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Pico Branch Library Grand Opening Celebration Saturday, June 28:

The grand opening of the new Pico Branch Library, 2201 Pico Boulevard, will be celebrated Saturday, June 28 from 11 am to 4 pm.

“Ready, Set, Read!” is the theme of this free, fun-filled day for the entire family and highlights the strength of the library’s contribution to literacy and life-long learning.

The celebration begins at 11 am with an opening drum call and welcome by Mayor Pam O’Connor.

Keynote speaker, Carol Muske-Dukes, former Poet Laureate of California, joins City officials, the new Director of Library Services, Board and Commission members, and Pico Neighborhood representatives in welcoming this valuable new resource to the Virginia Avenue Park campus.

Following the program is a processional walk to the entrance of the new branch for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11:30 am.

Hosted by emcee/DJ Paul V, a performance-filled afternoon continues with taiko drum artists, Japanese Festival Sounds.

The creativity and diversity of one of Santa Monica’s most vital neighborhoods is showcased by Baile Folklórico de Cabeza DeVaca Cultura.

The Voice of ONE Gospel Singers will perform traditional gospel music, contemporary sacred music and universal songs of peace, love and spirituality.

Storyteller Michael D. McCarty will be on hand to enthrall listeners with his multicultural tales.

The day’s musical offerings conclude with a leading children’s/family rock band, The Boo Hoo Crew, who are bound to keep hands clapping and toes tapping for kids and parents alike.

Designed by Koning Eizenberg Architecture of Santa Monica, the Pico Branch Library, which opened to the public in late April, is a two-building, state-of-the-art facility.

Tours of the branch will be offered every half hour.

Docents will be standing by to demonstrate the branch’s hi-tech, self-service features; highlight the brand-new “opening day” collections for adults, teens and children; reading and computer areas; and group study rooms as well as talk about its sustainable, LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Platinum rating features.

Just across the way, in The Annex, visitors can experience a teen photography exhibit that documents “my community.”

Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, author and poet Carol Muske-Dukes will engage the teens in coming up with words or statements inspired by their photographic images.

At 2:30 pm, reference librarians will demonstrate Santa Monica Public Library’s new interactive, local history website, SHARE Santa Monica, which invites sharing of neighbors and neighborhood stories through uploaded images and other information.

The festivities continue with festival booths featuring Summer Reading Program signups, a variety of children’s craft workshops and activities, give-aways courtesy of the Friends of the Santa Monica Public Library and Buy Local Santa Monica, refreshments, a Farmers Market grilled peaches demonstration and tasting, and much more.

The public is cordially invited to bring their picnic blankets and baskets for a fun day in the park and to celebrate the strength of literacy, community connection and engagement that the new Pico Branch Library brings to the neighborhood and the community. Because parking is limited, the public is urged to walk, bike or take Big Blue Bus line 7 to the Grand Opening. Free bike valet is available. The Pico Branch is wheelchair accessible. For assistance with accessibility accommodations, call (310) 458-8606 at least one week in advance.

The Pico Branch Grand Opening is presented by the Santa Monica Public Library and the City’s Community and Cultural Services Department and Economic Development Division. Generous support is provided by the Friends of the Santa Monica Public Library, Buy Local Santa Monica through the Pico Improvement Organization, and the Virginia Avenue Park Advisory Board. For more information, call the Pico Branch at 310.458.8684; or visit the Library’s website smpl.org.

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