The San Diego Public Library system currently consists of the Central Library, 35 branch libraries, an adult literacy program office (READ/San Diego). In 2002, the City Council approved a program to build or improve 24 libraries throughout San Diego, including a new Central Library.
An ambitious plan that will provide the City of San Diego with a 21st century library system is currently underway including Pacific Highlands Ranch Branch Library. The 10-year plan calls for building 12 new libraries in the City and expanding 12 existing libraries. In 2016, Pacific Highlands Ranch Library was added to the list of new libraries due to funding from Facilities Benefit Assessment.
The heart of the 21st Century Library Improvement Program is a nine-story Central Library, opened in 2013, in downtown San Diego. This state-of-the-art facility is located along the planned Park-to-Bay landscaped promenade that will link Balboa Park with San Diego Bay. The branch libraries will be connected to the Central Library by an online Library catalog and database to share resources, and provide technology and information services to all citizens.
The plan calls for new and expanded branch libraries to have a minimum of 15,000 square feet in order to provide community meeting rooms, computer labs, separate areas for children and teens, as well as house other amenities of a modern branch library.