Monday, November 16, 2009

The Silver Lake Branch Library is now open

This morning we opened the brand new Silver Lake Branch Library at the corner of Glendale and Silver Lake Boulevards! Fighting for a Silver Lake branch library was one of the commitments I made to the community when I was first elected to the City Council, and we set this project in motion within my first year in office. I'm really excited that it is now a reality.

The new facility is full of stories for people of all ages, but one of the most interesting tales it holds is the story of its development from conception to construction. Funding for the new library came from a 1998 voter-approved bond to build new libraries and improve or expand existing ones. The construction program was so well-managed that excess funds were available for additional projects. The Silver Lake Branch Library was built with these savings... the result of the L.A. Public Library’s careful budgeting and planning.

Silver Lake residents and readers have been part of the project every step of the way. The Friends of Silver Lake Library was deeply engaged in the advocacy effort to build a new library in this neighborhood, and then stayed involved through the siting and design process.

The new library is 13,600 square-feet with thousands of volumes for readers of all ages and interests, a multipurpose meeting room, a storytelling area, and computer workstations with Internet access. It is also the first branch library in the L.A. Public Library system with an automated materials handling system that checks in and sorts materials that patrons return onto a conveyor belt.

Silver Lake's library is also an example of sustainable design. The facility will meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards. Among the many environmentally-sustainable features are low-flow plumbing and irrigation, double-glazed windows, and a new integrated photovoltaic skylight system. More than 40 percent of the cost of construction materials was spent on recycled materials and materials from sources within 500 miles of the library site.

If you couldn't attend today's celebration, join us this Saturday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. for an open house sponsored by the Friends of the Silver Lake Library.