San José Public Library Awarded $8.7 Million for Improvements at 9 Branch Libraries


Elizabeth Castañeda, (408) 458-0662

Nancy Macías, (408) 712-2150

For Immediate Release

Monday, September 19, 2022

San José Public Library Awarded $8.7 Million for Improvements at 9 Branch Libraries

San José Public Library is the largest library system in the South Bay to receive California State funding for critical infrastructure and building improvements.

San José, Calif. – San José Public Library (SJPL) was awarded $8.7 million from the California State Library Building Forward Infrastructure Grant. The funding will be used to address capital improvement projects at nine SJPL branch libraries over the course of four years.

SJPL Branch Library Grant Award
1. Biblioteca Latinoamericana $3,625,045
2. Seven Trees $1,487,606
3. Joyce Ellington $705,664
4. East San Jose Carnegie $654,945
5. Bascom $652,746
6. Alviso $614,374
7. Educational Park $515,729
8. Hillview $265,021
9. Tully Community $147,757
Total $8,668,887

The Budget Act of 2021 (SB 129) allocated $439 million in one-time funds to the California State Library for the grant program, the largest investment in public library infrastructure in over 20 years. The first round of funding awarded a total of $254 million and prioritized projects addressing life safety, critical maintenance, and libraries serving high-poverty areas of the state. The Library applied for funds in the first round of the program to address critical building needs, as identified by facilities condition assessment reports, in branch libraries that were prioritized using an Equity Index and the State of California's Poverty Measure Index. SJPL received a partial award of $8.7 million and plans to submit additional branch library projects in future rounds of the grant program.

"This critical investment will ensure that our libraries will remain safe, accessible, and healthy places for another generation of San José children and families," said Mayor Sam Liccardo. "Thanks to Governor Newson and the California State Library for their historic investment in those places that provide an equalizing force for so many of our young students who painstakingly work to overcome the barriers of poverty and inequitable educational opportunity."

The Biblioteca Latinoamericana and the Seven Trees Branch libraries received the largest awards. The Biblioteca Latinoamericana Branch, which opened in 1999, will receive $3.6 million to support existing improvement plans. Seven Trees Branch Library and Community Center, the City's first joint-use facility combining a library and community center, will receive $1.4 million to replace the roof and air conditioning (HVAC) system, as well as enhancing energy efficiency and user accessibility improvements. Projects at other locations include heating, ventilation, and HVAC replacements, air handling unit improvements, roof and building envelope replacements, and security systems improvements. The maximum grant amount for the competitive program is $10 million per public library building.

"We're excited that San José Public Library will be one of the many libraries across the state to benefit from the California State Library's Building Forward Grant giving us the opportunity to address critical needs and providing spaces for everyone to enjoy," said Jill Bourne, San José City Librarian. "As vital community resources, our libraries must provide safe and welcoming environments for exploration, information-seeking, learning, connecting, and, of course, reading."

In the coming months, SJPL will provide updates on the infrastructure grant on


About the San José Public Library

San José Public Library (SJPL) is located in the heart of Silicon Valley and in the nation's 10th largest city. SJPL serves a culturally diverse population of more than one million and has over 700,000 library members, making it one of the busiest library systems nationwide. The library has worked to cultivate and establish a 21st-Century library experience dedicated to public service and committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion at the core of its efforts. In addition to providing free library services to the community, SJPL proudly leads two citywide initiatives - the City's Education and Digital Literacy Strategy and the City's SJ Access digital equity initiative, which has become the number one provider of free public access to Wi-Fi connectivity, tech device lending, and multi-lingual digital literacy programs and support in the city.


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