Join EC Library Foundation on Earth Day 2023

Earth Day - Get Involved!

The El Cerrito Library Foundation invites you to Celebrate Earth Day 2023 at the El Cerrito Library 6510 Stockton Avenue on April 15, 2023 from 9:00 am to Noon. Then volunteers are encouraged to proceed to the Community Center at 7007 Moeser lane for a free Appreciation Lunch from 12 noon to 1:30 pm. You can find the latest information on the City’s website at –

All are welcome. Young children please bring a parent or two. Closed toe shoes and gloves are recommended for all.

We hope to see you at Earth Day at the Library!

Questions? Contact ECLF at

El Cerrito Library basement floods destroy books

The old El Cerrito library is tired and overdue for replacement. Torrential rainstorms in the past several weeks have proven this need in yet another sad way!

The Friends of the El Cerrito Library support group accepts book donations from patrons who wish to donate books they no longer need. The Friends then evaluate the donations and offer those that are in good condition at periodic book sales at the Library. Some especially valuable books are sold online. Funds raised from these sales go directly to support library programs and new materials. Most of these programs and materials are for children and their families.

The good donated books are stored in the basement of the Library until a sale is held.

The latest disappointment for the Friends was during a recent torrential rainstorm when there was flooding in the basement of the Library due either to inadequate maintenance of storm drains or simply the fact that the rain and wind were too severe for the drains to work properly. The picture below illustrates some of the many waterlogged books that were ruined beyond reclamation. As you can see, they had to go to the landfill since they could not be saved, recycled, or sold.

Water damaged hardcover books in trash can.

A new Library with adequate, above ground storage space for the Friends books would guarantee that such a tragedy is not repeated at a new Library. We will keep you informed of progress toward a new, modern, safe Library with occasional news reports from the Foundation. If you know of others who might be interested, direct them to our Foundation web site at:

Text: We Help Bring People And Ideas Together

A new Library would better serve as a refuge

During repeated power outages this past winter as fierce storms blew down power lines or trees landed on them, thrusting neighborhoods into darkness, our library served as a refuge and resource for many patrons.

A recent posting from NextDoor illustrates this somewhat unusual library service:

Shout out to the El Cerrito Public Library!

We lost power for 48 hours this weekend and I needed to recharge devices and go online for work. The library had a great environment for this with power strips, Wi-Fi, and desk space. It was relatively quiet and the best part was eavesdropping on the visitors to the front desk, who were happily acquiring new library cards, interacting with the busy and professional librarians, and checking out books.

It made me happy to be a card-carrying member of the library!

-Susan M.

Our current library is well suited to provide this service during winter storms.

However, during summer heat waves, our old, outmoded library that does not have an air conditioning system cannot provide similar refuge. Nor can it provide respite from smoke inhalation during firestorms.

This is why a new twenty-first century library for El Cerrito, equipped with a modern heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system would extend this valuable respite-service into a year-around benefit for our community.

Then we could say, year-around, in a safe, comfortable environment:



El Cerrito Takes New Action Towards a New Library

The City of El Cerrito and BART are making good progress toward a new library near the Plaza BART Station. This first day of spring we wanted to tell you of hopeful steps that are happening. If all goes well, a new library might spring into being before too long! (Please excuse the bad pun.)

The latest development in this saga is that the City Council recently directed City staff to explore several options for raising the money that the City will need to contribute to building the BART Plaza Library project.

At a February 21 study session, the City Council explored ways that the City could possibly raise the financing to pay for the new library as a part of the Plaza BART housing and retail complex.

The good news is that if the library is a part of this project, it will cost significantly less to build than if it is built as a separate freestanding structure, approximately $20 million rather than $30 million.

It now looks as if the new library could be a part of construction that might start in early 2025 if the City is ready to pay its share at that time.

This means that the City will have to come to El Cerrito voters with a financing plan in spring 2024, only a year from now.

At the Feb. 21 study session the Council directed staff to explore several approaches to raising the building costs for a new library and also asked staff to explore whether there is an appropriate financing measure that would support operating costs for the new library.

Staff will be coming back to the Council soon with a report on what they learn.

We will keep you informed of progress with occasional news reports from the Foundation. If you know of others who might be interested, direct them to our Foundation web site at: