The Coast News Group

Civic Center Library reopens Dec. 27, between holiday closures

OCEANSIDE — Between planned December and January holiday closures, the Civic Center Library will reopen Dec. 27 with most renovations finished.

On Tuesday patrons can expect to see a more open, airy library, finished off with a fresh coat of paint.

The second floor layout is reconfigured with computers located to the sides of the open floor instead of front and center.

New shelves are lower and less bulky, and allow more natural light to illuminate the room.

Renovation work began in late October, and is 95 percent completed with the exception of a few backordered bookcases and custom computer tables.

A small corner of the second floor will be blocked off until materials arrive and installation is completed. Otherwise the library is ready for full use.

Brad Penner, library division manager, said the two months closure caught some library patrons off guard, but most adjusted to the temporary shut down.

During renovation work popular book titles and some staff relocated to the Mission Branch Library, which saw an increase in patrons and book checkouts.

In November there were 1,824 more patrons visits, and 3,102 more books and materials checked out than the prior month.

Weekly programs that are usually held at both libraries saw extra participants at the Mission Branch Library.

“The (Mission) Branch has been packed,” Penner said.

Some services were able to continue.

The popular Civic Center Library children’s story time was held in the community room adjacent to the closed library.

Online access to e-books and materials continued uninterrupted from the Mission Branch Library and home computers, but saw less use. With the Civic Center Library computer lab and online access closed, monthly e-books and materials views and downloads dropped by 2,237.

A re-opening celebration will be held at the Civic Center Library some time in January after the remaining shelving is in place.

“I’m not sure when the last of the cosmetic touches will be done, we’ll celebrate and give thanks then,” Penner said. “For now, people just want to be in there.”

The Civic Center Library opened in 1990, and had previous interior renovations and a computer lab added in 2011.

New carpet, which was just installed, was under warranty from 2011 work, and replaced by the manufacturer at no charge.

To maximize the period of library closure council approved $280,000 to replace worn bookshelves at the same time.

All library facilities will be closed for the holidays Dec. 24 to 26, and Dec. 31 to Jan. 2.

Bookmobile service will stop from Dec. 19 to Jan. 2.