Dec 18 2012

photo-5

. . .  switched to a more expensive portable.

balloons lined the new access ramp

balloons lined the new access ramp

Nov 12 2012

November 10 was the final day the Piedmont Avenue Branch Library operated in the library building on 41st Street at Piedmont Avenue.

The branch library will reopen on Tuesday, November 27, at 80 Echo Avenue, behind the Piedmont Avenue Elementary School.  The City of Oakland leased the modular unit (with Measure Q funds) from the school for five years as the temporary home for the library.  In preparation for the library, the modular unit was painted white, and a new access ramp and stairway were constructed, also using Measure Q funds, the parcel tax that supports extended branch library hours.  (Read More about the Piedmont Avenue Branch Library move.)

Oct 19 2012

ramp awaits handrail

handrail and stairs

 Construction of the new access ramp and stair improvements to the temporary Piedmont Avenue Library, on the grounds of the Piedmont Avenue Elementary School, is progressing.

The September opening was delayed, and the library is now scheduled to close its current location on 41st Street on Saturday, October 27, and transfer the books and other collections over the following weeks to the new site on the school playground.

Since the construction of necessary access was not completed in September, the official opening on the school playground will be November 27.

Saturday, October 27th is also the date of the Piedmont Avenue Halloween Parade.  The Friends of the Piedmont Avenue Library plan to dress as books and lead the parade from the 41st Street library building to the modular units on Echo Avenue that will serve as the temporary library.

Sep 23 2012

Construction of an access ramp to the future temporary home of the Piedmont Avenue Branch Library has begun.

The ramp, leading from Echo Avenue,  will take patrons to the side of an old school trailer, the library’s new home.  The library move was planned to be completed by the end of September.  To meet that schedule, will require all renovations and improvements to be completed promptly.

Meanwhile, the Piedmont Avenue Branch Library is still open on 41stStreet.  A “For Lease” sign was installed after the 30-day notice of intent to vacate.  The advertised rental rate returns the property to a market rate of $6,250 per month after three years of subsidized rent for the library, courtesy of the private owner.  > Click to read more…

Aug 2 2012

A Temporary Replacement Library that’s Smaller, Less Eco-friendly, More Expensive, Less Convenient, Less Accessible, with Fewer Books-

Beginning sometime in September, the Piedmont Avenue Branch Library will temporarily move into an old modular unit surrounded by high chain link fencing on an obscure side street.  The current location of the library at 160 41st Street with a convenient parking lot across the street was considered an asset by the proprietors of shops and services surrounding it in the heart of Piedmont Avenue. > Click to read more…

Jul 8 2012

Echo Avenue view of future library

playground view of future library

On Tuesday, July 3, the Oakland City Council (OCC) approved a five-year $150,000 lease and $200,000 for moving costs and tenant improvements to relocate the Piedmont Avenue Branch of the Oakland Public Library to a modular unit on Echo Avenue.

The Oakland Public Library (OPL) administrators have been in negotiation with the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) for several years about moving the library to the grounds of the Piedmont Avenue Elementary School at 4314 Piedmont Avenue.   The used modular unit has been an OUSD classroom for some years and, according to the contract, is leased to the City in “as-is condition.  …City acknowledges that neither District nor District’s agents have made any representation or warranty as to the suitability of the Modular Building…”  The modular unit is approximately 1600 square feet (compared with the current 1700 square foot library building) and is located four and a half blocks from the current library location.

The modular unit will be rented for $2500 per month or $30,000 per year –  $150,000 for the term of the five-year lease agreement.  According to the lease contract, it commences as of “February 1, 2012 or when the modular has been delivered to the City.”  Utility expenses will be estimated by the OUSD and paid by the City of Oakland.  The terms of this agreement with the OUSD were recommended for approval by OPL staff.  On June 26, the Life Enrichment Committee of the OCC also recommended the proposed agreement and tenant improvements funding.

The rent will be paid from Measure Q fund 2241, the Oakland library parcel tax approved by 77.2% of voters in Oakland.  The $200,000 for the cost of the move and tenant improvements to the modular unit will come from Library Trust Fund 7540. 

The Piedmont Avenue branch library has been the original and only tenant in the architect-designed library building since 1932.  When Citibank offered to sell the library building to the City of Oakland in 2008 and 2009, Oakland declined.  Citibank then required the private purchaser of the adjacent bank building to buy the library building and library building lot as a condition of the purchase of the bank building and its lot.  For an entire year the new owner privately subsidized the library by providing it with free rent.  When the City remained uninterested in buying the library building, the new owner offered a 10-year lease at $4250 per month.  The City declined this offer as well, but in the fall of 2010 entered into a one-year lease with a one-year optional extension.  When the first year of the lease expired, the City declined to exercise the extension.  In order to have more flexibility, the City preferred a month-to-month tenancy with a 30-day intention to vacate notice provision and a monthly rent of $4900.  It is expected that the 30-day notice will be given by the City Administrator this summer.

Three libraries in the OPL System are not City-owned: the Cesar Chavez Branch Library in the Fruitvale BART transit village, the Eastmont Branch Library in Eastmont Mall, and the Piedmont Avenue Branch Library at 160 41st Street with convenient parking across the street in the Key Route Parking Lot.  The move into the modular unit is viewed as a temporary situation, lasting at most five years, until a permanent library facility can be planned and financed. 

May 18 2012

The status of the Piedmont Avenue Library will be discussed at a meeting on May 29 at 7 p.m., Piedmont Gardens, 110 41st Street in the 5th Floor Community Room.  Council member Jane Bruner and the Associate Director of the Oakland Public Library, Gerry Garzon, will be providing an update on the possible relocation of the library.

Feb 29 2012

Celebrating 80 Years in Architecturally-Designed Building – 

The Piedmont Avenue branch of the Oakland Public Library has been the only tenant in the architect-designed  library building since 1932.  The Library’s 80 years of service will be celebrated from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 10, with music, cupcakes, face painting and more.   > Click to read more…

Feb 13 2012

The Oakland Branch Library on 40th Street remains open on a month-to-month basis for now.    In its June 2011 decision, Oakland’s City Council approved a budget for the 2011-2013 fiscal years that suggested all Oakland Public branch libraries would remain open.  Piedmont Avenue neighbors hoped that included the branch library on Piedmont Avenue.  See hours of all Oakland libraries. > Click to read more…

Jul 3 2011

On June 28 and 30 Oakland’s City Council approved a budget for the 2011-2013 fiscal years that reportedly keeps all Oakland Public branch libraries open during that time period.  But does that really include the Piedmont Avenue library? > Click to read more…