Berkeley Public Library

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Berkeley Public Library
Berkeley Public Library (Kittredge St., Berkeley, CA).JPG
Berkeley Public Library is located in Oakland, California
Berkeley Public Library
Berkeley Public Library is located in California
Berkeley Public Library
Berkeley Public Library is located in USA
Berkeley Public Library
Location 2090 Kittredge St., Berkeley, California
Coordinates 37°52′5.39″N 122°16′7″W / 37.8681639°N 122.26861°W / 37.8681639; -122.26861Coordinates: 37°52′5.39″N 122°16′7″W / 37.8681639°N 122.26861°W / 37.8681639; -122.26861
Built 1930
Architect Plachek, James W.
Architectural style Moderne, Zig Zag Moderne
NRHP Reference #


BERKL # 57
Significant dates
Added to NRHP June 25, 1982
Designated BERKL April 19, 1982[2]

The Berkeley Public Library is the public library system for Berkeley, California. It consists of the Central Library, the Claremont Branch, North Branch, West Branch, South Branch and the Tool Lending Library, one of the nation's first such libraries.


The Berkeley Public Library opened in 1893 on Shattuck Avenue with 264 books. In 1905 the library moved to another location on Shattuck Avenue at Kittredge Street, into a new brick building funded by Andrew Carnegie onto land donated by Rosa M. Shattuck the widow of Francis K. Shattuck. Immediately following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the population surge that resulted, the library opened four other branches throughout Berkeley. A new central library opened in 1934 at its current location of 2090 Kittredge St., and remained the central branch until it was renovated and reopened in 2002.[3]

The library is currently engaged in a series of renovations and expansions of its four neighborhood branches. The renovation of the Claremont and North Branches was completed in 2012, and the South Branch/Tool Lending Library in May 2013. The West Branch is currently in construction. During the construction period a bookmobile known as the Branch Van has parked near each location to conduct basic transactions and to continue to provide access to library collections in the local neighborhoods.


The Berkeley Public Library has made available a number of self-checkout machines at all branches. Self-checkout machines are placed inside the library in circulation areas and allow patrons to check out the books themselves by scanning their card and placing the books on the scanning pad. This form of checkout allows for all types of media, from books to CDs to DVDs, and provides the patron with a receipt of the items checked out. Checkout is still available with library staff at circulation desks at all branches.

In addition to this system, patrons can request and renew books over the Internet, allowing them to do so without leaving their homes. This option is also available over the telephone.[4]

Tool lending library[edit]

The Tool Lending Library, one of the nation's first few such libraries,[3][5] is located at South Branch. To borrow tools, patrons must be over the age of 18 and be residents or property owners of the city of Berkeley.[6]

Some of the offerings of the Tool Lending Library are as follows: screwdrivers, a variety of hammers, drills, biscuit jointers, shovels, ladders, concrete mixers, and free advice. Late fees are $2 per day for small items, and $5 per day for power tools. Lending times are seven days for manual items, and two days for power tools.



  1. ^ Staff (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "Berkeley Landmarks". Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association. Retrieved 2013-08-04. 
  3. ^ a b "History of the Berkeley Public Library". Berkeley Public Library Foundation. Retrieved 2007-02-22. 
  4. ^ "Berkeley Public Library, official site". Berkeley Public Library. Retrieved 2007-02-22. 
  5. ^ There was one in Ohio in 1976 while the service in Berkeley began in 1979.
  6. ^ "Tool Lending Library - How To Use It". Berkeley Public Library. Retrieved 2007-07-31. 

External links[edit]