2014 Library Needs Assessment

In 2014, Kathryn Page Associates completed a Library Space Needs Assessment for the City of El Cerrito. The goal of the Update was to review the Needs Assessment completed in 2006 and revise recommendations as needed to match changing community demographics, incorporate residents’ expressed service priorities and reflect current best planning practice for libraries. The report can be used as a basis for planning a new library facility to serve El Cerrito.

Download the 2014 Library Space Needs Assessment (PDF)

The El Cerrito Branch Library is located at 6510 Stockton Avenue in El Cerrito. The building is 6,500 square feet in size and has been in continuous operation in its current configuration for the past 53 years. The most recent building expansion was in 1960.

Background on the Process

In 2006, the City completed a Needs Assessment and a Building Program for a new library, in anticipation of applying for a State construction bond grant. But California voters did not pass the bond measure that would have funded the grant. In the years since 2006, the City has sought to fund the library from other sources.

In 2013, the City Council adopted a Strategic Plan for El Cerrito's future. The plan directs the City to “Develop and rehabilitate public facilities as community focal points.” Based on community input, the City Council has chosen to make the Library facility a priority. This means identifying residents’ wishes for the facility, developing a plan based on those ideas, and identifying possible funding options.

That year, the Council directed staff to pursue planning for a new library building, including exploring the steps necessary to consider a ballot measure to generate new revenue to fund a new library facility. The City hired Kathryn Page Associates to conduct an update of the 2006 needs assessment document, to include the most current trends in the library industry, use refreshed demographic data, and pursue community input. Ms. Page conducted her analysis throughout the fall of 2013/early winter 2014.

The City of El Cerrito held a community workshop on Thursday, October 24, 2013 Kathryn Page, library facility planner, gave a presentation on current library service and design trends and facilitated a discussion on what community members would like to see in a new Library building. Many thanks to all who came and gave their input and ideas! Click here to view the slides from the presentation on Library Services and Design Trends  by Kathryn Page.

On March 4, 2014, Kathryn Page, of Kathryn Page Associates presented the 2014 El Cerrito Library Space Needs Assessment Update to the City Council. Download the staff report.

Also, on October 21, 2014, Liz Ruhland, Senior Community Library Manager at the El Cerrito Library made a presentation to the City Council on the Contra Costa Library Strategic Plan and the annual service plan for the El Cerrito Library. See the Presentation Slides.

In 2016, a measure to fund a new library in El Cerrito received 63% support, just short of the 66.7% required to pass. 

In 2019, the El Cerrito City Council hosted workshops to discuss building a new library and community priorities, and adopted a resolution requesting that BART include a Library in their potential development project at the El Cerrito Plaza BART Station.

On February 21, 2023, the El Cerrito City Council held a Study Session to review and discuss plans to include a City-owned Library facility as part of the El Cerrito Plaza BART transit-oriented development project. Click here to review the presentation and agenda materials.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions regarding a new Library for El Cerrito, please contact Will Provost, Assistant to the City Manager, at (510) 215-4301.