In 1992 the Suisun City Library opened in a 5,400 square foot space, tucked away on the second floor of an office building. Despite its unusual location, it was a popular destination for families, seniors and students from the many schools in the surrounding area. The library bustled in a space shared by children’s storytimes, teens on computers and book lovers browsing for their next great read. The Suisun City Library issued almost 3500 library cards in the first year of service and checked out over 150,000 library items. It quickly became apparent that the space was too small for its usage.
When the City entered into a 5-year lease for the space, it was with the intent of finding funding for a permanent location and the leased space was just a stop gap measure. Up until then,library services had been provided by the Fairfield library, through a joint powers agreement and bookmobile stops. However, both the City Council and Board of Supervisors agreed the population had grown to a size to warrant a library located in the City with regular hours and services.
Hard times for state and local governments in the 1990s made it difficult to find the money to build a new facility. Within the County Library system, hours were reduced at all branch libraries, including the new library. In 1998, Solano voters approved an 1/8th of a cent increase in the local sales tax to restore library services throughout the county. As a result, Suisun City Library’s hours increased along with other services. Meanwhile, the City continued to search for opportunities to fund a new library.
In 2005, that opportunity came. Talks among the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District, Suisun City, the City’s Redevelopment Agency and County Library staff led to the concept of a joint use, public and school library. In 2007 a four-party library service agreement was signed. The library was built on City land donated to the District, with the County, District and Redevelopment Agency providing the capital from different funding sources to build the facility which the District owns. This agreement formed a true partnership in terms of funding and operations. After 16 years in a temporary location, the library had finally found a home.
The new Suisun City Library embodies an innovative use of public space. Built adjacent to Suisun Elementary School, it serves as both a public and school library. In addition to doubling the square footage of the former space, the new library features a study room, community meeting room and a 15-seat computercenter. The meeting room will host library programs as well as serve as an “in library” classroom by day and community meeting room at night. Students can enter the children’s section of the library directly from the school through a secure entrance reserved for their use during the school day. The library’s collection of books, movie DVDs, recorded books and other materials combine the breadth of the public library’s collection with materials that are specially chosen for Suisun Elementary School students as well as other students in the City.
The Suisun City Library, operated by Solano County Library, enjoys the benefits of being part of the Solano, Napa and Partners (SNAP)consortium. Because of this partnership, Suisun residents have access to library collections of books and other materials throughout the two counties with delivery to their local library. The partnership also makes possible students’ access to online tutors and 20 research databases.
The staff of Solano County Library is excited to add another “first” to the list of innovative and collaborative services for which it is known. With a mission to deliver exceptional service and a collection that spans the interests of the community, Solano County Library proudly presents the new Suisun City Library.
Tuesday, Nov 30, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time
Webinar Hosted by Canterbury Business Center
Tuesday, Nov 30, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time
Thursday, Dec 2, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time
JOIN FOR JUST $16 A YEAR