Improving library services will be a primary focus of the Civic Center Modernization Project. Even with easy access to information on the internet, Sunnyvale's library remains a very popular destination with residents. On average, the library greets more than 2,000 visitors per day and circulated more than 2.7 million items last year. The current facility's age and space constraints limit services and the Civic Center Modernization Project presents an opportunity to explore ways to better meet the community's needs.
Sunnyvale's library has only about half of the space per capita compared to neighboring cities in the county, and is well below the average of 0.76 square feet per capita found in cities surveyed in Alameda, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.
The challenge of limited space extends to the larger collection as well. Compared to other libraries in the local area, Sunnyvale has half the available materials. While e-books are gaining in popularity, they still only accounted for two percent of the Library's total circulation in Fiscal Year 2013/14.
Library program attendance has continued growing to more than 45,000 participants in Fiscal Year 2013/14. Library staff develop programs in response to community demand. For example, more than half of last year's attendees were for programs designed to help preschool children build early literacy skills. A Library designed to accommodate this programming would better serve the community.
Limited space in the existing Library restricts the number of children's items we can make available, causing Sunnyvale to fall well below local area collections.
An expanded library in Sunnyvale could feature a larger children's area that would allow a bigger collection of books and materials and more space for popular children's programs.