The long-awaited Belvedere Tiburon Library expansion is underway! An effort that began over a decade ago has finally become a reality: the construction fence is up, earthmovers are on site and the long-anticipated plans are being put into action.
But that doesn’t mean the work is done. Of the $18M the Library needs to fully fund the expansion, it still has $4M to raise. “For the last decade the Library Foundation had been operating in a quiet fundraising phase, seeking leadership-level gifts before going public. Now that we have raised more than 75% of construction costs, we are looking forward to taking this campaign to the community and asking everyone to pitch in,” says Jenna Ervice, Executive Director for the Belvedere Tiburon Library Foundation.
Jenna is a big asset to the library staff. Growing up in Southern California, she graduated from San Diego State University in 1995 with a major in liberal studies with an emphasis in psychology and Native American culture.
When she realized she was interested in a career helping others, her Godmother, a longtime nonprofit consultant in San Francisco, mentored her in the Bay Area.
After several different positions, she became Development Manager of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Six years later, she was hired to be Director of Development at the California Symphony in Walnut Creek. She left there for Raphael House, a shelter for homeless families in San Francisco and went from there to Meritus College Fund, a program for low income and first generation college students.
Now at the Belvedere Tiburon Library, Jenna says, “This place feels like it’s the center of the community – the hub, socially, culturally and intellectually, where we see people of all ages, from children in diapers to those more advanced in years.
“It is indicative of the importance of the place that our existing building is insufficient to the growing needs of the community, and we have a wonderful opportunity to build upon our existing services and collections to better serve our patrons.”
Growing up by the ocean, Jenna claims to be a “beach bum.” She says she enjoys playing tennis, playing her flute and reading. She and her Siamese cat, “Bear,” live in San Rafael. “Once you move to Marin, it’s very hard to leave, if not impossible,” she says.
As for raising money (for the library), Jenna is a natural. “My father teases me,” she says. “He says I’ve been training for this job all my life.”
The total renovation of the library is expected to take from 14 to 16 months, bringing its completion in the spring of 2021. During that time, the staff will be continuously shuffled around to various rooms to make way for the construction.
“The library staff has been unbelievable,” Library Director Deborah Mazzolini says. “They’re excited but are working under trying circumstances without any complaints.
Currently, the library serves more than 17,500 people each year and offers more than 900 programs. Some of the services offered: 3D printers, mobile printing and museum passes, all free of charge, plus notary services ($15 fee). It also has book groups, language groups, art workshops, monthly teas and a speaker series.
Approximately 9,000-square-feet will be added to the current 10,500-square-foot interior. The new space will include a teen center with a study room, digital resources and equipment; an expanded children’s area with a new storytelling space and increased study and homework areas; a new computer skills and technology training center; a creative learning space and a digital lab.
There will be community program spaces with meeting rooms to accommodate as few as 14 and as many as 100 people, plus individual/small group study rooms. There also will be new work and storage space in the office area for both staff and volunteers.
Corner Books will have its bookstore next to the courtyard, with a small café adjacent to it and outdoor seating available. The heron sculpture will be placed in the courtyard in a setting similar to its former configuration.
The art exhibits will have twice as much space as they had previously. The new Founders Room, which currently has a capacity of 44 people – resulting in numerous times when many visitors had to stand out in the lobby during a program – will have seating room for 100.
Jenna added, “The Belvedere Tiburon Library is so much more than just a library; it is the heartbeat of this community, a central location where people of all walks of life come to enrich themselves socially, culturally and intellectually. We couldn’t be more grateful for all the support the Expansion Campaign has received thus far, and we trust this generous community will come together and help us raise the additional 25% we need to cross the fundraising finish line.”
Anyone wishing to make a contribution may reach Jenna Ervice at 415-789-2651 or email@example.com or visit beltiblibfoundation.org to make a gift.