San Diego

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Library Master Plan

What is the Library Master Plan?Child on a public library computer

The San Diego Public Library and San Diego Public Library Foundation are developing a new master plan. The Plan will provide a long-range vision and strategy for San Diego Public Library facility, technology, and program investments.
This master planning process was commissioned to create a comprehensive vision, planning framework, guiding principles for future development, and improvement of San Diego’s library network. The process combined analysis of internally and externally sourced data with robust engagement with community members, stakeholders, and leadership and staff of the San Diego Public Library and the City of San Diego.
The San Diego Public Library Foundation engaged a nationally recognized library consultant, Group 4 Architecture, Research, + Planning, Inc ("Group 4") and Carson Block Consulting. Group 4 is a leader in the planning and design of public libraries and library systems, with more than three decades of experience on hundreds of library projects nationwide, such as the Oakland Public Library System, San Jose Public Library System, Sacramento Library System, and the Public Library of Cincinnati. Carson Block has led, managed, and supported library technology efforts for more than 25 years.
Watch the introductory video here
Read the full report PDF icon here

Vision Framework

The Plan outlines an aspirational vision for the San Diego Public Library. High-performing libraries and library services should be equitable, engaging, and experiential, geographically accessible everywhere, and empowered with the resources necessary to thrive.

EquitableVenn Diagram of Library Master Plan Vision

  • The Library serves all of San Diego’s diverse community members.
  • Library space is provided equitably across San Diego.
  • Libraries are tailored to local needs + interests.


  • The San Diego Public Library provides inviting, attractive, and appealing places for people in safe, well maintained, and accessible facilities. Its spaces and buildings are flexible, adaptable, resilient, and ready for the future.


  • The San Diego Public Library uses a data-driven planning zone approach to ensure that all major library services and spaces are accessible to communities throughout San Diego.
  • Even outside the walls of library buildings, the community can access library services through robust digital channels, outreach, and partnerships.


  • Revenue and resources are stable and sufficient to provide robust and responsive service, maximize community access, and maintain welcoming and well-maintained facilities. Buildings support efficient and effective service, and staff is empowered with training and resources to provide high-quality, personalized service to patrons and the community. The San Diego Public Library manages all its services and operations with a high degree of efficiency and effectiveness.

Tell us what you think

We are eager to hear your input on the Plan! You can submit your comments on our webform here or at one of our upcoming information sessions.


Watch past sessions:


Community participation:

The preliminary findings and framework incorporates input from:

  • Nearly 7,500 San Diegans who completed the community survey, either online or printed. The survey was available in seven languages.
  • Fifteen focus groups with marginalized and underrepresented communities. The University of San Diego’s Nonprofit Institute conducted these focus groups to ensure input from diverse voices.
  • A survey of hundreds of Library staff members.
Information from past public meetings and community presentations:
  • June 2, 2021 Presentation of Library Master Plan Preliminary Framework to Board of Library Commissioners
    • Visit here to view that presentation.
    • PDF icon Visit here for the document presented at the June 2nd Library Commissioners meeting.
  • March 23, 2021 Presentation to the Community Planners Committee
  • December 19, 2019, Presentation of the Library Master Plan to the Board of Library Commissioners
For more information, please contact us at weblibrary@sandiego.gov