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Eli Cunanan, 6, tries his hand with the robotics exhibit at the Half Moon Bay Library's maker space on Sunday. The library celebrated its one-year anniversary. Emma Spaeth / review

The Half Moon Bay Library was packed with people on Sunday afternoon as locals flocked to the building on Correas Street to celebrate its first birthday.

The library opened last August and was met with tremendous enthusiasm from the community.

“We absolutely love it,” said Nicole McFadden, a local who attended Sunday’s anniversary event with her 3-year-old son. “My son loves storytime, playing with all the exhibits and checking out a billion books.”

This event showcased many parts of the community as well as the library itself.

The library offered multiple programs throughout the day, including a performance by Cypress Jazz Trio and participants from the library’s Monday Night Ukulele Jam. Illustrator Shawn Harris read from his book, “Her Right Foot,” and presented a collage workshop. Chinese Melodrama with Randy Bales (guitar and vocals) and Dr. Lisa Chu (violin) performed as well. 

“It’s so fun to see the community sharing all their gifts and talents,” said library patron Penny O’Neal as she watched the performance from the ukulele group. “I love the special events at the library and I really appreciate how helpful and friendly the staff is.”

The library also offered programs in its maker space. Different activities were available to represent the different projects the library has been leading in this space.

“We have really resourceful libraries over the hill, but I haven’t seen a maker space or community space like this,” said Hannah Wilde, a language arts teacher and local tutor from Redwood City. “This library is breathtaking. The space is really contemporary.”

Locals worked on projects using the sewing machines and made pots with the 3-D printer for planting succulents. The robotics station was also set up, and patrons could program robots to maneuver through a maze. 

“The idea is to tinker, not perfection,” said librarian Francisco Vargas. “We want to give people an idea of what they can do.”

The maker space has been one of the community’s favorite spaces at the library since it opened a year ago.

“It’s been going great. We have the first maker space in the San Mateo Library System and we are piloting a lot of projects,” said Daniela Leyva, community program specialist for maker space and teens at the library.

Zachary Turner, a senior at Half Moon Bay High School and part-time student at College of San Mateo, showed off an exhibit from the Half Moon Bay High School Paleontology Club featuring fossils, rocks and bones.

Turner was recently in Australia doing research with Fort Hays State University for the Sternberg Museum of Natural History where he discovered some marine sediments. The sediments included bones, like fish jaws, and were featured as part of this exhibit. The other artifacts included in the exhibit were donated, including some extrusive igneous rocks donated from the University of Oregon. 

“I believe the key to understanding the future is understanding the past. A lot of people believe that, but not enough people act on it,” said Turner, who hopes the Paleontology Club will encourage more students to study paleontology. “Not enough people are going into this field of work.” 

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