South Branch/Tool Lending Library
Martin Luther King Jr. Way view of proposed building (04.13.10)
Since the passage of Measure FF in November 2008, the Library has embarked on its building program to improve accessibility, code compliance and seismic safety in all the neighborhood branches.
Field Paoli is the design team selected to work on the South Branch / Tool Lending Library project. The Board of Library Trustees has decided to replace the existing building of 5,400 sq. ft. with a new, larger 8,656 sq. ft. library that complies with all current codes including being seismically safe and fully ADA-accessible, to serve the South Berkeley community into the future. Information on the condition of the existing branch is available in the Branch Libraries Facilities Master Planning and was updated in the design process by the architects. Input from the community during the design process, which included four neighborhood community meetings and four design presentations to the Board of Library Trustee, was a critical piece in the decision-making process.
The new South Branch / Tool Lending Library will be a warm and welcoming building with improved lighting, ventilation, and thermal comfort. It will create a civic presence for pedestrians and passers-by, will be easier to use with a more spacious and organized layout and will be part of the revitalization of the South Berkeley neighborhood. With input from the community and staff the design team has brought the Tool Lending Library and South Branch Library together into one space with distinct zones throughout the building for adults, teens, and children’s services and a true separation of noisy and quiet areas. Features of the design include a flexibly planned program space which will be available throughout the day for multiple purposes and a small group study room. The Library will have more seating, including lounge chairs, more public access computers, improved collection access and additional space for laptop users.
The much loved, unique Tool Lending Library will have a larger space with adequate storage for their large collection of tools, designated staff space for maintenance and repair of the collection, adequate counter and display space, and the two short-term parking spaces for pick-up and drop off will remain.
In keeping with Berkeley’s commitment to a green future, the new library design will reduce energy and water consumption. The design team will be working to attain LEED Gold Certification, adding photovoltaics to off-set dependence on the energy grid and taking advantage of natural lighting and ventilation opportunities. One such feature is a central, day-lit browsing area with popular materials, media, holds, and self-check stations. The new Library will serve the community well into the future!
The planning process is ongoing. The City of Berkeley Planning & Development Department is managing the CEQA process and an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is underway. Prior to construction beginning the final plans will be reviewed by the Zoning Adjustment Board, the Board of Library Trustees, and other agencies as required. For more project information, go to http://berkeleypubliclibrary.org/branchimprovements or call 510-981-6195.
The Library continues to seek input from the Berkeley community! Please share your comments, questions, and ideas about the branch improvement projects on a Branch Improvement Program Comment Form. We value your input!