Oceanside library renovation is well under way

OCEANSIDE — The renovation of the Civic Center Library that started in November is well under way. A remodel of the interior layout, widening of the stairway, and replacement of carpeting has begun. “It’s a lot
more than recarpeting,” Franklin Escobedo, branch manager of Mission Branch Library, said.
The first visible change will be a new front counter that will sit in the middle of the first floor gallery. The central services counter will pull together information, book returns, checkout and library card applications in one place.
Renovation will also put the children and teen areas side by side on the first floor. Prior to renovation the teen section was on the second floor, which created too much distance between younger and older siblings who visited the library together. “Moving the section will create a better flow for children and teens,” Escobedo said.
A new computer lab is being added to the second floor that will have Internet access for laptop users. Currently there is a fundraising campaign to buy additional computers to put in the lab.
There will also be a cafe reading area equipped with comfortable seating and a self-serve coffee maker. The new design is geared to make the library more user-friendly.
The renovation costs $515,000 and an additional $120,000 worth of new furnishings have been donated by the Friends of the Library and Oceanside Public Library Foundation.
While the upgrades will improve patron flow and library service, the overall “look” of the library will remain the same. “It will stay true to original architecture, and use city hall whites, blues and the same wood colors,” Escobedo said.
Completion of the project is expected in mid-February. “We haven’t set a day for the grand opening yet,” Deborah Polich, library director, said.
During renovation, book checkouts and children’s story time will continue in the library annex set up
in the adjacent Community Rooms, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Other library programs are temporarily being held at outreach locations. Library staff said they hope running programs at recreation centers throughout the city will connect more people with library programs. “We’re hoping that when we reopen people will come see what
we’ve done and come back to us for providing great free service to them,” Escobedo said.
For more information on library services, visit www.library.ci.oceanside.
ca.us. To see video of the library renovation, visit www.coastnewsgroup.com.

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