Mike McMahon AUSD
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Alameda City Library

March, 2005

The Alameda Free Library was founded in 1877, the fourth oldest public library in California. For 25 years the Library moved to a variey of locations. With a $35,000 construction grant from Andrew Carnegie, the Main Library opened its doors on the corner of Santa Clara Avenue and Oak Street in 1903.

In the 1970s, Friends of the Library was formed to secure a new main library for the community. Long-term members include: Lucy Brohard, Lois and Mark Hanna, Adair and Bob Jorgensen, Dorothy Larzelere, Ann Muir, Honora Murphy, Kate and John Quick, Shirley Sachsen, Donna Vaughn, Archie Waterbury, Gert and Pete Woods and many others.

In 1996, Measure C, ballot measure to build a new 47,000 square foot Main Library failed. In 1998 it was determined that the Main Library required substanial and extremely costly seismic retrofitting. The Main Library moved to temporay leased space in the historic Alameda High School. The first five years of lease cost the city $1 a year. The 18,000 square foot two-floor space once housed twenty classrooms.

In March, 2000 Proposition 14, a $350 million state bond measure was passed in California. The Alameda community passed library bond Measure O (a $10,600,000 bond) in November, 2000. As part of the application process for matching State funds in 2002, the City of Alameda entered into a joint use agreement with Alameda Unified School District for the Alameda Free Library. In December, 2002, Alameda was awarded $15,500,000. Groundbreaing ceremony occured on March 1, 2005 and plans to open in October, 2006.

Live Webcam of Progress: Click Here

Library Support Orgranizations

The Alameda Free Library receives support from four citizens groups:

  1. Library Board of Trustees (February,2005)
    • Ruth Belikove
    • Karen Butter
    • Leslie Krongold
    • Alan Mithchell
    • Mark Schoenrock
  2. Friends of the Alameda Free Library (February,2005)
    • Richard Kolberg, Vice President
    • Honora Murphy
    • John Quick, Treasurer
    • Carol Stone
  3. Alameda Free Library Foundation (February,2005)
    • John Abrate
    • Curt Brohard
    • Ruth Belikove
    • Jeptha Boone, MD
    • Jayne Chipman
    • Elaine Erwin
    • Judy Jacobs
    • Sylvia Kahn
    • Nancy Lewis
    • Marelena Ma
    • Barbara Mooney
    • Carol Robie
    • Benjamin Reyes
    • Luis Roke
    • Rich Thomas
  4. Library Building Team (February,2005)
    • Marilyn Ashcraft
    • Carol Beaver
    • Karen Butter
    • Donna Feltcher
    • Donna Grenberg
    • Susan Hardie
    • Michael Hartigan
    • Judy Jacobs
    • Gregory McFann
    • Honora Murphy
    • Stephanie Prothero

Library Comparison

. Interim Main Library New Main Library
Total Square Footage 18,000 47,500
Seating for Readers 75 (hard wooded chairs) 199 (lounge and table seating)
Public Computers 9 75
Meeting Room Seats 0 150
Quiet Study Room Seats 0 16
Study Room Seats 0 32 (5 rooms seating 4-12 each)
Children Storytime Seating 0 93
General Books 104,000 133,000
Children Books 25,500 39,200
General Media (CDs, Video, Etc) 3,500 20,000
Children Media 800 5,000
Genral Perdiodicals 25 75
Self-Service Public Elevator 0 1 (+1 staff)
Parking Spaces 0 66 on site 29 across the street
Courtyard/Outdoor Space No Yes
Cafe No Yes


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Last modified: February 26, 2005

Disclaimer: This website is the sole responsibility of Mike McMahon. It does not represent any official opinions, statement of facts or positions of the Alameda Unified School District. Its sole purpose is to disseminate information to interested individuals in the Alameda community.