Berkeley Public Library selects Noll & Tam Architects and Planners For Improvements to the Central Library Interior Public Spaces

Contact: Suzanne Olawski
Deputy Director of Library Services
Berkeley Public Library

Berkeley Public Library selects Noll & Tam Architects and Planners
For Improvements to the Central Library Interior Public Spaces

Berkeley, March 18 2014—The Berkeley Public Library is pleased to announce that the award-winning design firm of Noll & Tam Architects and Planners has been selected to provide a full range of programmatic, architectural and design services for its Central Library. Renovations of the interior public spaces will improve the layout of collections, lighting, placement of the public computers, and address the need for quiet and group study areas, as well as adequate and appropriate space to meet the needs of teens and youth. After a competitive process, the firm was selected based on their extensive library design and building experience.

Modern library services have significantly evolved with the continuing expansion of the internet, CDs and DVDS, online services, streaming media and electronic materials, and the Berkeley Public Library is meeting the challenge of this evolving environment to respond to how patrons perceive and use the Library in the 21st century. Noll & Tam Architects and Planners design services cover developing alternative and cost-effective innovative solutions to improve the Central Library’s interior public spaces using the existing square footage without substantial structural change. Improvements will be phased in to allow continuation of services while selected areas are renovated.

“We are excited to be bringing the Central Library more in line with the renovated branches, and to create public spaces that will meet all of our visitors needs now and into the future. I hope the community will join us in this effort as they did for the neighborhood branch libraries projects,” said Donna Corbeil, Director of Library Services. The design firm will host a series of teen focus groups to solicit input into the teen space design and two community meetings to allow the public to provide input into the planning process.

The Library invites the public to join us at these meetings:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Central Library, Community Meeting Room, 3rd Floor

Saturday, April 26, 2014, 12:00 – 1:30 pm
Central Library, Children’s Department, 4th Floor


Download Meeting Announcement

More information will be posted on the Library’s website, http://www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org/ under Planning – Central Library Improvements 2014.


Branch Out This April as Berkeley Public Library Celebrates Four Newly Reopened Next-Century Libraries With an Array of FREE Events & Activities Honoring National Library Week & Beyond

Donna Corbeil

Director of Library Services


Branch Out This April as Berkeley Public Library Celebrates Four Newly Reopened Next-Century Libraries
With an Array of FREE Events & Activities Honoring National Library Week & Beyond
$26 Million Dollar Civic Investment Underscores Public Library Relevance in the 21st Century

Berkeley, March 13, 2014 — Just five years after a landslide ‘Yes’ on bond Measure FF and an innovative Neighborhood Libraries Campaign partnership, Berkeley Public Library visitors now have access to libraries of the future in every neighborhood in the City. This April, the Library celebrates advancing the value of libraries in the modern age by inviting the public to a month-long, system-wide librarywarming. The Branch Out! celebration not only encourages people to experience each of the new and improved Berkeley Public Library branches, but also to expand their own horizons via an array of FREE events and activities, to inspire all ages and interests, such as after-hours concerts, art exhibits, 'pop-up’ libraries connecting patrons to e-books at food truck gatherings, author talks, mindfulness meditation, a sleepover party for stuffed animals, a family-friendly First Friday of art and music, visits with award-winning filmmakers, and much more. 

Berkeley’s four new, modern library branches have already experienced a 38% increase in attendance and circulation of materials since reopening, proof positive that improved facilities increase the vitality of libraries to the communities they serve. These new spaces - filled with natural light and fresh air, now seismically safe and ADA-accessible - offer an enhanced quality of life, making libraries as engaging as ever with more collections, programs, community spaces, room and inspiration for learning at every level. For example, Berkeley READS, the adult and family literacy program at the West Branch, now enjoys its own computer lab and reading room. The trailblazing Tool Lending Library at the South Branch now enjoys an expanded location with over 2500 available tools. Branch hours expanded in December 2013. And visitors to the West Branch even have an opportunity to interact with the first zero net energy library building in California.

Incredibly, in the midst of an economic recession and a national wave of libraries and other public services being reduced and shuttered, The Berkeley Public Library, The Berkeley Public Library Foundation, and Friends of the Library bucked the trend with a successful campaign to voters and donors to expand and improve public facilities and benefits.

“We are grateful for the support of our patrons and Berkeley residents who understand the value of libraries and their crucial role in fostering democracy, literacy and economic development in the communities they serve. With our community, we have completed a monumental task, especially in this day and age,” says Director of Library Services Donna Corbeil. “Beautiful public spaces and free, accessible methods for obtaining knowledge and exposure to arts, culture and literature will always be a hallmark of a great society and reflect the values and commitments of the Berkeley Public Library. We are thrilled to have library buildings designed to serve the community for generations to come.”  

More on Berkeley’s new and improved libraries:
West Branch (9,300 square feet) Goes above and beyond, meeting state zero net energy requirements of 2030
South Branch & Tool Library LEED Gold Certification anticipated (8,700 square feet) and the Tool library now has extended hours due to more space.
Claremont Branch LEED Silver Certification awarded September 2012
North Branch LEED Silver Certification awarded April 2012



Branch Out! is presented by the Berkeley Public Library and co-sponsored by

Berkeley Public Library Foundation and Friends of the Library.
Media Sponsors: {510} Families, Berkeleyside, East Bay Express, KALX Berkeley 90.7 fm

See our after-hour concertsauthor talksart shows, 'pop-up' libraries, family activities, writing workshops, computer, small business and bicycle maintenance classes, toddler and tot multilingual playtime, and much more. Printed guides to Branch Out celebration events and activities are available in all the libraries and downloadable here.
HIGHLIGHTS of Branch Out! Celebrating our 21st Century Library System in Berkeley include:

First Friday: Photo Film & Audio
Friday, April 4, 6-8pm @ North Branch            
Photo, Film and Audio students from The Art Institute of California– San Francisco present new work characterized by inspired creativity and technical polish.All genres of work will be shown including fashion and journalistic photos, documentary and fiction films, and music that spans electronica to symphoic. Evening includes food, a photobooth and art activities for kids!
Be There or Be Square Barn Dance
Friday, April 11, 6-8pm @ West Branch
All-ages are welcome and no dance experience necessary at this fun family event. Join caller Mavis McGaugh, fiddler Anne Goess and keyboardist Debra Tayleur for dancing or just listening. Complimentary Refreshments provided by Top Dog.
Soji & the Afrobeat Band
Sunday, April 13, 7-8pm, doors open 6:30pm @ Central Library, 2nd floor Reading Room    
Original compositions with infectious extended grooves are guaranteed to set your body in motion at this special after-hours event with Nigeria’s legendary guitar master and singer Adesoji “Soji” Odukogbe and his Afrobeat band, featuring guitars, percussion and horns. Soji was the lead guitarist for the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s world renowned Afrobeat band, and in the 1970’s Fela created this new hybrid dance music performed by large ensembles, synthesizing African- American musical forms of funk and jazz with West African highlife.The concert is complemented by the Central Library’s exhibition “African Roots of Jazz” featuring the paintings of Charles Curtis Blackwell on display on the 1st and the 5th floors.
Classical Art Songs with Marie Plette
Friday, April 18, 6:30-8pm @ Claremont Branch
Don’t miss our special after-hours concert when the stellar soprano Marie Plette joins us for an evening program of classical art songs by Debussy, Faure, Puccini and Verdi. Ms. Plette has sung at the Met, Seattle Opera,West Edge Opera and the Berkeley Rep. She will be accompanied by pianist Jonathan Khuner, the musical Director of West Edge Opera. Of her performance in the title role of Vanessa at Berkeley Rep, music critic Joshua Kosman wrote: “The performers - led by the superb soprano Marie Plette in the title role - had an opportunity to bring the audience directly into the world of the opera. It’s rare to encounter an opera done with such intimacy and emotional transparency, and the close quarters only helped.” Light refreshments will be served.
Live Music with The Hieroglyphics
Friday, April 25, 6:30-8pm @ South Branch
FREE Performance by Pep Love of the Hieroglyphics! Enjoy Positive Hip-Hop music by this legendary Bay Area Musical act, plus a DJ spinning and mixing tracks. Refreshments provided. Open to all ages with a special welcome to teens/young adults and their families.

SPECIAL EVENTS               
Pajama Story Time & Stuffed Animal Sleep Over!
Thursday, April 3, 7-8pm @ West Branch
Have you ever wondered what happens in the library at night? Put on your pajamas and grab a stuffed animal friend for West’s first ever Pajama Story Time and Stuffed Animal Sleep Over for ages 3 and up! Listen to bedtime stories, and after a small snack, leave your furry friend at the library overnight. When you return to pick up your stuffed animal, you’ll be surprised to see what happens at the library after dark!
Children’s Book Author & Illustrator Todd Parr
Saturday, April 5, 10:30-11:30am @ Central Library
Todd Parr has written such fun and colorful picture books as The Peace Book, It’s Okay to Be Differ- ent and Reading Makes You Feel Good. He’ll talk about being an author and illustrator, read from a bunch of his books and answer questions! For ages 3-7.
Author Talk with Los Angeles Author & Filmmaker Erich Martin Hicks
Saturday, April 5, 2-5pm @ Central Library                       
The author will discuss his novel Rescue at Pine Ridge, a fictionalized account of the rescue of the 7th Cavalry by the “Buffalo Soldiers” of the 9th Cavalry at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and show a short film detailing the events, followed by a Q&A with the audience.
Thursday, April 10, 12-1pm @ Central Library, 5th floor Art & Music
Celli@Berkeley is a group of cellists from the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, and performs all-cello arrangements of diverse repertoire, ranging from Villa-Lobos and Vivaldi to new compositions by local composers.This concert offers a wide variety of selections,
from classical to popular.
Berkeley Bay Festival
Saturday, April 12, 11am-4pm @ Shorebird Park                        
The Library comes to you to share information about our many renewable resource offerings, our free Tool Lending Library (FREE to Berkeley residents and property owners), free digital book, audiobook, magazine and music collections and the many resources our Library provides, including many resources accessible 24/7.
Standing on Sacred Ground
Sunday, April 13, 4-6pm @ Central Library
Join us for a screening with filmmakers Toby McLeod and Jessica Abbe, in conversation with Alison Owings. In this four-part documentary series, narrated by Graham Greene, native people share ecological wisdom and spiritual reverence while battling a utilitarian view of land––and government megaprojects, consumer culture, competing religions, resource extraction and climate change.The episode shown at this event, “Islands of Sanctuary” focuses on the efforts of Native Hawaiians to restore the island of Kaho‘olawe after 50 years of military use as a weapons testing range, and of Aboriginal Australians to resist the destructive effects of a mining boom.The filmmakers will be on hand to discuss their project, led by Alison Owings, author of  Indian Voices:Listening to Native Americans..
Children’s Book Author Mac Barnett
Wednesday, April 16, 3:30-4:30pm @ North Branch                        
Mac Barnett has written fourteen very funny and slightly absurd children’s stories ranging from picture books like Oh No! Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World to chapter books like the Brixton Brothers mystery series, and those that defy categorization like his newest, Battle Bunny, which the Bulletin for Children’s books called “a complexly layered work of comic genius.” Be prepared to laugh, as he reads from his books, answers questions and signs your books! For ages 5 and up.
Poetry Past & Present: Denise Levertov, a Celebration of her Life & Poetry and Open Mic Session, with Susan Grifffin, Eavan Boland, Peter Dale Scott, and David Shaddock
Saturday, April 19, 2-4:30pm @ Central Library, Community Meeting Room, 3rd Floor.
Join us in honoring the recent publication of The Collected Poems of Denise Levertov (New Directions, 2013). Levertov was a poet, critic, former poetry editor for The Nation, and recipient of the Robert Frost Medal, among many other awards.The program will conclude with 5 minute open mic opportunities for audience volunteers to read one original poem plus one by a favorite poet.
What Makes West Branch Library a Net Zero Energy Building?
Tuesday, April 22, 6-7pm @ West Branch
Come celebrate Earth Day by joining staff and the architect for the new West Branch, Gerard Lee, representing the design firm Harley Ellis Devereaux, to learn more about how Net Zero Energy buildings work, and the West Branch Library’s green design features.
The Gershwin Brothers and the Broadway Musical — Lecture and Music Program by Tim Holt
Wednesday, April 23, 6:30-8pm @ Claremont Branch
Love George and Ira? Join us as Mr. Holt performs, playing songs from the Gershwin canon, including ‘S Wonderful and Do Do Do, as well as selections from Porgy & Bess, and other works by the Gershwin team. Holt will discuss their contribution to American popular music and provide a behind-the-scenes look at how they crafted their music and words seamlessly together, and the work of other great composers from that era, including Yip Harburg (Somewhere Over The Rain- bow, Brother Can You Spare A Dime?), Jerome Kern (Ol’ Man River) and Irving Berlin (Cheek To Cheek).                                                       

Off the Grid @ North Berkeley BART station
Every Sunday in April, 5-8pm
Berkeley Public Library will get your mobile device connected to the library so you can read or listen to FREE e-books, magazines, and streaming music from the library! Connect with our mobile hotspot @Off the Grid.
Find Library-related Geocaches!
All Month                       
Each library location in Berkeley, including temporary locations and other original sites, have their own hidden cache in Berkeley! Geocachers can find the sites by looking at the geocache map, or by searching Librarian@North on the app or site.
African Roots of Jazz, The Art of Charles Curtis Blackwell
On view April 1-20 during library hours @ Central Library, 1st and 5th floors
Bay Area artist Charles Curtis Blackwell’s paintings & drawings explore themes of Africa and the jazz aesthetic. His colorful abstract paintings capture the moods and movement of musicians and the essence of live jazz performances, juxtaposed with his other inspiration in the rituals and masks of Africa.
Berkeley in the 1960s
On view April 1-30 during library hours @ Central Library
Berkeley has a well-founded reputation of being a ruckus place of social change and experimenta- tion. Displayed at the Central Reference Desk on computer monitors, this virtual exhibit show- cases 24 digital copies of psychedelic 1960s and 70s era rock posters from the Berkeley History Room’s collection of posters.Another monitor will display the classic film Berkeley in the Sixties.
Berkeley Public Library’s History of Technology & Change
On view April 15-30 during library hours @ Central Library
Location: Front Window display case and flat cases on 2nd Floor
Come see historic tools and furniture commonly used by the Library in yesteryear, including antique typewriters, various library tools, card catalog draws, cards from the catalog, and antique accession books, including the #1 book of our collection Autocrat at the Breakfast table by Oliver Wendell Holmes—the reason we were originally known as the Holmes Public Library. Exhibit also includes pictures of the branches as they once appeared, and a display monitor of the beautiful buildings of today.       

Did you know the Library offers film screenings? Join us this month, as our Super Cinema series salutes ‘Films about Writers!’
Friday, April 4, 3-5pm @ Central Library
Misery (1990/107 min.), starring James Caan and Kathy Bates, is the story of a famous novelist “rescued” from a car crash by an obsessed fan who insists that he resurrect the heroine he killed off in his popular series of novels.
Friday, April 11, 3-5pm @ Central Library                       
Adaptation (2002/114 min.), starring Nicholas Cage and Meryl Streep, portrays a love-lorn screenwriter growing increasingly desperate in his quest to adapt the book The Orchid Thief.
The Savages
Friday, April 18, 3-5pm @ Central Library
The Savages (2007/113 min.), starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney, portrays two siblings and struggling writers whose lives and careers are temporarily thrown off track when called to take care of their elderly, abusive father.       
Ruby Sparks
Friday, April 25, 3-5pm @ Central Library                   
Ruby Sparks (2012/104 min.) features a novelist struggling with writer’s block who finds romance in a most unusual way: by creating a female character he thinks will love him, then willing her into existence.