Improved Library Emerges From Rubble of ‘Blitzkrieg’ Remodeling
After weeks of whirring machinery, walls being knocked down and books being buried under a thick coat of dust, the order and tranquility of the Cardiff library are about to be restored. When workers clear away the rubble this month, a new and improved library will emerge with twice the space and a new community room.
The library, which occupies a storefront in the Cardiff Towne Centre, is expanding into a vacant adjacent space, said Sue Anderson, president of the Friends of the Cardiff Library that lobbied the city of Encinitas for the project’s funding. The most welcome part of the extra 1,603 square feet is the new community room and a staff room, she said.
“The community room will have a private entrance to the street and a lockable door between the rest of the library,” Anderson said. “That space will be used by the library for their crafts and story times, but it will also be a space for public meetings for the community, something which we do not currently have.”
The “blitzkrieg” remodeling project began as scheduled on March 29, but its April 27 completion date has been pushed ahead to the middle of May. All that is lacking now is an emergency fire exit, said Faith Niles, branch manager of the library.
“It’s like, every time I see a man walking by, I look and hope he has a hammer in his hand,” Niles said of the delay. “But most of the hard work is done, so once they get started, they’ll be able to zip right through it.”
The absence of walls and the boxed-up books aside, there have been no major disruptions in service, Niles said. So far, the library hasn’t missed a single day of business because of the remodeling, but it will be closed the last three days of the project to rearrange the shelves and stock them with books, she said.
“At least a quarter of the wall space had to come down, all the shelves had to come down, and all the books are in boxes on the floor,” Niles said. “But the patrons have been really good about it, and the children love it. It is a new adventure to them.”
Funds from the Encinitas Community Enhancement Program paid for the expansion of the branch, as well as covering the cost of a three-year lease, Anderson said.
“In August, we asked the city to provide the funds to lease this additional space for three years at a cost of $1,823 a month, or a little less than $22,000 a year,” Anderson said. “Crisell Developers, the firm that owns the shopping center, modified the space for us as part of the lease.”
The expansion of the Cardiff Library has not put a dent in the regularly scheduled programs for children and adults. The following is a list of activities planned for May and the upcoming summer months.
* May 15: “Miss Marple, How You’ve Changed” is the name of an informal lecture reviewing the work of six female mystery writers who use female private investigators as their protagonists. The program, conducted by a staff librarian, begins at 7 p.m. at the library.
* June 30: “Treasure Quest” is the theme of this summer’s reading program for children, which kicks off with a magic show by Skipper Frank at 10:30 a.m. in the community room of the library. The program is designed to encourage out-of-school students to read during the summer.
* July 7: A children’s crafts workshop tying in the “Treasure Quest” theme will be held at 10:30 a.m. in the community room.
* July 14: A librarian will read stories about the sea to preschool children at 10:30 a.m.
* July 18: Pirates are the theme of this storytelling hour for children ages 7 to 15, at 3:30 p.m.
* July 21: Using puppets and poetry, Stacey Wein will lead this storytelling time at 10:30 a.m.
* July 28: Dr. Theodora Koob will lead a story time for children of all ages at 10:30 a.m.
* Aug. 1: A karate demonstration for children ages 6 to 15 will be held at 3:30 p.m.
* Aug. 18: A party will be held to celebrate the finale of “Treasure Quest,” the summer reading program.
The Cardiff Library is at 2027 San Elijo Ave. It is open from 1 to 8 p.m. Monday, 1 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. It is closed Thursdays and Sundays.