Our New House of Books

| October 29, 2013 | 0 Comments

I love libraries, all kinds of libraries. I love the Library of Congress and I love the little Mission Hills branch on Washington Street. It was with this love that I eagerly anticipated the opening of our brand new central library, and it is all I hoped for and more. The day of my first visit I drove around the library block and easily found the entrance to the underground parking. I liked the fact that for now I did not have to find a meter or a parking lot, although there are plenty nearby. Public transportation is convenient as well. You can park in the underground and best of all, until a vendor is chosen, it’s absolutely free. There are 250 spaces and it is my hope that the vendor chosen will keep parking affordable as an incentive for all people to come to East Village and use this amazing addition to our city.

Entering the library I was immediately impressed by the space itself. The lobby welcomed me with it open airiness and ease. There are plenty of check out areas in the lobby as well as many small kiosks with self service. I picked up my map and began my visit. The building is eight stories, but there is no public access to the sixth and seventh floor as they are the home to a new high school located right on library premises. The thought of a high school on the premises of this treasure made me think how wonderful it would have been if my kids had this resource at their fingertips. Everywhere I looked I saw computers for library use. Some are open to the public for a limited amount of time and the rest are designated for library card holders. Over 300 hundred computers are available.

There is also a children’s section with plenty of child friendly computers in a colorful and enticing Dr. Seuss themed setting. I sat down on one of the fun stools in the children’s area and thought “what a welcoming and interesting room this is, children will just love to be here”. There is even a computer room for disabled users which contains adaptive technology so no one is shut out.

Each floor has areas to sit and read or just gaze out through the huge windows and soak up the beautiful views of our fine city. The comfortable seating is vibrant and fun beckoning people to pick up a book, a newspaper or a magazine and feel the sensation of paper in your hands, an experience that is quickly diminishing. You can take the escalator for the first few floors which gives you the opportunity to get an overview of the size and scope. Then you must take an elevator for the higher floors.

When I got to the top I found indoor seating under the big dome and a large outdoor area where you can sit and read while taking in our always envied spring like weather. There is a café, meeting rooms, an auditorium, art exhibits and more. The library uses the latest most innovative technology giving the user both visual and practical experiences.

As much as I love libraries, what impressed me most was the vision being expressed. There is outreach to the community by committing to being a place of learning for all. Services will be available to the homeless and the needy right on premises. Art, music, book discussions and community forums will be offered. There is a huge DVD and CD collection to check out with your card. I left after three hours thinking, this is more than just a home for books. This is a home for anyone who loves to read, feel, touch, interact, learn and grow. For more information I urge you to visit the web site at www.sandiego.gov/public-library and learn more before you visit.

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Category: Education, Local News

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