New Library

Library and Park: A Unique Combination



What kinds of programs will be offered by County Parks, the Library, and SLV Water District?

Library and Park staff are exploring the many ways they will collaborate on programs, utilizing indoor and outdoor spaces.

  • Program topics from County Parks would include birds, native plants, and nature crafts.
  • Popular library programs such as homework help, summer reading, children’s storytime, book groups, and craft days will be offered in the new space.
  • The SLV Water District is interested in providing watershed education, as Bull Creek is a water source for our community, and programs promoting conservation.
  • Community groups and individuals will be invited to make suggestions and conduct programs.
  • The library and park will also be a fun and educational destination for school field trips and other group visits.
What are the green features of the building and site?

There are two sets of environmentally sound building features at the new Felton branch. The first are the energy conservation aspects. These include heat loss and gain using high insulation levels in the walls and roof and glazing systems that have low heat loss but also control the amount of sun heat streaming in. This sun control in the windows varies depending on the direction they face.

There are also high and low opening windows that provide ventilation and naturally remove heat from inside when the temperature becomes too high. The lighting is all LED of course. Although it hasn’t yet been installed due to budget the building is set up for a solar electric system with a big south facing roof, electric heat pumps for heating and cooling and proper configuration of the electric panels to accommodate the system. The electric car charger will also benefit from the solar electric system.

The second set of environmentally sound features are in the site development. The parking lot is composed of permeable concrete that allows water from precipitation to pass directly through thereby reducing runoff and allowing groundwater recharge. The building is located to minimize impact on Bull Creek, both on the creek’s water flow and the creatures and plants that live in it. Replacing the original culvert with a bridge improved the habitat for various creek dwellers including resident rainbow trout and Pacific treefrog. Having a septic system with a leach field that is around the corner keeps the library from degrading the ground water. The project’s necessary disruption of the riparian planting was mitigated by planting several new native plants for each one that was removed. The project controls the release of rain water to keep it from overloading the creek.

Who designed the Felton Branch Library?

Local architect Teall Messer created a beautiful design for the library. Teall’s work can be seen throughout the region, and includes many public buildings of note. Read about him at

Read the Press Banner interview

The library interior was designed by Berkeley-based architects Noll and Tam,

What about the Belardi building that housed the old library?

The historic Belardi building that housed the Felton Branch Library from 1956 to 2019 is now the Faye G. Belardi Memorial Gallery of the San Lorenzo Valley Museum. The gallery will host a permanent exhibition, temporary exhibitions, and a visible storage area. For more information visit


In the News: A Vision Realized

By Christina Wise, Press Banner. Photo credit: Christina Wise Strolling through the interior of Felton’s new library, one is struck by the openness, warmth and hominess of the building. Butterflies flit across the check-out desk and children’s area as walls patterned...

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New Chapter for Felton Library

Thank you to reporter Katie Evans at the Press Banner for her write up on our February Grand Opening. From the article: On February 22nd, a dream, decades in the making, came to fruition.  This past Saturday spirits were high for the opening of the Felton Public...

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Grand Opening February 22!

The San Lorenzo Valley is about to gain a fabulous new public space! Santa Cruz Public Libraries has informed Felton Library Friends that the grand opening celebration of the new Felton Branch Library will be Saturday, February 22.  Speakers involved in the...

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