Jul 29, 2014

Ready for Its Close-Up

The new library is now serving customers even though the grand opening and official dedication ceremonies aren't until Oct. 1.

West Hollywood’s new library doesn’t officially open until Oct. 1. But the library actually opened its doors Tuesday at 1 p.m., a sort of “soft opening” so staff could get adjusted to the new facility and work out any problems before the grand opening next week.

People are already using the facility, checking out books and getting a glimpse at the impressive new building.

Weho Patch joined a media tour of the new library where architect Steve Johnson of Culver City-based Johnson Favaro talked about the facility, which is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified.

Construction started in July 2009 on the 32,000-square-foot library, which will have shelving for 150,000 books, movies and music.

Among the books in the collection are more than 4,000 LGBT themed volumes that will be in general circulation rather than part of an archive, which is the case for most LGBT collections. Additionally, there’s an extensive HIV/AIDS information collection.

There’s also a large children/teen book collection as well as a children’s theater area designed to mimic the exterior of the grand Michelangelo-designed Laurentian Library in Florence, Italy.

The library is also home to a career development center which is operated by JVS (Jewish Vocational Service). Job search and placement assistance is available there to any resident of West Hollywood.

On the street level, there is a new state-of-the-art City Council chambers, which the council will begin using with its Oct. 3 meeting. The entrance to the chamber hosts a specially commissioned West Hollywood-themed mural by renowned artist Shepard Fairey, who did the Obama “Hope” poster.

The library grand opening and dedication ceremonies are Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The 10th annual West Hollywood Book Fair will be held the next day in West Hollywood Park.

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