by OC Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, 5th District
The long-awaited renovation of the San Clemente Library is now complete. Construction to expand the library into the space vacated by the Senior Center across the building lobby began in June 2014.
With this expansion, the library has grown to approximately 15,000 sq. ft., and includes the new Friends of the Library Bookstore. These renovations incorporate much more than just added space to the library. The addition of a new Community Room allows Librarians to provide more programming for the public. This 500 sq. ft. area, with a retractable wall and separate entry, comfortably accommodate up to 75 people.
All aspects of the expansion project have included thoughtful attention to the diverse needs of library users. Entry doors throughout have been replaced, allowing for push button access if needed. All exterior ramps, railings and entryway areas have been upgraded. Aisles throughout have been widened, and all seating and service areas are wheelchair accessible.
The new library is also more energy efficient, hosting a brand new heating and air conditioning system and consistent, energy-efficient lighting throughout. Bookshelves have been redesigned to make better use of natural light as well.
Shelving and space are not the only visible changes. Library patrons will also notice differences designed to enhance customer service. A Single Service Desk now provides assistance and answers to questions in one convenient location. Additional Self-Checkout and public internet stations allow for even more efficient use of time. Distinct spaces for preschoolers, school-aged children, teens, adults, and laptop users are available. And all of these changes are capped off with new carpeting and furniture, creating a beautiful, cohesive and inviting space.
The library’s literacy partner, READ/OC, finally has a long-awaited private space for adults learning to read as well as their tutors. The room also houses literacy materials and training resources.
Without the generous support and contributions of the San Clemente Friends of the Library this project would not have been possible. The majority of funds raised by the Friends of the Library came from sales generated in the Friends of the Library Bookstore. The Friends are happy their new bookstore will be facing Avenida Del Mar, creating better visibility and a larger, more open space for shoppers. They anticipate the new location will help increase sales and allow them to provide even more support for library materials, programs and
Grand Opening ceremony for the
Library was on August 29 at 9:30am.