Building Projects

We strive to create beautiful, state-of-the-art spaces for people to come together and collaborate with the goal of supporting discovery, enriching lives and uplifting our communities. Our libraries are designed to be the heart of the community, a place for everyone to feel welcomed, and support our Strategic Plan and service model.

Our building projects offer something new for everybody, such as colorful and engaging spaces for children, makerspaces for hands-on learning, flexible gathering areas for programs and events, and much more. Each addition aims to create inviting, flexible and modern facilities to support a lifetime of learning and exploration at San Mateo County Libraries.



San Mateo County Libraries and our partners — the City of Brisbane, , opens a new windowand the County of San Mateo, , opens a new window— are pleased to share that the new Brisbane Library opened to the public on Thursday, April 22ndCommunity members are now welcome to explore and enjoy the new space during  Express Service, opens a new window hours!

On Saturday, Oct. 24th a virtual dedication ceremony was held at the site of the new library to celebrate all the hard work that went into this incredible building. If you missed the virtual ceremony, here’s your chance to view, opens a new window it.

The new one-story, 7,670-square-foot library’s design reflects Brisbane’s community: its small-town nature, connection to San Bruno Mountain, treasured history, and sustainable values. The library will be a flexible, multi-use community hub that features something for everyone.

Patrons are now able to enjoy its Quiet Reading Room, Children’s Area, Teen Space, History Room, divisible Community Room and Makerspace, and exterior covered and uncovered Courtyard Spaces. The Library features a 50% increase in collection size for children, teen, and adult materials. 

Anybody can be a maker at the Brisbane Library’s new collaborative Makerspace with 3D printers, a high-performance laser cutter, GoPro camera kits, and more. Additionally, the Children’s Area boasts special interactive play walls that feature the local native Mission Blue butterfly and an LED play interactive star, recognizing Brisbane’s “City of Stars.” 

The building was designed to meet LEED Silver standards and is also prepared to be a Zero Net Energy building. 

Sneak Peek: New Brisbane Library Children's Courtyard


Some areas of the library may be unavailable until we can fully reopen safely.


Exciting plans are underway for the much-anticipated new Atherton Library Project. On Saturday, April 23, 2019, the community gathered to celebrate the official launch of this exciting new project at the Atherton Library Groundbreaking Ceremony.

The Atherton Library Project is a collaborative effort between San Mateo County Libraries and the Town of Atherton, opens a new window. Patrons can expect the new Library to include flexible, blended, multi-use spaces which can be readily adapted. Plans include a dedicated quiet reading area, expanded children’s area, multiple meeting rooms, a makerspace, and much more.

To prepare for the new facility, library staff moved out of the Library and into a 2,880 sq. ft. modular building that sits on the current site. The temporary Atherton Library offers public access computers, bestselling fiction and non-fiction, DVDs, a small children’s collection, and patron reserves. It also features a small outdoor reading area, Wi-Fi, photocopier, printer, self-checkout, and 3D printing services.

Enjoy some highlights from the groundbreaking ceremony! The new Library grand opening projected date is estimated for the Summer of 2021.

East Palo Alto Library Planning Stages

East Palo Alto Library has outgrown the physical space of the current facility which opened in 1975. In order to effectively meet our community’s needs and improve library services, a Needs Assessment Report was completed in 2017 that analyzed the current use of the library through community meetings, workshops, and surveys. The report recommended that the library increase in size from 7,680 sq. ft. to approximately 21,000-27,000 sq. ft. The community also identified new space options in the report such as a makerspace, teen lounge, outdoor areas, and a community garden.

Building upon the Needs Assessment Report, opens a new window, San Mateo County Libraries — in partnership with the City of East Palo Alto, opens a new window and the County of San Mateo, opens a new window — hired wHY Architecture, opens a new window of Los Angeles to verify the building program, explore the feasibility of building a library adjacent to the EPACenter Arts Center, opens a new window, and prepare design concepts.

On December 12, 2018, a community workshop was held to gather public input, opens a new window on conceptual design options for a possible new East Palo Alto Library. wHY Architecture presented two inspiring design concepts, opens a new window to workshop attendees and gathered feedback. The workshop was live-streamed for community members who were unable to attend in person. See the video below.

Half Moon Bay Grand Opening

The Grand Opening of the new Half Moon Bay Library was an unforgettable Coastside event. After two years of construction, and many more years of diligent planning and development, the new Half Moon Bay Library opened its doors on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018, to a large crowd eager to see what the new library has to offer.

With 22,000 sq. ft., the new two-story library better serves our Coastside communities offering quiet reading and study rooms, an expansive children's room, a teen room, collaborative makerspace, and inviting indoor/outdoor spaces including a large community room and gardens. The new building enables us to expand programming and services, including library collections, literacy services, job training, wellness workshops, cutting-edge technology, and much more.

The new library has been built through a partnership between the City of Half Moon Bay, opens a new window, San Mateo County Libraries, and the County of San Mateo, opens a new window, with assistance from the Friends of the Half Moon Bay Library, opens a new window and the support of the community.

Visit our blog for a full recap on opening day events.

As of May 2019, the Half Moon Bay Library has received five prestigious awards:

Take a look at a few highlights from the event!

Pacifica Sharp Park and Sanchez

In September 2018, a report proposed a two-branch model that would allow the Sharp Park location to be redesigned into a new, larger full-service library while the Sanchez location will explore an “open access” service model. A survey was given to the community to gather feedback on both conceptual models. This past February, a conceptual design concept known as The Town Commons was selected by the Pacifica City Council, opens a new window as the preferred concept for moving forward with the Sharp Park redesign. An “open access” service model will continue to be explored for the Sanchez location to allow for accommodation of community spaces in collaboration with Pacifica Parks, Beaches, and Recreation, opens a new window.

Our next steps will involve refining funding strategies and developing design concepts for both locations.

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