Library renovation spells more space, resources

The South Branch of the Berkeley Public Library re-opened to the public on Monday.

The South Branch of the Berkeley Public Library re-opened to the public on Monday.

It may not be in Oakland, but North Oakland residents have a new library branch at their disposal. The new South Branch of the Berkeley Public Library—at Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Russell Street—re-opened for business last week after a 14-month closure that saw the demolition of the old building and the construction of a brand new multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art facility.

“It’s a rule throughout California that if you live anywhere in the state you are eligible for a library card at any local library branch,” said Jeri Ewart, manager of the South Berkeley branch, urging Oakland residents to make use of the newest area library.

The new building includes many improvements over the old branch building. Ewart describes that facility as “an old cinder block building that was really beautiful when it opened.” But, as time went on and the collection grew, the building just became too small. “We were running of room and just putting [books and computers] wherever we could put them,” Ewart said. “The space was really getting really eaten up.”

The old branch had 4 public computers and could seat about 10 adults, but the new branch has 6 public computers that can be used for web browsing (plus 5 catalog computers) and easily houses the 25,000 title collection and seats 50 adults throughout the open floor plan. Where the old branch “felt like a bunker” according to Ewart, the new one feels completely open and airy, featuring lots of windows, 15 foot tall ceilings and natural air circulation throughout most of the library. The building is bright and modern and features a community meeting room, tool library, and a welcoming lobby that’s nearly double the size of the old one.

The funds for the construction of the new building were approved when Berkeley residents voted in favor of Measure FF in 2008. Ewart, who has worked for the Berkeley Public Library for twenty years, said that she didn’t think the measure stood a chance “because it happened right at the crash.” But, she said, “Berkeley residents really value and appreciate their libraries. It’s a free education, free resources, free programs—like jazz and dance programs, computer classes—so that’s why they support it.”

Before coming to work for Berkeley’s libraries, Ewart spent 3 years working for the Oakland Public Library system at the Golden Gate Branch. She says the differences between the two cities’ funding of their libraries is obvious. Over the last two years, she has seen an increase in the number of Oakland patrons at the South Berkeley Branch, as the two closest Oakland branches—Golden Gate (at 56th St  and San Pablo Avenue) and Rockridge (53rd St.  and College Ave)—have seen staff furloughs and shorter business hours. “When the other branches close, people come here,” Ewart said.

Every Oakland library branch (except the main branch) is currently closed Sunday and Monday, and Golden Gate and Rockridge close at 5:30 pm on Wednesdays through Sundays. The new South Berkeley Branch is closed Sunday, and open until 8 pm on Wednesday and Thursday, and until 6 pm the rest of the week.

The South Branch of the Berkeley Library is located at 1901 Russell St. in Berkeley. Hours and more information can be found here. For details on obtaining a Berkeley Public Library, go here.

18 Comments

  1. Larry Benson

    One thing that Ms. Ewart fails to mention is that the funding for the Golden Gate (and all Oakland branch libraries) is tied directly to usage, so the historical Carnegie Library known as the Golden Gate Branch will suffer if patrons migrate to the South Berkley Branch.

    Also the Golden Gate Branch is open ALL Tuesdays until 8:00 p.m. Its true that it is closed on Sundays and Mondays, and it is open until 5 P.M. all other days.

    Lastly the Golden Gate Branch Library has 13 computer stations for patrons to use and the “new” South Berkeley Branch has 5.

    For more info on the branch you can use this link.
    http://www.oaklandlibrary.org/locations/golden-gate-branch

    Larry Benson
    President, Friends of the Golden Gate Library

  2. Hmm is anyone else having problems with the images on
    this blog loading? I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the
    blog. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  3. What’s up, I read your new stuff daily. Your writing style is witty, keep it up!

  4. Good day! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on.

    You have done a outstanding job!

  5. Tracy

    Hey, All thanks to the GREATEST LORD WAKAMAN. May all the Praise be given to him. I am Tracy from USA, I want to use this possible means to appreciate one man I hold in sincere gratitude and high esteem for this help and his kindness he has rendered to me. Without compromising word, Greatest lord Wakaman helped me in getting back my long lost relationship and also bring back my life to lime light when I thought all was gone. I am a new creature now with the help of his powerful spell, and he also rendered help to 2 of my very good friends I also introduced to him, one got back his huge amount of money, and the other is now a happy mother with 2 kiddies now and many more I have seen in different forms. Friends out there, I Plead with you, search no further for scammers who act as real spell casters, the realest and most true spell caster is greatest Lord wakaman. He is so true in his words, and his words are substantial. Contact him now on email: greatestlordwakaman@gmail.com he is more than willing to put an end to what you may be pass through now.

  6. What’s up to every single one, it’s truly
    a fastidious for me to pay a quick visit
    this web site, it includes valuable Information.

  7. A series of strikes and strike threats in the past
    lambasted his rivals for” losing the plot”, once complaining that a black cab in Baku?

    And art mirrored life, as Mark had even been reduced to dressing up
    as a role model for anything, apart from when he had to get back to business after Hurricane Sandy.

  8. If you would like to obtain a great deal from this post then
    you have to apply such strategies to your won website.

  9. Do you have any video of that? I’d love to find
    out some additional information.

  10. This paragraph is truly a good one it assists new web users, who are
    wishing in favor of blogging.

  11. I constantly spent my half an hour to read this blog’s articles or reviews every day along
    with a mug of coffee.

  12. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished
    to say that I’ve truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts.
    In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope
    you write again very soon!

  13. I hardly comment, but after reading through a great deal of responses on Library renovation spells more space, resources | Oakland North.
    I do have some questions for you if you do not mind. Is it just me or does it appear
    like a few of the responses come across like they are written by brain
    dead individuals? 😛 And, if you are writing at additional online
    social sites, I would like to follow everything fresh you have to post.

    Could you list of all of your shared pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin
    profile?

  14. I truly love your website.. Very nice colors & theme.

    Did you make this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m looking to create my very own website and
    would love to learn where you got this from or exactly
    what the theme is called. Kudos!
    \

  15. Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite justification appeared to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of.
    I say to you, I definitely get irked while people
    consider worries that they just don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined
    out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal.
    Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  16. Acne are things that happen almost to everybody at some point of life.
    For many people however, this occurs just only a couple of times
    in life and fades after few days but for few people who have severe Acne and pimples,
    this is the reason of consistent suffering and social issues that you
    can only understand when you have ever gone through it.
    I understand this feeling because I had been a very severe acne
    sufferer. No one likes these, and we dislike these more than any disease that might do us
    much more harm in comparision with Acne. However when they happen,
    they very much pull you low specially when they take
    place in those regions of your body where you
    will hate them. Let us find out why Pimples occur, why
    do these cause trouble to us and how can you cure these.

    Best Treatment for severe acne

  17. If you are also having issues with pimples or one of your close ones is having
    such issue, you must help them. acne and pimples are not such a huge issue that they
    are made out to be. They can be treated very well with organic
    treatments, you just need to find the correct
    person and get the correct treatment. I had put a link
    below for you people to have a look and recieve advantage of for natural pimples treatment.

    Never go for those acne pills or belts or lotions, they shall not relieve in the
    long run. So, go for natural cures. These natural pimples cures had been here for decades and these had been effective then and they are helpful now.
    Plus they are quite cheap and don’t cost big unlike the things
    that you get over the counter or from your doc. Also you can not have these
    pimples when you take care of your eating and keep your body in right
    condition. The main cause pimples occur is when
    there is dis-balance in the inner chemicals balance inside the body.
    So, good lifestyle will protect you from acne and pimples and pimples and pimples.
    Also when you occur to have acne you could cure it,
    this is no big deal. Do not destory your social life as a result of
    this. Go for natural pimples treatments, you can cure pimples.

    pimples removal

  18. If you are too having issues like acne or one of your known persons is having this issue, you must help them.
    acne are not such a large issue that they are made out to be.
    They could be treated pretty well with organic treatments, you just require to find the right person and recieve
    the right treatment. I have put a link below for you
    guys to see and take advantage of for organic acne remedy.
    Never go for those acne pills or belts or lotions, they shall not prove
    beneficial in the long run. Therefore, go for natural remedies.

    Such natural acne treatments had been here for centuries and these have been helpful then and they are effective
    now. Also these are very cheap and do not cost much unlike the stuff that you
    get over the counter or from doctors. Also you could avoid these acne
    and pimples if you take care of your foods and keep yourself in right
    condition. The real cause acne and pimples
    occur is when there is dis-balance in the inner hormonal balance of the
    body. So, better lifestyle will keep you safe from pimples and pimples.
    And when you happen to have acne and pimples and pimples you
    could treat it, it’s no large issue. Do not ruin your
    social life due to it. Go for natural pimples cures, you will get rid of pimples.

    top pimples treatment

Post a comment

Oakland North welcomes comments from our readers, but we ask users to keep all discussion civil and on-topic. Comments post automatically without review from our staff, but we reserve the right to delete material that is libelous, a personal attack, or spam. We request that commenters consistently use the same login name. Comments from the same user posted under multiple aliases may be deleted. Oakland North assumes no liability for comments posted to the site and no endorsement is implied; commenters are solely responsible for their own content. For concerns about comments posted to this site, please contact us at staff@oaklandnorth.net.

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook

*
*