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Photo of the new Castro Valley Library.

The Castro Valley Library provides all of this in a green facility that is U.S. Green Building Council LEED® Gold rated. Photo: Sibila Savage 2009

Castro Valley Library: A Green Building

Modern libraries provide not only books, but also public access to the Internet, community gathering spaces, and educational opportunities for youth and adults alike. The Castro Valley Library provides all of this in a green facility that is U.S. Green Building Council LEED® Gold rated.

Green Building Features:

  • A 277-kilowatt solar energy installation provides 100% of the library's electricity needs.
  • A raised floor system to maximize the energy efficiency of heating and cooling systems
  • Energy-efficient lighting and mechanical equipment
  • Green power through a purchasing agreement with a vendor that produces energy from renewable sources
  • Bay-Friendly landscaping
  • Covered bicycle parking
  • Paints and sealants that emit low or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), resulting in improved air quality
  • Green cleaning with less-toxic cleaning products
  • Recycling
  • Water-efficient plumbing fixtures

Partnership with Residents

Years ago, residents of Castro Valley formed the Castro Valley Library Advisory Committee to plan for a new, modern library for their community. The Committee worked closely with County staff to make the new library a reality.

A Creek Sees Daylight

Adjacent to the new Castro Valley Library is Castro Valley Creek. Not long ago, this creek was partially buried in a concrete culvert. The Public Works Agency is bringing the creek back to what it used to be - a sunlit meandering stream lined with trees and plants. Residents can now stroll along the creek from Castro Valley Blvd. to Norbridge Ave. and cross the new pedestrian bridge made from a converted railroad flat car. The bridge connects the library to the opposite side of the creek where children can play at a new playground and learn about nature and science at a creekside amphitheater.

Library Café

The New Beginnings Program is an innovative Alameda County program that prepares youth for a productive future through education and job skills development. The Fresh Start Café public-private partnership with Aramark Food Services is one of the New Beginnings Program's initiatives, with Fresh Start Cafés located in several County buildings. Since October 2009, youth from the Independent Living Skills Program with the Social Services Agency have the opportunity to gain on-the-job training in a supervised environment at the Castro Valley Library's Café.