The Burbank Central Library was built in 1963. While a beloved building home to many positive memories for people who grew up in the area, it no longer supports the needs of the community. A modern replacement Central Library will provide the space and amenities to support 21st century learning needs that go far beyond what anyone could have imagined in the middle of the 20th century.
The proposed new Burbank Central Library is part of a larger update to the Burbank Civic Center. Find complete project details here.
The City of Burbank first identified the need for updates to the Central Library in 1989. Community members have supported this project, most notably when residents voted in 2003 by more than a two-thirds majority to support the redevelopment of the Central Library with a mix of City and State funds. Unfortunately, funding has never been secured to see this project through, resulting in the gradual decline of the facility over the years.
In 2018, the residents of Burbank passed Measure P, a ¾ cent sales tax increase that is partially devoted to assisting with the City’s unfunded infrastructure needs. In the summer of 2019, the Burbank City Council formed an Infrastructure Oversight Board to ensure these funds are spent responsibly and in the best interest of the community. One of the projects for consideration is a replacement Central Library.
A modern Central Library will:
- support educational and employment success through the lifespan by preparing children for kindergarten, supporting them through school and providing lifelong educational opportunities
- strengthen the Burbank community by bringing people together, building civic engagement, ensuring access to information, and creating safe, positive spaces
- help maintain a healthy local economy by providing space and resources for people learning or improving skills, starting a business, meeting with small or large groups, or taking an online class
- provide access to the technology and training that residents need to help Burbank continue to thrive
Along with a general deterioration of the facility, the Central Library:
- does not meet the highest level of current standards for accessibility
- lacks basic amenities like ample outlets for users to plug in their laptops
- has no meeting or study spaces for individuals or small groups
- cannot support the Library’s growing roles in digital literacy and workforce development
- suffers from basic issues like poor plumbing and inefficient air control, resulting in environmental waste and higher maintenance costs
In 2020, the City engaged the architecture firm Miller Hull to develop an updated vision for a new Central Library. The study gathered public input from hundreds of residents regarding priorities for use of space in a new building and assessed the relative costs and values of renovating the current building vs. building new in a few downtown locations. The resulting study recommended new construction of a 65,000 square foot building on the lot across Glenoaks Boulevard from the current building. This recommendation was accepted by City Council in February 2021 after input from the Board of Library Trustees and Infrastructure Oversight Board. City Council directed staff to develop a plan to finance and construct a new Central Library in the context of a larger civic center project. Full details of the proposed Burbank Civic Center Project can be found on the project website.
Read the study: A Vision for a New Burbank Central Library (March 2021)
Appendices are available by request to the Library at (818) 238-5551.