Community Input Sought for the Woodside Library Improvement Project


Conceptual designs of the new Woodside Library

Excitement builds as the San Mateo County Library (SMCL) again seeks community input for the Woodside Library Interior Renovation Project. Starting September 13, the Woodside community is invited to provide valuable feedback to improve the Woodside Library by contributing their thoughts and suggestions on this project through a Community Input Survey.


In the 40-year period since the Woodside Library building was constructed, a number of changes have taken place in the delivery of library service. San Mateo County Library has taken a system-wide approach to addressing these evolving needs and has worked to incorporate new strategies and approaches to improving library service. The Library's Service Model places an emphasis on the community's experience by creating intuitive spaces that meet the needs of a variety of age groups and preferences, and strives to present materials and services in ways that welcome participation.

Group 4 Architecture Research + Planning of South San Francisco were chosen earlier this year to lead the interior renovation of the Woodside Library. Key stakeholders from the Town, Library, Friends of the Library, and community are currently working with Group 4 to evaluate existing conditions, identify opportunities, and develop conceptual documents that identify design solutions. Recently, Group 4 held a second Stakeholder Design Workshop on September 9, to present the Conceptual Design Plan.


The Community is encouraged to review the conceptual plan and give their feedback using the Community Input Survey. The last day to submit feedback is Tuesday, September 21.

The Conceptual Design Plan will be presented to the Woodside Town Council on Tuesday, September 28, and to the SMCL Joint Powers Authority Governing Board for approval later this year.


Author Bio:

Alan Couch is the Branch Manager of Woodside and Portola Valley Libraries. Before moving to California in 2008, Alan, who is a native of the Gulf Coast, lived in Philadelphia, PA for several years where he was the Director of Chester Springs Library. His interests and meager talents run the gamut from racquetball, rugby, watching college football, to playing the drums, reading dry history books, and going to the cinema. In high school, he had the rare distinction of being the only member of both the football team and chess club.


Conceptual Design Plan

The Conceptual Design Plan presentation by Group 4 Architecture and Research is very poor, not very professional, is seems to show an unfortunate lack of care for the project. It is very difficult to get a understanding of the quality of the design or the nature of the spaces; material, light, space? There are much more professional presentation methods then the poor drawings presented. I would hope in future the library system would engage some more ambitious design talent.

A Mede

Maybe "lost in internet translation"?

Hi A Mede,
I think maybe something is lost without the presentation: and perhaps the drawings, and floor plan by themselves don't do G-4's work justice. We did have a couple of focus groups and the Town of Woodside that benefited from the full presentation and neither seemed to have a problem with it.
If you have a chance, check out some of their prior projects:
They were given great references by the folks they worked with in the past, and have been able to impress us all so far with how they've been open to ideas and concerns brought up by staff and folks who gave us their input, as well as the layout they were able to create considering the limitations the existing building presents.
-Alan Couch, Woodside Branch Manager

please don't spend the money- unless......

the teen zone has walls and computors. preently librains spend time separating and quieting kids playing computor games. a walled room would save staft time and keep the place quiet.
more parking is needed, and room for atleast 5 spAace s is wasted in the present arrangement. the parking restictions put into place by woodside, and the use of the school parking lot(across street) by bus serveice to weddings aand parties on saturdays(although no fault or control of the library) decrease the parking. where will magizine back copies be kept(concumer reports)?
more books-sheleves are great- more desks and chairs are not. Redwood city library hasd a good reference section, which can not be replaced by "online" without sbscriptions to several sites to get info that was avalible on the shelves( some could even be checked out-even tech books that are ouit of print.)Now there are just chairs- what a waste of library space!

Teen zone

Hi Ed,
The Teen Zone is open on one side: I think there were a few folks at the charrette who talked about walling it up, but the majority liked it open. As far as computers, we'll have laptops that can be checked out and used in the Library; so kids could use them in the Teen Zone, but it won't have dedicated computers. A big reason for that is the space limitation: the teens will be getting about 150 sq feet of dedicated space, and to make a dedicated computer station that's ADA compliant would take a healthy chunk of that. We really wanted to keep things flexible, so with those laptops the space can be used for computers or anything else we need.
The magazines will be in that lounge area in the back, they'll have their own space kind of like they do at Portola Valley Library if you've had a chance to check it out.

Adding parking would be awesome, trust me, half the time there is something going on in Woodside even I can't get a parking space close to the Library: but the parking lot was redone within the last ten years. At the time the layout for it was done I think it was decided to not go for absolute maximum spaces, but to leave some areas for native plants too. If I tried to get it redone this soon someone would probably come after me. Also the scope of the project was really limited to the interior of the building, so we've been trying to keep to that limitation.

Some good news: the collection size isn't being reduced, it will be the same. That's pretty good because the collection at any time is between 28,000 to 32,000 volumes or 3.5 to 4 volumes per capita; the California average for libraries is 1.97 items per capita.

Thanks, if anybody has any more questions or comments, I'll try to get on here and reply sooner - Alan Couch Woodside Branch Manager

Sign In