Two bulldozers atop mounds of dirt and the smell of fertilizer baking in the sun set the scene as ground was broken Thursday morning for the Lake View Terrace Branch Library, the Los Angeles Public Library's 68th branch.
The library, expected to open next year, will be the city's most ecologically friendly facility, planners say.
"The Valley is once again being a leader," said City Councilman Alex Padilla, who represents the area.
Designed to conserve water and energy, the building also will use recycled materials for the carpets and walls, solar panels to generate electricity, plumbing fixtures that use 20% less water than low-flow types, and a laminated bamboo material that will cover the lobby floor.
The Lake View Terrace branch is one of 35 public library building projects in the works with a focus on conservation.
"This is an example and a prototype for us. . . . This is the gold-star building of all of them," city librarian Susan Kent said.
Besides more than 35,000 books, CDs, videotapes and other materials, the branch will have computer work stations with Internet access.
"There are going to be lots of books for you when this library opens," Kent told children from Fenton Avenue Charter and Brainard Avenue Elementary schools who participated in the event.
Chief Little Bear and Standing Bear of the Fernandeno Tatavian Tribe blessed the ground in a brief ceremony, and Lake View Terrace's poet laureate, George Raabe, recited his sonnet commemorating the long-awaited library.
The Lake View Terrace branchwas designed by the architectural firm Fields Devereaux.