Bergeson and "Chicken Soup for the Soul" author Mark Victor Hansen will
speak at the event, which takes place from noon to 2 p.m. today at
"The response so far has been tremendous," said Bergeson, honorary
chairwoman of the Committee to Build a Mariners Library. "Getting up to
$1 million requires some large donors as well, and we're working on
The $3-million facility would replace the aging Mariners Branch
Library and also serve as library to the students of Mariners Elementary
School. The plan is designed to take advantage of an unusual state
funding opportunity for joint projects. To qualify for the $2 million,
the state requires that the other $1 million be paid with charitable
But while the uniqueness of a library to serve a school and the public
has created the opportunity to qualify for the state Proposition 14
money, it has also raised concerns from residents who say it could pose a
safety risk to the children. Planners hope the rally will be a chance to
explain why they feel that the project will be safe.
"We want everybody who has a question to bring it," Bergeson said.
Newport Beach Community Services Director LaDonna Kienitz, who also
serves as the city's head librarian, said there's a high level of
community support for the project.
"There's is a lot of commitment everywhere on this project," Kienitz
said. "It's very exciting."
To apply for the grant by the June 14 deadline, the City Council must
first verify that enough matching funds have been raised. The latest
meeting of the council before that deadline is June 11 -- in effect, making that the fund-raising deadline as well.
The new library would replace the existing Mariners Branch library at
2005 Dover Drive with a facility built at the southeast corner of the
school campus. The 12,500-foot library would be roughly double the
existing Mariner's branch and would include expanded collections and
state-of-the-art technology. Separate entrances and separate areas for
students and adults have been proposed as a way to keep kids safe.
* June Casagrande covers Newport Beach. She may be reached at (949)
574-4232 or by e-mail at o7 firstname.lastname@example.org .
WHAT: "Build a Mariners Library" rally will include an appearance by
"Chicken Soup for the Soul" author Mark Victor Hansen; a disc jockey and
dancing; face-painting for children; food booths; and other activities.
WHEN: Noon to 2 p.m. today
WHERE: Mariners Park
PHONE: For information or to make a donation, call (949) 644-3150.