Wednesday, October 23, 2013

New Central Library, Downtown San Diego

Library exterior with dome
The eagerly anticipated moment has finally arrived! Months after the old Central Library was shut down in the ghetto, the  new library has re-opened in a new ghetto! But seriously, folks, don't be intimidated by your surroundings. Once you get past the front doors, the new library is awesome. I highly recommend checking it out (and while you're there, check out The Vesuvius Isotope...which should be on the shelves by now!)

So what makes this place so great? For one thing, it is nine stories high and filled with resources. Here's a much abbreviated summary of what they are:

First floor:
350-seat state-of-the-art theater
Garden courtyard
East arcade "reading nooks"
Library shop
Conference center
Video wall
Friends of the Library Used Bookstore
Branch library for downtown residents (library within the library)
Elevator art
Resources for customers with disabilities (Braille, etc.)
Children's library

Second floor:
Teen center
Homework center
Health and wellness information center
Business, science, and industry collection
Social science collection

Third floor:
8th floor open-air reading room

Patent and trademark resource center
Government documents
Newspapers and periodicals

Fourth floor:
Computer lab and computer training center
Multi-media studio and training center
Wall art
Literature collection

Fifth floor:
Career center
Rock garden
History collection

Sixth and seventh floors:
Onsite civic high school (I'm not kidding: there's a school inside the library)

Eighth floor:
Open-air reading room offering views of downtown San Diego and the Coronado bridge
Literacy services (READ San Diego)
IDEA (Innovation and digital expression activity) lab
Baseball research center (sort of a museum for the Padres)
Art, music, and recreation collection

Ninth floor:
Special collections
Rare book room
Art gallery
Sculpture garden
Rooftop terraces
Special events suite with catering kitchen

In addition to all of that, the library is jam-packed with little reading nooks and windows, meeting rooms, and computer resources. There is a 250-space parking lot beneath the library and easy public transit accessibility. Supporters of the library have the opportunity to purchase a brick, which will then be displayed with your personalized message for all to see!

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