By Zach Chouteau
If the mention of a city library conjures to your mind a lifeless alcove of old books and quiet shadows, you likely haven’t stopped by the San Pablo Library, a stylish facility that debuted in August of last year.
The ‘Rich Life’ segment made its first visit to the impressive structure on San Pablo Ave. (by Church) recently, and even on an early Tuesday afternoon the place was bustling. Parents read to children in a large and comfy toddler area; older teens took advantage of the private study rooms; numerous visitors breezed through the high-tech ‘self-checkout’ stanchions with their books; sleek conference rooms began filling with meeting recipients; and dozens of folks accessed the many PCs available for Internet access.
You’ll quickly discover at this likeable library that while it might have plenty of books on loan it brings much more to the table as well, especially its well-designed spaces. The high-ceilinged, 22,000-square-foot venue has a large children’s area, a Teen Zone, a laptop lending station, a large conference room, and two group study rooms. The Wild Cat Community Room which faces Church Street is another great space, and can be reserved by calling the City of San Pablo Recreation department (conference rooms are rented through the library itself).
Adding to the ambience are artsy maps adorning many of the high walls from floor to ceiling, from expansive maps of the world to detailed streetscapes of surrounding neighborhoods.
Visitors aren’t limited to borrowing books either, they can purchase gently used books as well—and also borrow music CDs, books on tape, and numerous movies and shows on DVD.
The venue is also home to all sorts of events and programs, including a free lunch service this summer in its café space for kids and teens beginning June 11 and running through August 16, taking place Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon to 2 p.m. As recently reported in the Standard, the Lunch at the Library program will have eight other Contra Costa County libraries participating in addition to the San Pablo branch.
The San Pablo Library is located at 13751 San Pablo Ave. and is open Noon to 8 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 1 pm.to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Sundays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
Drop by and check it out or find out more online at the library’s official website.