Martin Luther King Jr. Library

King Library From Tower Lawn

The new Martin Luther King Jr. Library was the first collaborative effort between the San Jose Public Library (SJPL) and the San Jose State University (SJSU) campus. This very successful endeavor combined the resources of each entity enabling a doubling of resources into one facility that serves both a campus of 30,000 and a community of 920,000. With eight floors and over 475,000 square feet housing over a million volumes, the MLK Library has proven a success in service, operations and collections. The downtown location at the corner of campus weaves a new interconnectivity between the two city entities. New features in the building include computer lab areas, internet access, group study rooms, quiet study areas and a silent floor. The eight story atrium sets an ambiance of enlightenment as well as providing warm, natural light. The Library also features a children's room, self service check out, an adjacent café, and both permanent and revolving art exhibits. The first four floors encourage interaction and activity. The upper floors contain the majority of the collections and quiet study areas. The eighth floor is a silent study area and has the most majestic views of the campus and surrounding area.

Since opening in 2004, the MLK Library has experienced a 70% increase in visitors from the previous totals of both the SJPL and SJSU libraries combined.

  • The San Jose State University Team included the efforts of Tony Valenzuela, Art Heinrich, Robert Caret, Don Kassing, Dan Johnson, Bruce Judd, Alan Freemen, Jim Zavagno, Janet Redding, Marty Schulter, Caroline Punches and the SJS University Librarians.
  • The CSU Team included: Charles Reed, Pat Drohan, Debra Farar, Tom Coffin, Richard West and Lane Kolovek
  • The design team included: Design architects: Gunnar Birkerts & DSA Architects
  • Associate architects: Anderson Brule Architects, Inc
  • Carrier Johnson Architects
  • City Officials: Former Mayor Susan Hammer, Mayor Ron Gonzales, City Council, City Manager, Redevelopment Agency, Public works, Office of Cultural Affairs, City Librarians
  • Construction Manager: Gilbane Building Co.
  • Contractor: Hensel Phelps