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New Library Facilities Study

Posted on October 4, 2019

Downtown Library
Did you know that the original Downtown Library opened at its current location in January 1909? In the late 1950s, local architect Gordon A. Phillips was hired to design a 6,000 square-foot addition that would more than double the Library’s size. San Rafael quickly outgrew the first library expansion and the next step was to enclose the parking area under the 1950s/60s addition. When the new space opened in 1976, library director Vivian R. Smith called it a “short-term solution to a long-growing need for more library space.” The Pickleweed Library branch opened as part of the Albert J. Boro Community Center in July 2006, providing an additional 2,000 square feet of library space to serve East San Rafael. Most recently, in 2018, the Library, in partnership with the Marin County Free Library, opened a pop-up location at the Northgate Mall. It is definitely worth stopping by and taking a look if you haven’t seen it!

Since 2018, the City has worked with Noll & Tam Architects on a library facilities planning study to explore, among other things, new and improved library facility options. The findings of this study yielded three potential library facility options: (1) an expanded Pickleweed branch; (2) three Downtown sites (expansion of current Carnegie facility, Boyd Park, and Albert Park); and (3) the Terra Linda sites (Northgate Mall, Miller Creek School District, and Terra Linda Community Center). City Council reviewed more in-depth information regarding each of these options which are outlined in the staff report below. As this is only an informational report, the City Council did not take any official action relating to this matter.

Staff Report, 2019-Oct

Library Facility Studies and Documents

Library Facilities Planning Study, 2019-Aug

Existing Facilities Report, 2019-Jul

Service and Facilities Vision, 2017-Jul

Kappe + Du New and Existing Floor Plan, 2010-Dec

Kappe + Du Rendered Model, 2010-Dec

Downtown Library Feasibility Study, 2003-Aug

Downtown Library Feasibility Study, 2003-Apr


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