The El Cerrito Library is older than the city itself, dating back to its founding 100 years ago on Oct. 31, 1913 in the post office of the small unincorporated settlement then known as Rust.

The current home of the branch on Stockton Avenue was dedicated in 1949 and enlarged in 1961, but is now showing its age as far as the structure itself and what it is able to offer inside in an era of rapid change.

Library boosters have been campaigning for a modern branch and the city is actively part of the planning, having hosted a meeting this week to learn what the community would want in an updated branch and discuss the logistics involved in making it a reality, particularly funding.

Input is also being sought via an online survey at www.el-cerrito.org/librarysurvey. Printed copies of the survey are also available at the library, 6510 Stockton Ave., at City Hall or by request via the mail. The survey will be open through Oct. 31, the day the branch turns 100.

For details or questions about the project contact Assistant City Manager, Karen Pinkos at 510-215-4302 or kpinkos@ci.el-cerrito.ca.us.

SEVA FOUNDATION BENEFIT: When Wavy Gravy personally lets you know about an event, you can be sure of two things: It will be a good show and it will be for a good cause. Besides, as Gravy says, "I'm a tenacious clown and I have nostalgia for the future."

So it is with Sing Out for Seva, a benefit concert the longtime Berkeley resident and counterculture fixture is hosting on Nov. 2 at the legendary Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco.

The headliners are five-time Grammy Award winning gospel act The Blind Boys of Alabama and perennial Bay Area rock favorite Hot Tuna. And the event benefits the 35th anniversary of the Seva Foundation.

Gravy -- emcee at Woodstock, former Ben & Jerry's flavor, subject of a successful documentary and most recently a Wheeler Medal Award-winner -- is now 77, and describes himself as a "hippie icon, flower geezer and temple of accumulated error."

But that assessment is all in fun for the clown prince of the counterculture, who is a co-founder of Berkeley-based Seva, created in 1978 by "medical professionals, counterculture activists, musicians, and compassionate individuals" with a goal of preventing blindness in impoverished areas of the world.

The organization has produced results, citing programs that have "helped restore the eyesight to nearly 3.5 million people with programs reaching many of the poorest corners of the world including: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet, India, Africa and in Native American communities in the United States."

Tickets are $48 general and $105 VIP (includes an post-show party, poster and laminated pass) and proceeds go to Seva.

Tickets and more details are available at seva.org and thefillmore.com.

WEST COUNTY NOTES: Halloween isn't just for kids. Food, games, good company and the chance to wear a costume await at the Halloween Dinner at the Albany Senior Center, 846 Masonic Ave., from 4-5 p.m. Oct. 31. The cost is $5.

  • Admission is free to the all ages Halloween and Day of the Dead celebration from 1-3 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Ave. Come in costume and make paper masks and movable skeletons, decorate sugar skulls, bring a T-shirt to screen print and more. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. www.therac.org or 510-620-6772.

  • "Swing Shift," a dramatization of a novel by Joseph Fabry based on his experiences working at the Kaiser shipyards in Richmond during World War II, will be staged by the Galatean Players Ensemble Theatre in performances onboard the SS Red Oak Victory, 1337 Canal Blvd. in Richmond, at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays from Oct. 25 to Nov. 10.

    Tickets and details: Galateanplayers.com or 925-676-5705

    Contact Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/christreadway. Stay up-to-date on West Contra Costa news at IBABuzz.com/westcounty.