El Cerrito's Library Needs
The City of El Cerrito is committed to finding a way to replace our El Cerrito Library
Built in 1948, the El Cerrito Library is outdated and bursting at the seams. When school gets out, the El Cerrito Library is packed with school children. Space is limited for books, programs, and people – these constraints bring the library to a virtual standstill when youth use the library after school. Library programs for children and teens, including homework help and reading resources, are critical to providing our students with the resources they need. The El Cerrito Library is simply overcrowded, and too small for what our community needs.
The Library does not meet the earthquake or health and safety standards for libraries built today. El Cerrito needs a new library that meets current health, safety, and seismic standards including providing cooling, warming, and charging centers during extreme weather events.
The City of El Cerrito is considering a ballot measure for a new library that could provide updated facilities and space that will allow more after-school programs for youth and children, an expanded collection, additional seating and public computers, group study areas, and community meeting rooms – all of which are important. This measure would also build a new library that meets current health, safety, and seismic standards including providing cooling, warming, and charging centers during extreme weather events for residents to use for years to come.
The City is finalizing the details of the measure, and is working to locate the new library in the El Cerrito Plaza BART transit-oriented development project which could save El Cerrito taxpayers approximately $10 million dollars. Any measure would be budget stable and will continue the high standards in El Cerrito for fiscal accountability and transparency by requiring that any money generated must be spent only on library priorities, and not for any other purpose. None of the money raised by the measure would be used for City administrator salaries. The measure would require independent citizen oversight, mandatory financial audits, and yearly reports to the community to ensure all the funds are spent as promised.
Priorities for a new El Cerrito Library:
- Provide space for summer reading programs for school age children
- Provide cooling, warming, and charging centers during extreme weather events
- Expand library hours
- Provide space for literacy tutoring programs
- Create space for free family programs, activities, and classes
- Provide improved access for seniors and disabled residents
- Enhance children’s programs and book budgets
- Provide a homework center for students
If you would like to find out more about El Cerrito Library needs, please contact Will Provost, Assistant to the City Manager at 510-215-4318.