County of Marin - News Releases - South Novato Library

For Immediate Release
October 02, 2015

New Home for South Novato Library Takes Shape

Innovative learning complex should be fully up and running by the end of 2015

San Rafael, CA – The Hamilton neighborhood of Novato is buzzing about the new and much-larger library taking shape this week less than a mile from its previous location. Pieces of the future home of the South Novato Library arrived in 13 separate units and were assembled Thursday, providing a thrill for project partners Marin County Free Library (MCFL) and the Novato Unified School District (NUSD).

A large crane hoists a modular building into place at the new site of the South Novato Library.The Marin County Board of Supervisors and NUSD Board of Trustees embraced the innovative collaboration in February 2015, although planning and community input had been going on since September 2013.

MCFL Director Sara Jones said the library system is prioritizing an increased role in improving educational outcomes for Marin County students .

“The realization of the South Novato Library being placed as a cornerstone to a 21st century learning campus is a huge step toward our goal,” Jones said. “We are very excited to begin the services in this innovation partnership.”

The old South Novato branch was closed in May just before its lease expired at 6 Hamilton Landing, part of the refurbished hangars from the long-closed Hamilton Air Force Base. To maintain library services in the southern section of Novato, a so-called “pop-up” branch was opened in a district-owned modular classroom at 931 C St., about 9/10ths of a mile to the west and closer to subdivisions near Highway 101. The newly assembled permanent modular structure will be about 6,000 square feet, or double the size of the old branch at the Hamilton hangar. The finish work will continue over the next several weeks and the library will be moved into the new space in November.

Jones said the entire learning campus will offer full services by the end of the year, including the maker space/tech center in collaboration with New Media Learning Center and Marin County Office of Education (MCOE).

The new structure is the final piece of a three-building learning center campus designed to provide educational services for youths and a significantly expanded community library.

The San Rafael-based New Media Learning/Intel Computer Club and the Marin County Office of Education recently joined the collaborative partnership, and the club will be relocated to the new Hamilton learning complex. New Media Learning and MCOE provide innovative, collaborative educational programs for Marin County kids. New Media Learning provides learning environments that encourages more opportunities for young people to develop confidence, creativity, and interest in science, technology, engineering, math, art, and learning as a whole through making.

The new learning complex will be more convenient for many residents in southern Novato. It is just a few steps from the Hamilton K-8 public school, the North Bay Children’s Center, the Novato Charter School and the future commuter rail station for the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit line. It’s also closer to Ignacio residents living on the west side of Highway 101, Bel Marin Keys residents to the north and Pacheco Valle residents to the south.

The MCFL dedicated $1.485 million to find an alternate space for the Hamilton library branch in November 2014. The County’s contribution is $1.1 million and NUSD’s is $484,000. The County’s ongoing lease payments for new South Novato Library will be dramatically less than the previous lease for the old South Novato branch. Additional resources of $385,000 provided furniture, technology and expanded materials at the new South Novato location.

(Photo courtesy of John MacLeod/New Media Learning)


Sara Jones
Marin County Free Library

3501 Civic Center Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6051
Email: Sara Jones
Library website