West Branch, including Berkeley Reads

Construction is now completed on West! The new Branch is open to public. West Branch is now a brand new, brighter, more inviting building, creating a safe haven from the clamor of life along University Ave. and allowing for:

  • More space and better accessibility for library programs.
  • Greater visibility to residents not yet making use of this neighborhood resource, including the Indian and Latino populations that live and work nearby.
  • Improved space for the Berkeley Reads adult literacy program—one of the touchstones of this branch.
    (watch a video about Berkeley Reads)
  • Net Zero Energy

The new West Branch is one of the first Net-Zero Energy U.S. libraries. Rooftop solar panels, connected to the electric utility grid, will produce more energy over the course of a typical year than is required by the building to operate. The result: significant financial savings and a zero carbon footprint. (watch a video about the Net-Zero Energy plans for West Branch)

The Neighborhood Library Campaign has:

Provided more computers
Created better seating and additional table space
Allowed for better-designed separation between adult and teen areas

Learn More

See more about Net-Zero Energy.
See photos of the construction progress.
Watch the West Branch Project Video on Youtube
Read FAQs about the West Branch Project.


Trina Ostrander, Co-Chair
Fredrica Drotos, Co-Chair
Benjamin Bartlett
Caitlin Brostrom
Liz Hoadley
Joan Lamphier
Steve Smith

“When I came here three years ago, I was nervous and scared to ask questions. But everyone here had a great attitude. I’m disabled, and it’s hard for me to learn, but I got help here. Since then, I started up the Berkeley East Bay Track Club, and I’m the head coach, working with kids ages three to fourteen. I still come back and use the computer to check my email and keep up the club’s website. The folks here always make me feel at home.”
—Ralph Walker, Former Berkeley Reads Student