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One year in the books

Half Moon Bay Library celebrates first birthday

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Crowds turned out on Aug. 15, 2018, for the grand opening of the new Half Moon Bay library. A year later, the library plans an anniversary celebration. Kyle Ludowitz / Review

The “new” Half Moon Bay Library is marking one year. A celebration of the anniversary will take place at 1 p.m. on Sunday at the library on Correas Street. 

“It’s gone really fast,” said Annie Malley, branch manager. “It’s been pretty spectacular the way the library has been received by the community.”

The library has also been well received by the building industry. It has won five awards since opening in August of last summer. 

In March, the library was awarded a Green Building Award sponsored by Sustainable San Mateo County and the American Institute of Architects of San Mateo County. The library also received the International Interior Design Association Northern California Chapter Honor Award in the social responsibility category. It was also one of six recognized by the American Institute of Architects along with the American Library Association for excellence in architectural design. Lastly, the local library won the Green Project Award from the American Public Works Association.

“We knew this was a really special place, but to get that confirmation from our peers and the architects’ peers has been amazing,” said Malley on receiving these awards. 

Since the opening of the new building, the library has seen increased use by the community. More books are being checked out, more people visiting and there are more programs, according to the library system. 

There is always something happening at the library and there are lots of opportunities for collaboration between the library and organizations in the community. 

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Many who come to the new library in Half Moon Bay find something new to try out, like virtual reality. Kyle Ludowitz / Review

“I think that’s what is so special about this space,” said Malley. “There is so much happening program-wise. It’s working exactly how we envisioned it.”

On the first day the library opened, workers made more than 80 new library cards for new patrons, and they have seen increased engagement ever since. 

“It’s been a good kind of crazy,” said Sabrina Nava, library assistant. “There are so many people who live here who had never come to the library before the new building opened.”

The celebration this weekend will showcase the library and some of its main activities. The makers space will be open and there will be a special activity to show off the 3-D printer. Participants can make a little pot to put an air plant in. There will be virtual reality in the teen room, a photo booth, tissue paper flowers, button-making, and memory cards so people can write about their favorite memories of the first year of the library. 

The Cypress Jazz trio, a local group that often performs at Cafe Society, will provide music. Special guest Shawn Harris, who recently moved to Half Moon Bay, will be reading from his book, “Her Right Foot.” The book was written in collaboration with noted author Dave Eggers. The Half Moon Bay Library will be giving out 100 copies of the book to people at the event. There will also be cupcakes as well as myriad other activities to celebrate the library’s first year.

“It really is a special, special place,” said Malley. “It’s one of the hearts of the community.” 

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