Sunday, October 2, 2011

West Hollywood Library

Lately I’ve been feeling almost despondent about the failing economy and its effect on public libraries.  Not only are services being cut at a time when library usage is at an all-time high, but my students can’t find jobs when they graduate.

My spirits were lifted considerably yesterday, however, when I attended the grand opening of the new West Hollywood branch of the County of Los Angeles Public Library.  The two-story facility is beautiful but simple, with a magnificent view of West Hollywood and the Pacific Design Center directly across the street.  And two of my former students have just been hired there as permanent librarians, which for me was even more exciting than seeing the hundreds of people flooding into the new library!  It was a wonderful occasion and a perfect reminder of just how important public libraries continue to be to their communities.

The library (on the right) and Pacific Design Center across the street

Crowds rushing in

Interior: Decorative tree above and alongside the staircase

Interior: Wooden ceiling with curved features

Children's storytelling room (exterior made to look like a packing crate - fun!)

The view from the 2d floor interior: West Hollywood

Parking lot murals: Shepard Fairey (top) and Kenny Scharf (bottom)

Approaching the library from the south - Pacific Design Center reflected in the glass

P.S.  Too crowded to get photos, but two of my favorite parts of the new branch: the circulation desk has been replaced by self-checkout machines and a “customer service” desk, plus the librarians work at a desk that implores patrons to “ASK ME.”  Love it!