“We’ve been seeing a change in demographics,” said Debbie Walker, the library’s Branch Coordinator. "We’re hoping to draw in more students, but we want to keep our loyal patrons as well.”
And there are other perks as well. Coffee and tea will be served for $1.
The cost of the renovations came to about $34,000. The library spent $25,000 out of pocket, and used donations to pay for the rest.
Patrons were glad to be back.
“This library has the best librarians,” said Patrick Bradley of Corona del Mar. “They are friendly and engaging. And I think [the renovations] look fabulous.”
Although the Corona del Mar branch isn’t as big as its parent library in Newport Beach, patrons say it has deep roots in the community.
“I love it for its quaintness,” said Fran Sawdei of Laguna Beach. “It’s so welcoming and relaxing. It’s the neighborhood library, and I think people feel safe bringing their kids here.”
Library officials hope the expanded selection of kids books will continue to attract the little ones. So far, it seems to be working. Four-year-old Arabella Saari came on opening day and made herself comfortable on the beanbags in the children’s section.
“I like to read books,” she said.
Erica Nuber of Corona del Mar was Saari’s chaperone.
“Sometimes we come to story hour,” she said. “They read to kids, and do little craft projects. I think it’s an important part of the community.”
According to Jeanne Rees of Corona del Mar, the library’s central location puts it within walking distance for residents like herself.
“We’ve been coming here for 40 years,” she said. “I love it because I read a lot, and I can just walk over here.”
Library Director Cynthia Cowell is happy that community members see the library as their own.
“It is very much a neighborhood library,” she said, “and residents take a lot off pride in it.”
Grand Opening Events
Today: Preschool storytime at 10:30 a.m.
Thursday: Book discussion at 10 a.m.
Friday: Free DVD rental coupons for adults
Saturday: Community celebration from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.