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Story and photos by Shiloh Ireland

March 21, 2023 (Lakeside) -- Lakeside has a new state of the art library. ECM took a preview tour of the 16,000 square foot facility on March 1 during a soft opening, also interviewing librarian Mary Elder. The grand opening is scheduled for March 25th.

ECM has conducted a photographic and drone history since ground-breaking of this new addition to Lakeside. As part of the San Diego County public library system, it is open to all residents of the county to utilize its services and check out materials.

The library offers a spacious environment with a teen room, children's section with a cave and large screen computer screens, large print section, DVD area, outdoor patio, state of the art computer check-out machine, attractive artwork, Lakeside Friends of the Library’s room that offers books for sale and much more.

This facility's roof contains solar panels that provide all daily energy usage. The site has 60 parking spaces, two charging stations and bicycle racks and handicapped parking. The exterior property contains trees, shrubbery and cacti  species requiring low water usage.

The library has 10 employees. The site is conveniently located next to the Lakeside Sheriff Sub-Station and across the street from Planet Fitness, fast food restaurants, a gas station and an MTS transit stop.

The ”soft opening” that ECM attended attracted many guests and some families. Those whom ECM spoke with were very impressed with the facility. All the staff members were helpful and smiling; it was obvious they were thrilled to be in the new library.

The old library building, owned by the County Department of Parks and Recreation,  is situated  adjacent to Lindo Lake.  ECM was told that it is in poor repair and it has not yet been determined what future use it may serve.

Asked what her greatest challenge will be, library Mary Elder told ECM, “Making sure we are directing people to the correct resources from a small library they were used to in previous site.”

Supervisor Joel Anderson is directing the Grand Opening. There will be activities for adults and children, ribbon cutting and more.

Elder observed, “ Lakeside deserves a beautiful and functional building, and this building will allow us to serve the community in ways we have not been able to,” adding, “I love to see people walk in and in that moment they just stop…This your library --  give us a chance to serve you.”

The new and  inviting library is a  place for all ages and is a wonderful place to visit. It boasts a tasteful decor as well as exterior landscape. The Grand Opening will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday March 25 complete with library tours, art displays, crafts and a ribbon cutting ceremony to welcome the long-awaited new library to our community.


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