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Berkeley Public Library

2090 Kittredge Street, Berkeley, California

The Berkeley Public Library is a public library system in Berkeley , California. It consists of the Central Library, the Claremont Branch, the North Branch, the West Branch, the Tarea Hill Pittman South Branch—and the Tool Lending Library, one of the nation's first such libraries.

The Berkeley Public Library opened 264 books on Shattuck Avenue in 1893. In 1905, the library moved to a new brick building on Shattuck Avenue on Kittredge Street. The new library was financed by Andrew Carnegie and built on land donated by Rosa M. Shattuck, the widow of Francis K. Shattuck. Immediately after the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and the resulting population surge from across the Bay, the library opened four other branches around Berkeley. In 1934, a new central library opened at 2090, Kittredge St., where it remains. It was refurbished and reopened in 2002.

By Stacey Baca - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

On July 1, 2018, the Berkeley Public Library eliminated late fines for teen and adult books, CDs, DVDs, and magazines (children's materials were already fine-free).

Berkeley Public Library also established an Easy Access Card in 2018, a library card available to persons without a fixed address. The Easy Access card provides access to the Library's electronic resources, as well as limited book and other material checkouts.

All branches of the Berkeley Public Library have self-checking machines. Patrons can use these to check the materials themselves by scanning the objects and their library card. This checkout method works for all media — books, CDs , DVDs, etc.—and provides the owner with a receipt for the items. All branches still offer checkout from the staff of the library at the circulation desks. Patrons may also request and renew books from their homes on the Internet or by phone.

The Tool Lending Library opened in 1979, and is one of the nation's first such libraries located in the South Branch. To borrow tools, patrons must be over 18 years of age and be residents or owners of the City of Berkeley.

The facade of the building may look rather old and historic from the outside, but on the inside it is so clean and modern. People forgot how much they love to spend their time in public libraries until they came here. All rooms are labeled and easy to find, and the wi-fi connection is as smooth as silk. They also have a computer lab for printing and copying. Even if you're not much of a bookworm, it's still a great place to have a quiet time with your laptop and coffee.

This amazing place is just one of the many must-see sights you surely  don’t want to miss in Berkeley, California:

  • Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive 
  • Berkeley Free Clinic
  • Berkeley High School
  • Berkeley History Center 
  • Berkeley Marina
  • Berkeley Repertory Theatre 
  • Berkeley Rose Garden 
  • Hearst Greek Theatre

All of these wonderful sites are located just a short distance from our location at 1647 Hopkins St, in Berkeley! Stop by for a visit anytime!