Arcadia’s Live Oak library reopens in new location and at four times the size – Pasadena Star News
Arcadia’s Live Oak Library is back online.
On Tuesday, August 4, local families joined Los Angeles County Library officials and Supervisor Kathryn Barger in celebrating the move, reopening and renovation of the Live Oak Library.
The open house included free books and snacks for the kids, an opening ceremony and a guided tour of the newly renovated space.
Arcadia resident Toni Ovalle brought her granddaughters to the open house.
“I think it was pretty cool because there were a lot of books – more books than I expected,” said Ovalle’s granddaughter, Bella Garcia, 9. In the last few months before the library reopened for in-person browsing, Ovalle occasionally brought his granddaughters to the branch’s summer meal program.
Live Oak Library Director Denise Dilley is eager to invite the community to the new space, which is almost four times the size before. “With all the light, the windows, the floors, the layout – it’s Christmas,” she said.
New features include 38 reading and 10 lounge seats, a community meeting room with kitchenette and audiovisual system, a group study room, and an early learning and engagement center. Energy-efficient air conditioning and heating and drought-tolerant landscaping complete the package.
The library also offers four adult computers, five teen laptops, four children’s computers, two preschool learning computers and two iPads for accessing the catalog. A laptop computer vending machine includes 12 laptops for library use.
Dilley enjoyed seeing friends of the library and local leaders come together for the first time after working for more than two decades to open a new branch of Live Oak Library. The library was previously located at 4153 E. Live Oak Ave. in Arcadia. It is now 1.1 miles west at 22 W. Live Oak Ave.
The $ 7.3 million refurbishment project began on May 20, 2019 and was completed on September 1, at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic. Until now, the library has only been open for book drop-off and pick-up and the children’s summer lunch program. Dilley said the lunch program currently serves 105 breakfasts and lunches to 43 families and will last until Friday, August 6.
The renovation was made possible with support from the Los Angeles County Library and Barger, who attended the open house. LA County Library Director Skye Patrick also attended the event, along with representatives from Monrovia-Arcadia-Duarte City Council, Friends of Live Oak Library, City of Arcadia and of the local community.
“Our new library will offer so many programs, courses and events – but most importantly, it will provide increased accessibility to everyone in our communities,” said Barger.
Arcadia residents Carissa and Tyler Wan, ages 8 and 11, attended the reopening. They used the library’s two new ATMs to check out “Sunday Funday in Koreatown,” a Frida Kahlo biography for young readers, and the children’s non-fiction volume “Something Rotten: a Fresh Look at Roadkill”. “We will be back soon,” Tyler Wan said.
Thomas Lim of Arcadia lives a two-minute drive from the library. Lim and her three children usually go to the library every week, and sometimes consult 40 to 50 books. Now that visitors are welcome inside, Lim is excited to use the new space. “We love the new design,” Lim said.
The Live Oak Library is one of several libraries in LA County now open for certain in-person services, including browsing the collection and checking items, using computers and printing, collecting reservations and free Wi-Fi. Visitors should wear face coverings and convenient physical distancing.
The Live Oak Library is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday to Friday, and noon to 8 p.m. on Tuesday. The library is closed on weekends. The library offers virtual programs such as online craft and watercolor lessons for children and adults. Participants can pick up materials from the library and access programs online. To see lacountylibrary.org/live-oak-library/ for more information.