On April 28, 2016 the SF Gate named the Burlingame Library one of the most beautiful libraries in the Bay Area.
The library, as we know it today, was constructed in 1931 and was designed by architect Col. E. L. Norberg, who used the Italian Renaissance style to construct the building. The library quickly expanded and in 1956 it was acknowledged as having one of the largest book collections per capita in California.
Burlingame residents flock to the library in order to browse books and magazines or to study with a group of friends. Many students at BHS take advantage of the library’s quiet atmosphere to study and work in groups.
“It allows me to get my work done in a quiet place where I can concentrate and have less distractions because sometimes my house is noisy...It is the only place that I can study for finals,” said junior Samantha Epstein.
On August 11, 2014, after years of planning and revising, construction on the library began. The library restoration project was called the “Our Library, Our Future” campaign and cost around 3.5 million dollars. The library restoration took around eight months to complete. After completion in early 2015, the library now includes a new meeting room on the third level, multiple study rooms on both the main and lower level, and a new tech lab. A cafe was also added.
“The space just wasn’t making sense anymore….We got a ton of complaints because before we only had the tiny closet sized study room downstairs and that was it… The community needed more spaces where people could work in groups together. We do have quite a few people who are here for long hours during the day doing work, having meetings and so that was the impetus for the cafe,” said Librarian Kim Day.
Students at BHS often take advantage of the study rooms.
Epstein commented, “I love the study rooms because they allow me to work with my tutor one on one in a quiet area.”
Despite the modifications, officials of the Burlingame Library Foundation decided to maintain the libraries charm and style.
Day commented on the necessity of preserving the beauty of the building, “They kept the same style and the same look and that was a big thing as far as the renovation went. The only way that they would do is if they could keep everything pretty much looking the same but still adding the spaces that were needed.”
The Burlingame Library is the town’s gem and a place many BHS students value.
Read the SF Gate’s full article: