First Bond Act co-located facility opens in Newport Beach
The Donna and John Crean Mariners Library, a branch of the Newport Beach Public Library and the first Library Bond Act co-located public library, celebrated its grand opening April 20. The Library Bond Act board awarded the library, one of 18 projects in the bond act’s first application cycle, approximately $3.2 million toward its project total of approximately $5.2 million.
the April event outside the new facility, over 1,000
Life inside the new library
Mariners, according to its designers, is a “light-airy space, with high ceilings and lots of natural lighting, as well as comfortable ‘kid-friendly’ furniture, and computer workstations designated for children, teen, and adult use.” The alluring new library, filled with state-of-the-art materials and enthusiastic staff, is already helping change how people, kids particularly, see their local library.
Since the April opening, Mariners has seen a tremendous increase in the number of customers. Branch manager and librarian Mary Ellen Bowman, who started at Mariners’ former facility in 2002, says Mariners’ “traffic has increased 100%: we had 1300 customers the first day…[in the tiny old library] on a good Saturday we would see 600 customers at the most.” Bowman attributes these winning numbers to the fact that people like “hanging out” in their library; adults, teens, and children want to linger in spaces filled with computer stations, texts, and even customized furniture.
Mariners Branch Library is already sparking a lifelong library “habit” in its youngest customers. Because Mariners is a co-located facility, Bowman says children are more closely identifying the library with their research, homework, and leisure reading. Since Mariners is so generally appealing more smiling kids are coming in over after school just because they want to.
Office of Library Construction staff provides expertise
The California State Library’s OLC staff supports bond act libraries after initial funding. OLC staff, says Deputy Bond Act Manager Linda Springer, are specialists whose collective experience in operations and construction - reviewing project design drawings, specifications, and cost estimates - helps libraries like Mariners “get the most bang for their buck.” Whereas public library leaders and other team members may build a library “once in a career,” OLC staff have shepherded projects “six, eight, or ten times.”
For more information on the new Donna and John Crean Mariners Branch Library, visit the Newport Beach Public Library’s website or call (949) 717-3800. Or visit the Mariners Project Page on the OLC website.
For more information about the California State Library’s Office of Library Construction or the Library Bond Act of 2000 contact Richard B. Hall at (916) 445-9604 or firstname.lastname@example.org.