- Why do we need a branch library?
- Why was Lakewood Park and School chosen as the best site for a branch library?
- How big will the branch library be?
- What is the estimated cost of constructing the branch library?
- What is the estimated cost of maintaining the branch library?
- Where will the funding come from to construct and operate the branch library?
- Will the branch library have the same operating hours as the main library?
- What services will the branch library offer?
- When is the branch library anticipated to be open and ready for business?
- How and when can I provide input to the design of a branch library?
- How is the City keeping the community informed?
1. Why do we need a branch library?
Public libraries provide free and equal access to information, promote the joys of reading, and offer diverse communities a place to meet and exchange ideas--all hallmarks of a free society. Residents living in the northern end of the City are the only Sunnyvale residents who must travel more than 2 miles to access library services. In fact, many residents in north Sunnyvale live over 4 miles from any library. As a result, the Lakewood area has the lowest percentage of residents with Sunnyvale Library cards of any neighborhood in Sunnyvale. What’s more, there is a significant concentration of seniors and youth in this area—the age groups tending to make the most use of library services, but also the most restricted in terms of mobility. In a nutshell, some of our residents with the most to gain from library services have the most difficult time accessing those services. A branch library would increase access to library services for those living in north Sunnyvale by making it more convenient for residents to visit.
2. Why was Lakewood Park chosen as the best site for a branch library?
Lakewood Park is conveniently located in the heart of the residential neighborhood most challenged in terms of library access. There is also a high concentration of public transport lines in north Sunnyvale, (including the John W. Christian Greenbelt for bicyclists and pedestrians), which would facilitate access to a branch library in this particular location. The City did also explore a nearby location on Sunnyvale School District property (site of the Lakewood Pool), but that happens to be the same area the District wishes to set aside for possible future expansion of the school campus.
3. How big will the branch library be?
The exact size of the proposed branch library has yet to be determined, but it will likely be somewhere between 7,000 and 10,000 square feet in size. Variables that will help determine the eventual size include the actual sales price of the Raynor Activity Center (see “Where will the funding come from to construct and operate the branch library?”), and design features (see “How and when can I provide input to the design of a branch library?”).
4. What is the estimated cost of constructing the branch library?
Current construction estimates for a 7,000 to 10,000 square-foot branch library at the Lakewood Park/School site total approximately 7 to 9 million dollars. This is a rough estimate that includes soft costs (design, environmental, construction management, etc.), as well as start-up costs (furnishings, fixtures, equipment and library collections). Financing costs are excluded.
5. What is the estimated cost of maintaining the branch library?
Costs to operate a branch library are estimated at approximately $439,000 annually. Of this amount, $197,000 will be reallocated funding from the existing library budget and will not represent new costs. The remaining $242,000 will be the new net funding requirement which will be funded from the General Fund. These costs are based on an estimated 7,000 to 10,000 square-foot facility open several days a week, and include staffing, materials, and maintenance.
6. Where will the funding come from to construct the branch library?
Council has directed staff to explore the concept of a branch library constructed with the proceeds from the sale of the Raynor Activity Center. The sale of that facility is currently being pursued. In the meantime, staff believes the construction of a branch library can be fully funded with the eventual proceeds. If that turns out not to be the case, the City Council may consider other options.
7. Will the branch library have the same operating hours as the main library?
It's likely that the branch library will be open fewer hours than the Main Library. Specific operating hours will be determined following community input, will be based upon available funding, and will be sure to include open hours when children and teenagers are not in school and adults are not working to ensure ample opportunities for users to visit the library.
8. What services will the branch library offer?
The branch library will offer the same basic services that the current library offers: free access to thousands of books, movies and other materials. It will also offer Internet access, programs for all ages, group study spaces and staff assistance locating information and materials. Finally, a delivery service will be implemented that allows branch users to order items from the Main library and vice versa.
9. When is the branch library anticipated to be open and ready for business?
Current workplans and timelines suggest an opening of a new branch library is possible in spring of 2015. As plans develop and the project moves forward, staff’s estimated opening day will be updated.
10. How and when can I provide input to the design of a branch library?
Once funding has been secured, City Council will be asked to approve the services of a professional architectural firm to help design the building. Several public meetings will be held to solicit public input into the design. You can stay abreast of related opportunities by following one or more of the public information options below.
11. How is the City keeping the community informed?
If you would like to be kept informed, please consider the Public Information Options listed below.
PUBLIC INFORMATION OPTIONS
- Follow the website BranchLibrary.inSunnyvale.com
- Monitor the agendas of the City Council; the Board of Library Trustees; and the Parks and Recreation Commission
- Stay in touch with a local Neighborhood Association
- Contact Assistant City Manager, Kent Steffens via email or call (408)730-7441 or contact the Director of the Library and Community Services Department, Cynthia Bojorquez, via email or call (408) 730-7315.