It’s one thing to take your little reader to the local library to read and check out a few books. It’s quite another experience all-together to visit the Sanford Children’s Library, part of the new San Diego Central Library. Beginning Sept. 30, the new library takes kids and literacy to an entirely new level.
The Sanford Children’s Library is calling itself a “family destination” for the people of San Diego. The literary space is surrounded by bright colors of orange, blue and green to match the 16-foot-high wall-to-wall murals that feature classic Dr. Seuss characters. The library received exclusive permission from Dr. Seuss Enterprises to feature these magical characters.
The Children’s Library includes 85,000 books. Until now only 1/3 of those books were on display at the old Central Library. The remaining books were stuck in the Library’s storage because of lack of space. (Some of the books still have the word “storage” on their spines!)
Besides your typical picture books and chapter reads, there are historical books on display throughout the Children’s Library. Those books include a never-displayed series of pop-up books, first edition Dr. Seuss stories and a collection from L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz books. There is also an extensive World Language Collection that features children’s books (classics and new tales) in dozens of languages including Japanese, Greek, Korean, Dutch, Spanish and several others.
Of course the library has lots of space for quiet reading with mini Adirondack chairs, little tables, and comfy seats. And luckily for parents, rambunctious little readers can’t overturn the Adirondack chairs.
Storytime and More
The Sanford Children’s Library plans to offer an array of family programming. There are currently three types of storytimes offered: pajama, baby and toddler, and preschool. There will also be ongoing digital storytelling on a huge Tap computer screen made from unbreakable military-grade glass (parents, breathe a sigh of relief!). Baby yoga classes will also be offered on a regular basis and the popular kid’s band Hullabaloo will perform on the first Saturday of each month.
Technology and Digital Learning
Kids will also be able to focus on literacy using new modes of technology. The library has ten AWE Early Literary Stations (ELS) for kids ages 2 – 8, that includes 60 educational games that focus on math, reading, typing, music and other subjects. In addition to the ELS stations, the Sanford Children’s Library has 24 computers with Word processing and Internet for older kids to work on homework.
The “Sneak Peek” Celebration
The San Diego Central Library will have a sneak peek celebration on Sept. 28. The day will feature a family-friendly street festival and a look at the Sanford Children’s Library. The festival includes performances by Hullabaloo, The Heroes, The Paul Cannon Band, Clint Perry, and the Boo Hoo Crew.
There will also be a Fancy Nancy parade, arts and crafts projects, storytelling and author meet-and-greets. Plus, there will also be a vendor fair that includes kid-friendly businesses such as Little Locks and Mon Petite Chateau. Food and snacks will be available for purchase throughout the festival.
If you plan to attend the celebration, you are highly encouraged to use public transportation. There are more than 18 bus routes that stop within a few blocks of the library and the San Diego Trolley is a great way to get there too. If you insist on driving, there are a limited number of paid public parking spaces available within walking distance of the library, so bring quarters!
San Diego Central Library
330 Park Blvd.
San Diego, Ca 92101
Are you planning to visit the Sanford Children’s Library? Do you take your kids to your local library?
– Leah R. Singer
Photos courtesy of Leah R. Singer