The Rinconada Library collection includes a deep selection of reference materials, fiction and nonfiction, magazines and newspapers, DVDs, Books-on-CD, Music CDs, and an International Collection in a variety of languages. This Library is the home of the Local Interest Collection, a selection of books by local authors or books about the Palo Alto area. Also housed here is the Foundation Center collection of books and access to the online resources for securing grants - find out more. You will find free wireless access and regular internet terminals available at the Rinconada Library. There is a large program room for events and programs.
There are four small study rooms you can reserve through Liquid Space - start here.
HIGHWAY 101 (North & South): Take the Embarcadero Road West exit (northbound travelers turn left; southbound travelers turn right). Drive through three lights, and turn right on Newell at the fourth light. The library is the second building on the right, just past the Cultural Center.
HIGHWAY 280 (North & South): Take the Page Mill Road East exit (northbound travelers turn right; southbound travelers turn left). Page Mill becomes Oregon Expwy after El Camino Real. Stay on Oregon, then turn left on Middlefield Road. Turn right on Embarcadero, and then left on Newell at the next light. The library is the second building on the right, just past the Cultural Center.
CENTRAL EXPRESSWAY (North): After San Antonio Road, Central becomes Alma. Turn right on Oregon Expressway, and then left on Middlefield Road. Turn right on Embarcadero, and then left on Newell at the next light. The library is the second building on the right, just past the Cultural Center.
ALMA (South): Turn left at the Embarcadero and proceed to Newell Road and turn left. The library is the second building on the right, past the Cultural Center.
BUS ROUTE: Route 35 runs on Middlefield and stops at Embarcadero. Route 86 stops several blocks from the library at Embarcadero & Louis.
PARKING: The parking lot entrance is just past the library. Additional parking is available between the library and the Cultural Center.
History of the Main Library, now the Rinconada Library
In 1956, a $700,000 bond issue was approved for the construction of two new library facilities, the Main Library, and the Mitchell Park Library. The Main Library, designed by Edward Durell Stone, designer of the United States Exhibit Hall at the Brussels World's Fair and the Stanford University Hospital, opened in 1958. The library is located on Newell Road across from the Palo Alto Art Center. The original building was 26,313 square feet, including a 5,000 square foot basement. This library had the largest collection in the system, including the principal reference collection and the archives of the Palo Alto Historical Association. It served primarily adults and teens and had a very small children’s collection. The original building had possessed 25,000 square feet of space. In 1982-84, the building was renovated and 2,200 sq. ft. of staff work space was added.
Main Library closed for major renovation on April 30, 2013. The upgrade of Main Library was funded with proceeds of the $76 million bond measure (Measure N) passed by Palo Alto voters in November 2008. The improvements to Main, renamed Rinconada Library, include the addition of approximately 4,000 square feet to the current 26,300 square foot library. A new wing with restrooms and a 100-person community meeting room was added. Four small group study rooms were also added to the building. The interior of the existing library was reconfigured and totally upgraded with the addition of air conditioning. All the improvements were made with consideration for the historic nature of the existing building. Read the Historic Structure Report here.