Long gone are the dusty days of boring ambiance and old-smelling encyclopedias at your local library. They’ve been replaced with enriching programs and artistic murals and displays that make libraries a fun place to hang out, not just a quick stop to grab a few books. Instead of oversized leather chairs and worn out tables, libraries are starting to fill up with pint-sized desks, chairs, engaging reading nooks, and a plethora of programs that cater to kids’ learning. Check out these 4 amazing libraries that trade in the musty bookshelves for clean and bright spaces filled with books that fuel your little ones’ imaginations.

Cerritos Public Library
The modern architecture is reminiscent of Disney’s Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and this library boasts a massive 15,000-gallon saltwater fish tank complete with a real live shark! One of the impressive things about this library is its collection of Japanese, Hindi, Spanish, Chinese, and Korean language picture books for bilingual speakers. The Summer Reading Program and Explorer’s Academy, both usually announced after Memorial Day, are very successful in engaging little readers. Babies, tots and preschoolers have specially designed programs as well. The kids will be impressed with the huge T. Rex statue, the shuttle endeavor replica, the theatre, the art studio, and the ginormous lighthouse scattered throughout the children’s library.

Programs Offered:
Partners In Chime
Evening Movie
Arts & Crafts For Kids
Babies ‘N’ Books
Aquarium Program
Puppet Show
Young Rembrandts
Beginning Origami
And many, many, more….

Cerritos Public Library
18025 Bloomfield Avenue
Cerritos, Ca

Newport Beach Library
Located close to the beach and across from Fashion Island, this can be a perfect stop on the weekend to wind down and absorb some fun learning time. Grab some books and have the kids read out in the secret reading garden outside. Have the little ones play educational games on the computers or play with the many puzzles conveniently laid out for them. Special story times are tailored especially for little ones aged 6 to 24 months.

Programs Offered:
Books and Babies
Toddler Storytime
Preschool Storytime
Pajama Storytime
Family Storytime

Newport Beach Public Library
1000 Avocado Avenue
Newport Beach, Ca

Mission Viejo Public Library
The children’s section includes a spacious playroom full of toys, puzzles, and books that is set apart from the rest of the library so that the little ones can play and be themselves. It’s the perfect spot to meet new friends and have a play date. A brand new early literacy computer program for ages 2 and older is now available to help them get a jump-start on reading, math and other subjects. Visit the Youth Services Desk to sign up. There are also interactive preschool early literacy sessions for ages 3 to 6 years old that include songs, stories, and music to encourage reading skills. Be sure to get there early since space is very limited.

Programs Offered:
Toddler Early Literacy Class
Preschool Early Literacy Class
Tunes & Tales

Mission Viejo Public Library
100 Civic Center
Mission Viejo, Ca

Huntington Beach Central Public Library
One of the biggest libraries in the OC, The Huntington Beach Central Public Library has some of the best public events around. Events include toddler craft story times, grandparent read-alouds, and family pajama nights. During the holidays, there are vibrant and fun Nutcracker performances in the theatre. You must call ahead to reserve your tickets. In January, look out for the Surf City Kids Book Fest Authors Festival that includes a writer’s workshop and meeting various authors after storytimes. Various reading and writing contests are often held where the kids can win a gift card or other prizes.

Programs Offered:
Toddler Storytime
Preschool Storytime
Crafty Kids Club
Family Evening Storytime
Grandparent Read-Aloud
Surf City Kids Book Fest Authors Festival
Various shows in the theatre

Huntington Beach Central Public Library
7111 Talbert Avenue
Huntington Beach, Ca

What is your favorite library? Is it a local spot or someplace different? We wanna know what makes it so great.

–Sommy Rhee

Cerritos Public Library by Sommy Rhee, Hazel Q. via yelp, Andrew N. via yelp, Maggie C. via yelp