When I was a kid I loved the library. The local library where I lived was about 4 blocks from my house. When I was old enough, I'd go on my own and invariably return with an armful of books I couldn't wait to crack open. Now I have a child who also loves to read and while she isn't quite old enough to go to the library alone, loves to bring home books to read. I was so thrilled when the San Diego Public Library opened a brand new Central Library back at the end of September. I couldn't wait to go. I don't know what it was, though. I just didn't get around to going there. My husband and daughter had been there on several occasions. I kept thinking I'd go soon but six months passed. Finally today, I was thinking that since my daughter and I had just finished reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and we needed to pick up the next Harry Potter book. I didn't want to buy a book (not sure why given that we are addicted) and I didn't want to wait until Monday to go to the nearest library (since we're that addicted). So after lunch, my husband, daughter and I went to the "new" library. It's huge! It's more than double the size of the previous location at well over 366, 000 square feet. I didn't explore the entire place but I was really impressed.
The architecture is very modern and open.
The kids area was in use by many kids but it wasn't crowded either. Dr. Seuss art on the wall, computers on younger kids height tables, books set at kid height...
There's a teen area. At the entrance it said it was for 12-18 year olds...everyone else keep out. Yikes! Haha! We waited just outside since the Harry Potter book on our list was supposed to be there. The librarian took us in and explained that we're welcome to come in to get books but the area with the computers and whatnot was for teens. It's a great area for teens and was in use. The librarian was familiar with some of the kids there and engaged them. It was cool to see since he looked to be older than us.
The 9th floor has a lovely deck with a great view of the city including the Coronado Bridge. The pictures I took above are from the 9th floor and the bottom right picture has a bit of the bridge in it.
There is lots of seating on the various floors. Staff were very accessible and offered to help. There are books everywhere.
The only thing I found that I didn't totally love the parking. Yes, I'm thrilled that the first two hours is free since I used to have to pay the meter. The spaces are tiny in this day and age when most people have SUVs and other big vehicles. We drive smallish cars and it was still a tight fit. The space just doesn't seem that well thought out.
It looks like they have all kinds of programs. Music, chess and more.
The gift shop...yes, they have a gift shop, is adorable. It's very on-trend and Etsy-like. I felt like I was in a cute little boutique that had all kinds of book related gifts, as well as other lovely things.
I left the library with an armful of books looking forward to cracking them open and to spending more time exploring this new library.
Are you a reader? A library lover? I'd love to hear your stories.