply is too small for what our community needs.
- Library visits have increased 20% since 2006 and circulation is up over 35% in the same time period.
El Cerrito residents need a seismically-safe library that meets our community service needs, for years to come.
What is the solution?
The City and El Cerrito Library Foundation had been working with our community to evaluate El Cerrito’s Library service priorities and potential funding for a safe, modern Library.
Feedback previously received from residents show they wanted an energy-efficient library that meets earthquake and fire codes, and includes updated wiring to accommodate computers and technology, among other service priorities that improve public access and programs for all residents.
On Tuesday, July 19, 2016, the City Council unanimously approved placing Measure B, a library funding measure, on the November 2016 ballot to provide a safe, modern El Cerrito Library.
On November 8, Measure B received 62.8% Yeses and 37.2% Nos. While the library bond received overwhelming support from the El Cerrito community, it did not reach the required 66 2/3% to pass.