Staff members of the Pacifica libraries have been receiving questions about the one new library project.  They have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions and our answers from the Pacifica Library Foundation. We encourage you to freely share this information.

2016 Library Project FAQs

"Why do you want a new library?"

We want the programs, materials, meeting space and resources that other communities already have.

All Pacificans will benefit from a new library that includes increased hours, larger and more diverse collections, expanded programs for seniors, teens, children and families, community meeting rooms, learning spaces with free WiFi, places for quiet reading and working, and ample parking, in a green, handicapped- accessible, energy-efficient 21st century building.

"Why do we need a new library--what is wrong with the existing libraries?"

Currently, we are running two aging buildings on one funding source.  This means splitting the 60 hours of service a week Pacifica gets between the two buildings.  So each library is only open 30 hours a week. 

With two libraries there are necessary duplications in the collections which means fewer choices and less space for other materials.  In addition, each building is small—together they add up to about 11,000 square feet for a population close to 40,000, which is well below the recommendations for a modern library.

Both libraries were built before the electronic age took off and are not wired for the 21st century. Both buildings have accessibility issues and are too small to meet the community’s needs.
"Where is it going to be built?"

The selected site is across the street from Sharp Park Library, on the corner of Palmetto and Montecito.

"What will happen to Sanchez?"

When the new library opens, both the Sanchez and Sharp Park sites will be sold. The proceeds from the sale will help pay for the new library.

"How will we serve the population that lives in the Sanchez area?"

The city will work to expand the senior shuttle to include trips to the new library. The bookmobile will also be available for Pacificans once the new library opens.

The bottom line is that many people in Pacifica are not within walking distance of a library due to our geography and the fact that we do not have neighborhood libraries.  Most of the folks that currently use the Sanchez library do not walk there.

"How much will it cost and where will the money come from?"

The library design is not finalized so the total cost is not yet known. However, to give you a sense of the cost to build modern libraries, the Bayview Library in San Francisco, built in 2013, is 9,000 square feet and cost $13.5 million dollars. The new HMB library will be 22,000 square feet and is estimated to cost $23 million dollars.

The money will come from a new bond measure.  The total each property owner pays will depend on the assessed value of the property and the dollar amount asked for in the bond. The city has hired a financial advisor to look at various cost models to pay for the new library.  As of now, the final cost has not been determined.

"How does the erosion of Beach Boulevard affect the new library site?"

It doesn’t because the library site is not on Beach Boulevard.  It is on the corner of Palmetto and Montecito.

The Coastal Commission staff has written a letter to the city stating that it has no objections to the location of the new library. 
The city is in talks with developers about the sale of the Beach Boulevard site and construction of a hotel and other possible facilities.  The new buildings on the site will be between the beach and the new library.

Finally, Our Coast, Our Future, which is a group that hosts an interactive web map that provides guidance for Bay Area planners in combating sea-level rise shows that the site is not at risk for flooding in the next century, even during 100-year storms.

"How does the staff feel about the new library?"

Staff is in favor of a new library because they will be better able to serve the community in a new modern facility that is open 7 days a week.

"When is the new library going to be built?"

The City Council has expressed interest in putting a bond measure for the library before the voters on the November 2016 ballot but has made no final decision.  However, once a bond measure is successful, construction could begin within a year after the election.

"How can we trust the city when they can’t even find the four million dollars?"

The city plans to put a bond oversight committee in place to provide reassurance to the community that the funds are spent properly.  It will be made up of local citizens.  Their job will be to oversee the project funding, making sure that the bond proceeds are used appropriately. This type of oversight committee was used when the Pacifica School District modernized and/or rebuilt all the local schools, and was very successful in establishing trust between the PSD and the community.  We think such an oversight committee will work well for the library project, too. 

Phone: Sharp Park - 650-355-5196 - Sanchez - 650-359-3397

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