Dixon library too small to serve growing population, report says


(Photo courtesy Google Street View)

The Dixon Public Library is too small to adequately serve a growing community within its city, according to a new report released this month.

The report was part of an investigation conducted by the Solano County Civil Grand Jury that probed the broader Solano County Library Services (SCLS) system across the region.

The Dixon Public Library on North First Street is the oldest library operating within the SCLS system. It was built in 1912 and was one of over 1,600 libraries built in the United States with funds donated by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and one of around 700 Carnegie libraries still operating today.

The library has undergone a series of remodels, with the latest in 1992, according to public records. It was an independent library operated by the city until 2020 when its board decided to join the county’s library system. The City of Dixon still owns the building, but administrative tasks are overseen by Solano County.

The grand jury said the library is running out of space, with one small room provided for office work, employee breaks and other administrative uses.

“There are no meeting or separate activity rooms available,” the grand jury wrote in its report, a stark contrast to library facilities in Vacaville and Fairfield, which offer both amenities.

Heating, air conditioning and water intrusion problems also plague the century-old building, the grand jury said, and the bathrooms are not fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

A county facilities plan has called for renovating and expanding the Dixon Public Library, which would increase the library’s footprint from 8,000 square feet to 15,000 square feet, the minimum size for a full-service library. Currently, the public library has “the second-lowest amount of library space per resident — and that will only be magnified [or] exacerbated by future growth,” according to county documents reviewed by Solano NewsNet.

The civil grand jury agreed with that statement, adding that the library system’s marketing and outreach team needed to improve how it reached new residents with information about the number of services offered at the Dixon Public Library.

“The staff has not conducted the outreach efforts they would favor to inform newcomers and residents in new housing developments about available library services,” the civil grand jury wrote.

The grand jury has requested a response to its findings and recommendations from the Dixon Public Library District.

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