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Friends of the Libraries: In San Diego, efforts finally bear fruit

October 01, 2013|By Mary Ellen Goddard

The big news in the public library world this week is the opening of the new San Diego Central Library.

The old central library, built in 1954, was small and, according to Sunday's Los Angeles Times, long overdue for replacement. In fact, it sort of echoes Costa Mesa's story, except that we haven't gotten our central library yet.

For 40 years, people participated in efforts to replace the San Diego library building, and although a number of branch libraries were built, the central library plans were put on hold. Still, boosters worked on — and on and on — and eventually reached their goal.

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A deal with the school district has a charter high school taking up two floors of the new nine-story library. One donor gave $30 million, another gave $2 million, and more than a dozen families donated $1 million each. The library has 497,000 square feet of space, and the total cost is reported to be $189.4 million.

This means that on the West Coast, there is a signature public library at the southern and northern borders. The Seattle Public Library has brought a lot of international interest. Perhaps this new San Diego library will do the same.

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At the Mesa Verde Library

The Mesa Verde Library will be celebrating Star Wars Reads Day from 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 5 with "Star Wars" characters, crafts, trivia and more. This is a family program, and all ages are welcome. Star Wars Reads Day is an international event that celebrates reading and "Star Wars." It was launched in 2012 by Lucasfilm and its publishing partners.

Preschool Storytime, with stories, songs and activities for 3- to 5-year-olds, will be held from 11 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays. Activities may include simple crafts, games and outdoor fun, like Bubble Days. No registration for this program is required.

A special Spooky Storytime and Stuffed Toy Sleepover will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 9. Children can come wearing their most comfortable pajamas, if they like, and bring a favorite stuffed animal. Then they will settle in to enjoy spooky stories, songs and activities with Mary Pat.

For more information, call the library at (714) 546-5274.

For families with at least one child under the age of 5, a program encouraging families to read, play and learn together will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Oct. 10. At each session, adults and children listen to a story, sing songs, play games and make crafts together. Parents receive ideas and resources to help make their home a learning place. Big brothers and sisters are welcome.

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