Greetings library fans! We’ve launched our community outreach and stakeholder engagement campaign for the feasibility study for a new Hoover Branch Library and are super excited to hear from you! Your voices, stories, and advocacy is essential in transforming the community into an even more vital and livable place for all residents. Please share the news and consider ways that you can contribute through your participation! Sign up for updates!



On June, 3rd, we held our first community engagement event for the Hoover Branch Library Feasibility study and everyone involved had a great time sharing and ideating what the new facility could be and how it could really serve the neighborhood. An important part of the process was an overview of other community organizing efforts which resulted in a library. It's important to note that it wasn't the product we were studying, it was the process. In these other locations, dedicated community members, like those in the Hoover neighborhood organized, and through persistence and determination, were able to achieve their goal of manifesting a facility that reflected their thoughts and dreams. With your help, we can do that too!
Please sign up for updates, share the information, and join us at the next event!

The Community Engagement Team

Street Lab survey participant

The community engagement efforts are being conducted by a multidisciplinary team with specific skills in design, outreach, storytelling media, youth and other hard-to-reach populations. Working with the project lead, blinkLAB!architecture, RBA Creative is leading the community engagement efforts based on decades of service in West Oakland and across the city for decades. The community engagement team is supported by media, storytelling and youth specialists that will help us paint a picture of what the new Hoover Branch Library can be. Our goal is to help complete the task that the Friends of the Hoover Durant Library started back in 2013 to bring a new branch library neighborhood.

The possibilities of how this new branch library can serve the community are endless, which is why we are asking for your assistance in shaping the vision. We are taking a blank page, blue sky approach to our outreach and engagement efforts, which is why we're counting on your support and participation.

Please sign up for updates on the project and visit us at one of our community events, which will include community workshops, street labs, and other events. You can also contact the team directly at to see how you can get involved.

  • blinkLAB!architecture
    • blinkLAB!architecture is a research-based architecture and urban design practice focusing on spatial transformation through design, urban advocacy, and technology exploration. Serving as lead designer and manager of the Hoover Branch Library feasibility study, blinkLAB! Uses an open and collaborative approach to bridge economics, architectural form, urban design, industrial design, furniture, and fabrication. blinkLAB!’s founder, June Grant, has worked for years with the community to bring this Hoover Branch Library project to fruition and is uniquely qualified for the task.

  • RBA Creative
    • RBA Creative is a communications and public affairs firm based in the Laurel District of Oakland. The founders, Randolph and Erica Belle, both have a background in the arts and believe that in addition to life in the digital realm, we need to foster authentic human connection through face-to-face interaction, creativity, and self-expression.

  • SF Urban Film Fest
    • The SF Urban Film Fest (SFUFF) gathers a diverse, engaged audience and uses the power of storytelling to spark discussion and civic engagement around urban issues— asking what it means to live together and create just and equitable cities. SFUFF will be leading the storytelling activities for the project, gathering and building a narrative around what this new library means to the community, and how it can truly serve the residents.

  • Jeremiah Tolbert
    • Jeremiah I. Tolbert II, LEED AP, AIA is the founding principal of Tolbert Design Architects, which has developed a national reputation for the design of a range of major public and private buildings. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley and is the past President of the American Institute of Architects East Bay Chapter. Jeremiah teaches for the AIA, promotes education on vital design topics, and supports outreach for current and aspiring architects. He will be conducting youth engagement activities for the project.

  • Place It!
    • Place It! is a design- and participation-based urban planning practice founded by urban planner and artist James Rojas. At its core, Place It! engages people in urban planning, transportation, design, landscape, and neighborhood change through their hands and senses so that they can be creative and expansive in their thinking and offer up real solutions to the challenges facing our cities and neighborhoods.

Literacy and Educational Attainment

Street Lab Book Giveaway
Street Lab Book Giveaway

Literacy and educational attainment levels vary across the study target neighborhoods which include Hoover Durant, McClymonds, Longfellow and Clawson. We believe a new state-of-the-art library facility will have a tremendous positive impact on the success stories we are able to tell of individuals who have improved possibilities through library programming. This new facility has the opportunity to collaborate with local schools and educational institutions, and create partnerships with community organizations focused on literacy, education, youth and adult development.

A new branch library will also have a great impact on the broader community by providing resources and support services as requested by the community members themselves. These services could include homework help and tutoring programs, career development and job search assistance, multilingual resources, and other services for diverse communities.

Hoover Community Engagement Goals
Hoover Community Engagement Goals
Past News
Past News


Noel ferguson

Did you know that the first African American mayor of the City of Oakland, Lionel Wilson, came from your community, along with the first African American Librarian for the City of Oakland? The Hoover Branch Library should be much more than a place for books. We see the library as a place where future leaders get their starts and join with other community leaders to make a difference in our great city and the world.

Lloyd Noel Ferguson was a famous chemist born right here in the Hoover Neighborhood! Lloyd was destined for success from an early age. As a child, he had a backyard laboratory in which he developed a moth repellent, a silverware cleanser, and a lemonade powder. He graduated from Oakland Tech in 1934 then went on to UC Berkeley where he was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry!

Lloyd is also the father of Lisa Ferguson who is the first African American attorney to serve as a director for the California Supreme Court.


The first major step towards the return of a dedicated branch library to this historic residential community. The Feasibility study will be a community-inclusive process, will document your vision and create an enduring plan that respects cultural legacy, while scribing a pathway towards new futures.

Can you believe the Hoover neighborhood once had two library branches! One was called the North Oakland Branch Library located at 3424 San Pablo Avenue near Hoover Middle School, which opened in 1888, and another called the Telegrove Branch housed in a small storefront at 34th and Grove (MLK, Jr.) Streets, opened in 1930. Our last branch library for the neighborhood disappeared in 1971 leaving many in the community longing for a new branch ever since!


Join us for the Hoover Branch Library Storytelling Workshop; the first in a series of public events in support of a new cultural and educational facility in the community. Sharing your stories and experiences will inspire and shape the design of the future branch library.

The 3-hour workshop has two highly interactive segments. In the first, participants will become familiar with the four main components of a story— Story, Audience, Message and Style (SAMS). Keith Battle from BAVC Media will lead the discussion and together we will analyze a few short videos on the impact and importance of branch libraries using the SAMS rubric. In the second half, participants will join small break-out groups led by a professional local filmmaker and generate unique storylines or simple storyboards using the SAMS rubric about what a new branch library means to you and your community. Lunch will be served. SIGN UP NOW- SPACE IS LIMITED!!

Girl with toddler reading

“In 2013, NCPC Beat 6X residences decided to “bring our library back”. Today, Friends of Hoover Durant Public Library is a vital community resource, along with our volunteer members, are committed to Bringing our Library Back!!”

— Alternier Baker Cook, Chair FoHDPL


The new Hoover Branch Library was imagined as a place for stories, for community, for documenting history, and imagining the future. The new branch will ensure a balance of library space and service needs for area residents. From our initial outreach and community engagement efforts, we heard that residents want:

  • A destination to convene a wide range of residents
  • A space which provides access to information and materials throughout the system-at-large
  • A place that sparks neighborhood revitalization and defines the community as a source of pride
  • A resource that transforms hopelessness to empowerment and vision

In terms of the physical attributes of the facility, community members would like:

  • A 12,000+ square feet building with a range of community-serving uses
  • A multi-functional space with classrooms, a kitchen, special event areas, and the most current technological amenities
  • A location convenient to area residents, i.e. parking, public transportation, pedestrian and bicycle access

Community Engagement

The storytelling workshop will be the first public engagement, but that’s just the beginning of a robust and comprehensive community engagement process, with input from young and old Oaklanders from the neighborhood to build an inclusive vision of an incredible community learning resource center! We want to hear from you to learn how the new Hoover Branch can best support the educational and social needs of Hoover and serve as a shining example of how the residents, the library system and the city of Oakland can work collaboratively to develop this vital asset.

Sign up to receive updates and stay tuned for more information on how you can participate to have your voice heard!

We need your voice!
We need your voice!