About the Campaign

Why the Coastside community needs a new library

The Half Moon Bay Library provides services to a 270 square-mile area from Montara to Pescadero with a population of just under 30,000. Our current library building opened in 1971 when the Coastside population was only 7,000.

A 21st century library goes beyond traditional services to help bridge the digital divide. It provides access to computers and the Internet, as well as new technologies such as 3D printing, robotics, and coding.

The quality and variety of services provided by the current library are severely constrained by space limitations. The current building has inadequate space for books and materials, seating, technology and community gathering space.

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Data points

  • 63% of Half Moon Bay residents have a library card
  • Current library offers 18 public computers - less than half the national benchmark average
  • Every computer is in use 7 hours per day on average
  • In 2014 and 2015, over 2000 people participated in 20 events held to gain community input on plans for a new library

In the 2013-2014 service year, demand for the library continued to grow, with:

  • 166,000 visits to the library
  • 296,435 items loaned
  • 14,377 questions answered
  • 22,730 people attended programs
  • 23,897 hours of computer access

The Latino population and the public schools use the library for a broad spectrum of literacy programs and services. According to the 2010 Census:

  • 32% of service area population is Latino
  • 30% of local students have been identified as English Language Learners

A comprehensive outreach program established that our community has a strong interest in, and a critical need for, robust library services. A new library will help to achieve improved literacy, increased school success, enhanced access to technology and a healthier socio-economic environment that will help boost the local economy and improve quality of life for residents.

New and enhanced services that a new library will bring to the Coastside community

The new library is an investment that is designed to meet future growth and needs of the Coastside community. It will be a major anchor for our thriving downtown community located close to transit and pedestrian-oriented areas with a welcoming plaza entrance.

The new library will be a literacy center, a place of lifelong learning, a vital after-school venue, a special place for children and teens, and a valuable learning environment for our citizens of all ages.

The new library will have a number of new features including:

  • Family reading alcove
  • Children's multipurpose room
  • Teen services area
  • Preschool and parent areas
  • Adult reading area
  • Adult and family literacy center
  • Makerspace/digital classroom
  • Large community meeting room

How is the new library being funded?

The County of San Mateo and the City of Half Moon Bay are sharing the costs of building a new Coastside Library with an estimated budget of $22 million. The County and Library Joint Powers Planning Authority have together committed $11.6 million. In addition, the Half Moon Bay City Council has already allocated $4 million - will change to $6M after 6/2 meeting. towards the new library. Altogether, the project is just over 75% funded as of April 2015.

Funding Partners:

  • City of Half Moon Bay
  • County of San Mateo
  • San Mateo County Library Joint Powers Planning Authority
  • Friends of the Half Moon Bay Library

The Friends of the Half Moon Bay Library's capital fundraising campaign will substantially close the gap in funding the project.

funding chart


Groundbreaking is planned for Summer of 2016 with completion in late 2017.

Support the New Half Moon Bay Library

Call to action

The current library cannot adequately respond to the Coastside community's growing needs for library services and is severely constrained by space limitations. With over 75% of the funding in place, now is the time to invest in a 21st Century library that can meet the demands and challenges of a population facing a rapidly shifting economy.

The new library represents a positive investment in the future growth of our community and will benefit every person living on the Coastside.

We need your donation to build the best facility for a growing, thriving community. We are seeking funds from individuals, non-profit organizations, and corporate donors to make our new Coastside library a reality!

For more information on ongoing program funding, go to hmblibraryfriends.org and join the Friends of the Half Moon Bay Library today!

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friends of the library
© Friends of the Half Moon Bay Library.