This Saturday, along with hundreds of other Oaklanders, I went to the grand opening of the 81st Avenue library, a project of the Oakland Public Library and the Oakland Unified School District. I was at a meeting down the street beforehand so I missed most of the speeches, but it looked like everyone had spoken or at least was on stage – Congresswoman Barbara Lee, State Senator Ellen Corbett, Assemblymember Sandre Swanson, Mayor Jean Quan, and Councilmember Larry Reid. All of them were beaming, as it was a joyous event for everyone involved.
After the ribbon cutting, I got a chance to check out the library and snap some photos.
The building is very modern and has this lovely sign to welcome you in:
The library was packed with excited people:
But even with the crowds, there were still corners to sneak away to for some quiet that looked like perfect places to read:
And there was plenty to read, or listen to, or watch. It made me smile to see so many people get so excited about the library’s offerings of brand new books and DVDs. The displays were beautiful, inviting, and professional – much like you’d see at a bookstore:
The 81st Avenue Library goes beyond books though. There’s a community room upstairs, a story time area, and a giant computer lab housing 60 state of the art computers and monitors (if only all of our libraries had equipment like this!):
This library clearly has the basics covered, but it’s also just a beautiful building with modern decor. Some of my favorite touches were this wall of letters:
And the windows:
I hope these pictures will inspire you to head down to the library and check it out in person – I promise you won’t be disappointed. Lately, Oakland has been used to more bad municipal news than good so it’s important to celebrate successes when they do happen.
V Smoothe wrote about the opening last week so if you’d like some information about the library, check that out.