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Insider Article [August 2012] [07/26/12] (New Library for the City of Gilroy!)
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New Library for the City of Gilroy!

Photo of Gilroy Library

Photo credit: Derek Wolfgram

Santa Clara County Library District serves nine cities in Santa Clara County, as well as the unincorporated areas of the County. Since 2003, six of the eight library buildings in the

District have undergone renovations or new construction, with the most recent building project being the Gilroy Library, which opened on April 28, 2012. The 53,000 square foot building more than quadrupled the size of the 1975 facility, and will dramatically improve services and access for the fast-growing City of Gilroy, where the population has also quadrupled since 1975. The facility includes several community meeting spaces, twice as many public computers as the former building, a colorful and inviting Children’s Library, separate teen study rooms, and a teen hangout space with comfortable seating and a 20-seat computer training lab. The building was built to the LEED Gold standard, incorporating environmental features like solar panels, permeable pavement in the parking lot, mixed-mode air conditioning that integrates natural ventilation with mechanical HVAC systems, two stage lighting and “light tubes” to minimize energy consumption, and 12 inch thick concrete walls for maximum insulation.

Another very exciting feature of the building is the new office for The Reading Program, SCCLD’s 25-year-old adult and family literacy program. Formerly housed in a separate leased space, the integration of The Reading Program into one of the District’s library buildings provides much more opportunity for connections between library staff, literacy specialists, tutors, and learners.

To say the community has embraced the new library is an understatement. Often, library openings consist largely of community members coming to look around and marvel at the architecture. While this did happen on April 28, the community also settled down to truly enjoy their new library immediately. The computers and seating have been heavily used since day one; over 6,000 visitors checked out almost 7,000 items in six hours on the first day the new building was open; and over 1,000 new library cards were issued in the first month of operation.
 
Derek Wolfgram, Deputy County Librarian, Community Libraries and Human Resources
Santa Clara County Library District