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About San Mateo County Libraries

The San Mateo County Library (SMCL) is a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) that operates libraries in the communities of Atherton, Belmont, Brisbane, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Millbrae, North Fair Oaks, Pacifica, Portola Valley, San Carlos and Woodside. San Mateo County Libraries ignite growth through transformative experiences. Visit for information about our community libraries, extensive digital and physical collections, innovative services, and numerous online resources and virtual programs and events.  

Designed to serve our communities with an expanded collection, range of resources and events for all ages, the new Atherton Library is a place for discovery. 

About the New Atherton Library

This light-filled new library is tucked among old-growth trees near the town’s brand-new Civic Center.

Features of the New Library Include: 

  • A large and welcoming front porch that encourages community connections and conversations under the canopy of the majestic oak trees.
  • A quiet reading room that leads out to the library’s back porch for visitors to read and reflect in solitude.  
  • Flexible and expanded spaces and collections to support all ages and interest levels.
  • A makerspace and digital lab with 3D printers, a high-performance laser cutter, GoPro camera kits and a deck for makers to find inspiration outdoors.  
  • Tech offerings including laptops and WiFi hotspots available for checkout, plus computers and printers onsite. 
  • Multiple meeting rooms including the renovated Historic Town Hall celebrating Atherton’s unique history and new Willie Mays room, named in honor of the Hall of Famer, a beloved Atherton resident and legendary San Francisco Giant.
  • Children’s area
  • Teen and adult section

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful place to study or interested in learning how to use the latest tech, our library is here to serve you with our expert team and array of materials.

  • Atherton
  • Belmont
  • Brisbane
  • East Palo Alto
  • Foster City
  • Half Moon Bay
  • Millbrae
  • Pacifica
  • Portola Valley
  • San Carlos
  • Woodside
  • Unincorporated areas of the county


Library policies are set by the Library Administration and the JPA governing board. Policies provide the structure for the implementation of the library's mission, vision, and strategic plan.

Library Services

The San Mateo County Library offers a wide range of services, resources, and programs to meet the needs of the residents in the community.

Annual Reports

The San Mateo County Library develops an Annual Report which highlights accomplishments each Fiscal Year.

History Resources

Work by the Former Atherton Library Building Steering Committee

Library Funding

Process to Study New Library Options

Library Study & Atherton Library Trends

Building Programs

Environmental Assessment

Site Selection

Additional Material

Library Steering Committee Historical Documents

Phase I Architect Selection Related Documents

ALBSC Community Meetings on Initial Design February to March 2012