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). At Monday night’s meeting, the City Council will review 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 will not be taking any official action relating to this matter.