BRENTWOOD -- Are brick and mortar libraries a thing of the past? A group of Brentwood residents doesn't believe that is the case for their city.
Members of the far East County community are working to pull together a foundation committee to rebuild their existing building to accommodate a larger facility and more library-related activities.
"This is an exciting opportunity for those who believe in the importance of a library in our city," said Diane Alexander, president of the Friends of the Brentwood Library.
In October, the Brentwood City Council approved a plan to remove the current Brentwood Library and build a new one at the same site. While city staff and the City Council investigate funding options, the Brentwood Library Foundation is being formed initially to raise funds to help supplement the construction budget for the new library.
When the city built its new City Hall offices, the library located at the City Park facility was closed and moved across the street to its current location. Alexander said the current building was built in the 1940s and needs a lot of work.
She explained that it would be cheaper to tear down the building and start from scratch than to make the repairs needed.
"Currently, we have $2 million set aside for a new library," Alexander said. "We need about $10 million."
Alexander explained that the funds wouldn't all have to be raised by the new foundation committee, but the city will need help if it is going to reach its goal of building a new library.
The city plans to keep the library in the same location at 104 Oak St. but hopes to increase the size. The extension drawings application is due out May 16, Alexander said. The group began planning last month.
For the past several years, the Contra Costa library system has left the responsibility for building a city library completely up to the cities.
The county still pays for 35 hours of staffing per week. Currently, Brentwood pays for 21 hours of staffing. The county also provides the books for the library.
The Friends of the Library are working on fundraisers for the library, including a large book sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 17. Books can be donated to the library for the sale up until May 17.
The group is also working on a Murder Mystery Dinner Party night in September.
"It is really an exciting opportunity to be at a start of this new adventure," she said.
Those interested in becoming involved on the foundation committee can find more information at http://ccclib.org/friends/bre.html. Application must be submitted by May 16.