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library envy


Guess what? The Internet didn’t doom libraries to extinction. In fact, library construction is booming in the East Bay suburbs; the four listed here have opened since 2001. Meanwhile, Lafayette is on track to open its new library and learning center in 2008, and Walnut Creek voters will decide the fate of Proposition 81, a $600 million library-construction bond on this month’s ballot. If it passes, the Creek can erect a new downtown library, where patrons can gather for cultural events or curl up with a good book—or a laptop.

Dougherty Station Branch, San Ramon, Contra Costa County Library
17017 Bollinger Canyon Rd., (925) 973-3380,

Year opened: 2005
Square footage: 11,600
Number of items checked out annually: 175,000                                                                    Collection (books, DVDs): 29,850                                                                                                 Public computer stations: 44                                                                                                               Cool features: Teen center; in August, the public library will begin operating jointly with a new 30,000-square-foot library serving Diablo Valley College’s San Ramon campus

Dublin Branch, Alameda County Library
200 Civic Plaza, Dublin, (925) 828-1315,

Year opened: 2003
Square footage: 38,100
Number of items checked out annually: 500,000
Collection: 150,000
Public computer stations: 37
Cool features: Rotunda for community events, homework center

Livermore Public Library
1188 S. Livermore Ave., (925) 373-5500,

Year opened: 2004
Square footage: 56,000
Number of items checked out annually: 699,781
Collection: 196,171
Public computer stations: 61
Cool features: Teen center, community room, art gallery, café

Orinda Branch, Contra Costa County Library                                                                                  24 Orinda Way, (925) 254-2184,                                                                                        www.ccclib.org

Year opened: 2001
Square footage: 24,200
Number of items checked out annually: 271,000
Collection: 71,628                                                                                                                             Public computer stations: 29                                                                                                               Cool features: Art gallery, tutoring room, adjacent café

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