Friends of the Libraries: How to build your library

Someday, the citizens of Costa Mesa will sit up and demand that we build a large library in town. This may be a brand new building, or it may be a redesigned building, or it may be accomplished by adding on to a present library. But it will happen. When we get ready to do this, I have come across lots of advice we might follow. "Designing a Fine Library: Tools from the KLA Standards Committee, the Regional Systems and the Kansas State Library," by Bill Shared, is one source. I liked this article because it not only tells you what to do, and it also tells things not to do. The following is a selection of five from their list of 25 problems collected by Kansas consultants. We might learn something from this, even with our present buildings.

1. "Incorrect cost projections that force the cutting of realistic space requirements." This, of course, is a common problem. I am not sure if this was the exact reason that both the Mesa Verde Library in 1965 and the Costa Mesa/Donald Dungan Library in 1987 were cut in size from the original plans. The end result was that we ended up with smaller-than-intended libraries.

2. "Inflexible furnishings than can never be moved." This happened to one of our famous libraries in the county.

3. "Problems with roof seams, flat roofs and skylights." You would think that because a roof is a main line of defense against the weather, more attention would be paid to making sure that it is not going to leak. But time and time again, and not just with library buildings, roofs become a major problem.

4. "Inadequate storage." The number of items that must be stored — chairs, tables, craft materials, books, book carts and a million and one other things — never seem to be adequately planned for.

5. "No provision for future expansion." When planning a library, consideration should always be given to how the building, the parking, the air conditioning and other utilities can be expanded.

Paying attention to things like the above can prevent a lot of trouble later on.


At the Mesa Verde Library

The Mesa Verde Library, at 2969 Mesa Verde Drive East, is planning some changes in its programming for the spring. Storytimes will continue at 11 a.m. every Tuesday. But the first four Wednesdays of the month will have varied programs beginning at 7 p.m. The first Wednesday will be Family Game Night, when you can enjoy old favorites such as Candy Land, Sorry! and Chutes and Ladders. Pajama Storytime is set for the second Wednesday. Crafting Fun will occupy the next Wednesday, and a professional performer will entertain everyone on the fourth Wednesday. Other programming: Legos at 3 p.m. every Wednesday, and Read OC at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday. Attend and your child will receive a free book. The After School Library Club will meet from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Jan. 17. If you want more information, call (714) 546-5274.


At the Costa Mesa/Donald Dungan Library

During the month of January at this library, check out any book about health and medicine, nutrition, dieting, exercise or cooking and enter the raffle to win a $5 gift card.

A special program that has been held several times at this library is Bark. Attending children can practice their reading skills by reading to specially trained dogs who are great listeners. This free program is from 1 to 2 p.m. Jan. 12. All children and their families are welcome.

There will be a bookmark-making workshop for teens and adults from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Jan. 15. If you love romance books, the Romance Book Club at 2 p.m. Jan. 16 is designed just for you. Call Samantha at (949) 646-8845 for further information.

Please note that all three Costa Mesa libraries (the Mesa Verde Library, Dungan Library and Costa Mesa Technology Library at 3033 S. Bristol Ave., Suite Q) will be closed Jan. 21 for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

MARY ELLEN GODDARD produced this column on behalf of the Friends of Costa Mesa Libraries, the Costa Mesa Library Foundation and the three Costa Mesa branches of the Orange County Public Libraries.

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