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The Children's Library Expansion and Renovation

Palo Alto's Children's Library has being expanded and renovated using approximately $3 million in funds from community donations and the City of Palo Alto.

The branch, designed back in 1940 by Birge Clark, did not meet current seismic standards.  Moreover, the branch has been among the busiest and most overcrowded of all of Palo Alto's libraries, with over 132,000 visitors in a recent year in a tiny 3,360 square foot space.  Books and other materials were literally in the hallways.


Peter Szasz

These drawings show how the new wing was added at the rear of the building.  This enlarged the library by 50%, creating more room for reading, book shelves, and children's activities, such as those sponsored by the Friends of the Palo Alto Library.  At the same time, the Secret Garden behind the library was renovated, the original building repaired, and new furnishings and equipment installed.

Beginning with an initial anonymous donation of $150,000 at the start of 2003, an an offer of additional matching funds, individual donors, the Friends of the Palo Alto Library, the Palo Alto Library Foundation, the Library Advisory Commission, and the City of Palo Alto combined efforts to raise over $3 million towards the construction and furnishings.


Peter Szasz

The library reopens on September 29, 2007.

The pictures below show the construction progress.  Some photographs taken by Barbara Silberling, Ray Jadwin, and Kathy Miller.

August 2007






June 2007



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December 2006




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June 2006

The west side of the Children's Library under reconstruction

Friends of the Palo Alto Library (FOPAL) is a non-profit 501(c)3 public benefit corporation, dedicated to helping Palo Alto's Public Libraries.  Contact us at info@friendspaloaltolib.org or PO Box 41, Palo Alto, CA 94302-0041.  Privacy Policy

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