Lake Arrowhead branch library celebrates grand reopening
By Derek Johnson
Special to The Alpine Mountaineer
After a months-long closure and renovation project that came as a last-minute surprise to many (apparently including some of the employees), the Lake Arrowhead branch library in Blue Jay reopened on Feb. 11.
There was a ribbon-cutting ceremony and dedication by County Supervisor Paul Cook. During his dedication, Cook explained “As a kid back in Connecticut, my local library kept me out of a lot of trouble.” He added that building a habit of reading can lead to a more enriching life.
The event was well attended by residents. The celebration was geared heavily toward parents with children. There were craft stations set up where kids could make kaleidoscopes and keychains, and there was a spray-on temporary tattoo station that drew a big line of eager kids. There were also prize drawings for patrons who checked out more than 15 books.
The question on everybody’s mind was finally laid to rest. “Everyone has been asking us if we’re keeping the fireplace. Yes, the fireplace is still there!” said one of the employees.
The changes to the interior of the library were mostly cosmetic – new paint, carpet and flooring. The children’s section now has an impressively beautiful fantasy-style forest mural that wraps around every wall and up onto the ceiling. A brand-new feature to the children’s section is the addition of two new kids computers with tree stump seats.
In the main area, many of the items have been rearranged, including the adult computers and the DVD section, but the changes are subtle enough that a patron giving the space a quick glance wouldn’t detect major layout changes. The shelves are still basically in the same place and orientation. The main difference one notices upon entry is that the library feels more spacious. This is because the circulation desk has been moved back significantly, so the entry area is far less crowded, with room for a small seating area added near the entrance.
Many of the local parents were relieved to have the library open again. “Coming here was such a regular part of our week and it was very disruptive to our routine to have it closed. We’ve been going to Running Springs and Crestline for the past few months,” said one mom.
The regular programs will be starting up again on Feb. 26. Programs include “Little Artist” (ages 0-5) on Mondays at noon; “Little Builders” (ages 3-5), Tuesdays at 11:15 a.m.; “Storytime” (all ages), Tuesdays at 12:30 p.m.; and “Learnology Lab” (ages 6-11), Thursdays at 4 p.m. Several special events will be happening in the coming months as well. Check with the front desk for more details.
All in attendance seemed to agree – the renovation managed to improve the library without the need to sacrifice any positive features of the previous setup, making it an objectively successful project.
(Photos by Derek Johnson)
Local toddler Oceana examines her newly made kaleidoscope.
The new wall décor in the kids area gives it a very ethereal quality.
The larger entry area left plenty of room to mingle.
Some dads help their kids use the new children’s computers.
County Supervisor Paul Cook cuts the ribbon after giving his dedication speech.