South Mountain Community Library Open
After nearly two years of construction, the doors at South Mountain Community Library, a joint operation between Phoenix Public Library and South Mountain Community College, have opened.
Last month, as classes began at South Mountain Community College, the library started its soft opening so faculty, students and the community could preview all the amenities.
I think shock and awe was the architects goal, and theyve been very successful because people walk in, they look up and their mouths drop open, said AmyMacPherson, SMCCs division chair, Library and Teaching and Learning Center. Its been interesting to see people who come in for the first time theyre like kids in a candy store.
An official grand opening for the 51,000-square-foot facility, which is one of only a handful of libraries nationwide that represent a partnership between a college and city, is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 24.
In addition to a collection of more than 90,000 items, the library offers a childrens room and teen space, community meeting room, study rooms, and 95 public computers with Internet access. The Edge computer lab is the largest of all Phoenix Public Library branches.
Its an open computing space, but we have specialized areas for just children and teens, MacPherson said.
The early literacy computers for kids include dozens of educational programs on topics such as reading, geography, math, typing and anatomy. A story time for kids is also scheduled to begin later this month.
For the colleges library staff, the transition to a kid-friendly facility is new because the original library didnt allow unaccompanied minors.
Its different to have so many kids all over the place, MacPherson added. Fortunately, we have lots of resources. The kids know where all the cool stuff is.
Some of those cool items include hundreds of CDs, DVDs and audio books, as well as a multimedia studio for recording audio and videos. The library also offers free Wi-Fi and will soon open a café with interior and exterior patios serving coffee, tea and snacks.
During the librarys first four days, more than 1,000 materials were circulated. MacPherson expects that number to rise considerably as people in the surrounding community realize the library is open.
Shes particularly excited about area residents taking advantage of the librarys location on a college campus.
Were going to have kids who come here for story time, and then theyre going to come to the college and use the library as teenagers and play videos games, use computers and check out books, MacPherson said. Then when they get ready for high school, its going to be a no-brainer that they go to college because theyve been going to college their whole life.
South Mountain Community Library is open from 7:30 a.m. 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m. 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Sunday hours are from 1 p.m. 5 p.m.
Designed by richärd + bauer, llc. and constructed byHaydon Building Corp., the library was funded through the 2006 Citizens Bond Program and the 2004 Maricopa Community College District Bond Program.