September 23, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Pico Neighborhood Embraces New Library; Thousands Visit During First Week:

The Santa Monica Public Library system has begun a new chapter with the opening of its newest branch — the first in more than 50 years — in the Pico neighborhood.

The Pico Branch Library, located at 2201 Pico Boulevard at Virginia Avenue Park, opened last Thursday and is currently in a soft-open mode.

An official grand opening ceremony and festival is scheduled for Saturday, June 28, from 11 am to 4 pm.

In the first three days that the Pico Branch was open, it welcomed nearly 1,650 visitors.

Branch manager Cecilia Tovar said the response had been extremely positive.

“The neighborhood has been waiting for this library for a long time, so they were really happy to see it open and be part of it,” Tovar said. “People are already checking out books, they’re getting their library cards, if they need to renew them, they are renewing them, and the study rooms are being used.”

Tovar said the library was especially busy during its first week between 3 pm and 6 pm on school days.

“When students get out of school they have a place to come and do their own homework,” she said.

Need a library card?

Tovar said Santa Monica residents could present a photo ID with their home address and fill out an application to receive a free library card.

“If the photo ID doesn’t have their current address, they need to bring a bill to prove they are a resident of Santa Monica,” she said. “If they are not a Santa Monica resident, they can pay $25 for a year and all they need is photo ID, fill out the application, and they will receive a library card.”

Tovar said the library’s collection was brand new.

“We also have early literacy stations, they are not connected to the internet, but they are educational programs for kids,” she said. “We have lots of brand new technology here in the library, especially the book sorter. The type of service weÕre trying to give here at this library is more roving reference. We will be walking around and answering questions.”

While the other libraries have self-checkout abilities, Tovar said the Pico Branch would try and expand this function to close to 100 percent of checkouts.

Nestled in between the Thelma Terry Center and the Farmers Market zone, the Pico Branch is located in the heart of the Virginia Avenue Park campus and is designed programmatically to enhance early literacy, lifelong learning, and to complement Park programs.

The Pico Branch is stocked with a brand new collection of 25,000 materials for adults, teens and children. In addition to popular books, movies, music, audiobooks, magazines and newspapers, the collection includes materials in Spanish and large print books.

Designed by Koning Eizenberg Architecture of Santa Monica, the 8,690 square-foot branch features a single-story, two-building design, with the main 7,872 square-foot library facility providing a children’s space, tables and seating, three group study rooms, reading areas, public computers, early literacy computers, copy center, self-service checkout, and self-service checkin using an automated materials handling system.

The Annex, a separate, 818 square-foot community room, is connected to the library by a roofline trellis with solar panels.

The Annex provides space for story times, after-school activities, summer reading programs, book clubs, film screenings, do-it-yourself activities, educational, informational and cultural programs and will be available for public rental.

Santa Monica Public Library branch hours are 12 pm to 9 pm Monday through Thursday, noon to 5:30 pm on Friday, and 10 am to 5:30 pm on Saturday (closed Sunday).

The Pico Branch is wheelchair accessible. Big Blue Bus line 7 serves the Pico neighborhood; and bicycle parking racks are available.

For more information, visit www.smpl.org/PicoBranch.aspx.

in News
Related Posts

Risks Posed by Wildfire Smoke

September 22, 2020

September 22, 2020

UCLA pulmonologist on how people can tell if the wildfires are making them sick By Toi Creel Even if you...

Will Los Angeles County See Another Spike in COVID-19 Cases?

September 22, 2020

September 22, 2020

County health officials keeping close eye on data this week By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County health officials are monitoring...

Edify TV: Santa Monica Fire Department Fighting Blazes Across State

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

The Santa Monica Fire Department has been busy helping combat wildfires burning throughout the state. Learn more in this video...

Lawmakers and Residents Take Steps Towards Police Reform

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

Santa Monica residents will soon have more control of policing after local lawmakers took significant steps to reform the Santa...

2020 Census Due September 30th: Santa Monica Beat – September, 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * 2020 Census Due September 30th * Bobcat Fire Reaches Historical Size...

UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica Offers Free “Living With Diabetes” Zoom Patient Conference

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

By Staff Writer Although the novel coronavirus has dominated the health space this year, other diseases — like diabetes —...

SMa.r.t. Column: Spending and Pension Policies Are Undermining Our City’s Future

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

Our guest columnist this week is Marc L. Verville. He is a native of Santa Monica, now lives in Sunset...

4.6 Quake Felt in Santa Monica

September 19, 2020

September 19, 2020

4.6 magnitude quake recorded Friday night By Sam Catanzaro A 4.6 magnitude earthquake struck the San Gabriel Valley Friday sending...

Edify TV: Miramar Santa Monica Redevelopment

September 18, 2020

September 18, 2020

The Santa Monica skyline may look different in the future with a major redevelopment of the Fairmont Miramar Hotel &...

‘Fresh Prince Of Bel Air’ Mansion For Rent On AirBnb

September 18, 2020

September 18, 2020

Today on Westside Cribz, 30th anniversary of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” Airbnb is renting out the mansion for...

SMMUSD Kindergarten Enrollment Down 20% : Santa Monica Beat – September, 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * SMMUSD Kindergarten Enrollment Down 20% * As Covid-19 Cases Drop Will...

Edify TV: Sit-down Dining Safety?

September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

Despite a recent CDC report stating the risks of in-person dining, many Westside restaurant patrons feel the experience is safe....

Sur La Table Closing Santa Monica Location

September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020

1930s building listed for lease By Sam Catanzaro Sur La Table, the popular kitchenware retail chain, is closing its downtown...

Death by Suicide at Santa Monica Place

September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020

Man dies by suicide Wednesday morning By Sam Catanzaro A man died by suicide at Santa Monica Place mall Wednesday....

Santa Monica Partners With Local Elementary Schools to Provide More Outdoor Spaces

September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020

Playground Partnership agreement goes live By Toi Creel The City of Santa Monica and local schools are working together to...