Sunday, March 18 , 2018, 9:28 am | Fair 51º


Santa Maria Public Library Begins Move Into New Building

For the next 25 days, the Santa Maria Public Library is moving into its new building next door. While the library remains open for now, its rooms will be closed in four phases as the staff and volunteers prepare the building for the grand opening on Aug. 23.

Librarian Jack Buchanan said there are about 4,500 shelves to be emptied from the old two-story library. This project involves relocating 165,000 books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, microfiche rolls and audio books, as well as placing 13,000 new volumes purchased for the expanded library.

The move began shortly after 9:30 a.m. Monday on the second floor, where the reference and nonfiction sections are located. The staff and volunteers began loading wheeled book carts, carrying about 100 volumes at a time, give or take a few.

The library’s second floor will remain open with public Internet access through Friday of this week, then will be closed. Starting Monday through Aug. 21, library patrons may use any of nine public computers for Internet access at the nearby Abel Maldonado Community Youth Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays except for Thursdays.

Beginning Monday, staff will be moving materials out of the first-floor fiction and periodicals room, which will be closed. Beginning Aug. 11, the children’s library will be closed for moving.

The popular library on the first floor, which contains audio books and movies among other materials, will be the last room to be closed, during the week of Aug. 18.

The entire library is scheduled to be closed for the final week before the new library opens so that the staff can prepare the new facility.

The new library’s grand opening ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. Aug. 23.

This new building is twice the size of the old library, which was last expanded in 1970. Expanded book collections, dozens of public computers, a children’s theater, a café, community meeting room and a literacy center are among the many features.

A new city video airing on Comcast Channel 23 and on the city’s Web site tells residents all about their new library. The video is part of a larger package of photographs, floor diagrams, comparisons of the old and new libraries, and library history since 1909.

The video is the newest episode of Santa Maria Today, a city government TV program airing on Comcast public access Channel 23 through Aug. 23. Santa Maria Today is broadcast at 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays and at 3 p.m. Saturdays on public access television’s Channel 23 to Comcast subscribers throughout the Santa Maria Valley.

Questions may be directed to the city manager’s office at 805.925.0951, ext. 372, or to the library at 805.925.0994.

Mark van de Kamp is a management analyst in the Santa Maria city manager’s office.

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