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270 Forest Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94301

Hours and Information: 
Downtown Library Webpage

Downtown Library renovation is complete!

The renovation of this neighborhood library is complete.
Downtown closed in April 2010 and re-opened July 16, 2011.  Come in and see the difference!

Exterior Downtown Library

The Downtown Library, built in 1971, is located on Forest Avenue across from City Hall. The building is 8,774 square feet and houses a collection of books and media materials for adults and a small children’s collection. It is used primarily by adults who make heavy use of the Internet computers and public wireless network.

A needs assessment determined that, while the size of the building is large enough to serve its users, too much of the building is taken up by staff operations that support the entire library system. The study recommended relocating the Technical Services operation (staff supporting the collections and library technology) to the new Mitchell Park Library so that floor space can be converted back to public space for additional seating and a small community meeting room.

The Library Advisory Commission recommended increasing the shelving at Downtown Library that would allow the collection to be increased to almost 25,000 volumes, adding some desktop computers for the public, maintaining the current design for the multipurpose community room, and keeping Library Administration at Downtown Library.

Features of the renovation:
  • Community meeting room with 50-60 seats
  • Small dedicated children’s room
  • Group study room holding 6 people
  • Improved lighting
  • New mechanical systems
  • Accessible restrooms
  • New carpet and paint