Library Information

Case Statement for Library Expansion

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The Goal

To bring to Belvedere and Tiburon residents of all ages the benefits of innovation and growth. The overarching goal is to expand the existing Library building while maintaining the warmth and character the community loves. Building with sensitivity toward the future and the beautiful natural setting, spaces will be created to allow the Library to better serve as a learning, technology, and cultural center, and to further the Library’s role in serving as a central community resource.

The Situation

The current library building opened in 1997 and was designed as a branch of the Marin County Free Library (MCFL) system. Before opening, the facility became an independent municipal library after Belvedere and Tiburon negotiated a withdrawal from MCFL and established a separate Joint Powers Agency.

The impact of that action is a defining factor in the current facility’s ability to meet community service needs. The building's size and configuration reflect its original intended role and purpose in which most library administrative functions were to be performed off-site by the County Library system staff. Building features and public, volunteer, and staff spaces are sized to support a much smaller, less sophisticated operation than that which has evolved under the independent Belvedere-Tiburon Library Agency. The Library suffers from serious, pervasive overcrowding in every aspect of its operation

Since it opened its doors in 1997, the Library has been a place stewarded by people with a deep commitment to meeting the evolving needs of the community. It is apparent that the Library is treasured by residents and has been incredibly successful. People of all ages use the facility at sustained high levels. Weekly visits to the Library have climbed to more than 4,000 and borrowing of materials in all formats has soared from 80,000 to more than 330,000 checkouts annually.

Page + Moris LLC, a library planning firm, conducted a space needs assessment that was updated in late 2011. That study has identified significant functional deficits within the existing facility. The community has outgrown the building. Service space for children and teens is inadequate or nonexistent. Space for programs and Library events does not meet the demands. Noise and congestion in the public quiet spaces are ongoing. Staff work space is extremely limited and inadequate. Storage space is almost non-existent.

The Solution

Expand the Library facility to overcome and rectify its identified shortcomings.

The expanded Library will contain a children’s learning center, providing resources and an environment that cultivates curiosity and a love of knowledge and learning. A much-needed teen space will finally give that age group a place in the Library that serves as a youth learning resource center, and addresses their needs. A technology hub will support the future adaptation of technology trends in order to best serve the community. A community room large enough to support the current needs of programming and services will allow the Library to grow as an important center of life-long learning and culture. The expanded Library will provide a place for residents to meet as well as to learn, and will go beyond loaning out books and other materials to providing programs, technology, and resources that respond to a broader array of community needs.

The Expansion Program

The Children’s area will increase 1,424 square feet to 2,903 square feet.

The Teen area will increase from zero square feet to 1,430 square feet.

The Community room increases from 650 square feet to 1,270 square feet.

A Foundation office and 15-seat conference room will be added.

Four new group study/tutoring rooms will be added.

A permanent technology training area with 18 seats will be added.

A coffee counter and used bookstore will be incorporated.

The main hallway will serve as an art gallery.

A marsh viewing terrace will be added.

Circulation, sorting, and materials handling areas will increase from 550 to 744 square feet.

Administration office space will increase from 240 to 343 square feet.

Reference Staff workroom and office areas will increase from 220 to 436 square feet.

The nave will remain much as it is and will house adult services.

Please visit the Library to review the proposed new floor plans and building renderings.

The Process

The Library Expansion Project has been underway for six years with every step taken in full public view. Over twenty public meetings have been held to encourage public opinion and comment. The money expended to date has been from gifts of private funds for this purpose. A complete Environmental Impact Study was certified by the Town of Tiburon. More public meetings are planned and building plans are to go to the Tiburon Town Council for Design Review this summer.

Following full design and project approval a major fundraising effort will be launched with the goal of funding the expansion from private sources.

It is intended that the Library will remain in operation during the construction.

Your Support is Welcome

Central to this mission is that knowledge is the key to all that life offers and that it should be equally available to everyone. The Library is the critical component in that free exchange of information. The Library provides immeasurable opportunities that are crucial for the education, enjoyment, and advancement of our community.

Tomorrow’s Belvedere-Tiburon Library will be a welcoming 21st century place for gathering, exploring ideas, having new experiences, and diving deeper into diverse interests, from technology, literature, and art, to culture and community. It will be a vibrant center for community interaction and civic engagement. It will be an empowering and transforming institution for people of all ages and from all walks of life.