Daniel Santos loves books, especially ones about soccer.
So when the new Children’s Library at the downtown Santa Barbara Public Library opened Sunday, it didn’t take the 7-year-old long to find the right aisle and section to settle down and relax.
“It’s big,” Daniel said about the library.
His mother was thrilled.
“This library is going to help him enjoy literacy,” Lupe Santos told Noozhawk. “It’s going to help him become a great reader.”
Daniel and his mother were just two of the hundreds of people who packed the children’s library for its formal grand opening. Sunday’s event also included face painting, live music, zoo animals and entertainers.
The day included a formal ceremony led by City Administrator Paul Casey and a speech from Mayor Helene Schneider, who cut the ribbon for the facility.
“The new children’s library is just awesome,” Schneider said. “It just makes you want to hang out and really enjoy the space.”
The City of Santa Barbara, Friends of the Santa Barbara Central Library, the Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation, Junior League of Santa Barbara and other community organizations came together to raise nearly $5 million to create the children’s library, downstairs from the main branch, at 40 E. Anapamu St.
The new 6,300-square-foot space is nearly four times the size of the previous children’s area.
The new area includes “technology hubs” with computers, parent-friendly spaces for reading, and an area for performances and story time.
Joel Ponciano, 8, went to the library Sunday with his mother, Cruz, and brother Luis.
“I think it’s good to be in the library,” he said. “We can borrow a lot of books.”
Kelly Martin brought her 5-year-old daughter, Camille, to the library opening. Camille spent time listening to headphones while working on one of the library’s computers.
Martin, a member of the Junior League, said it was satisfying to see the library finally open after the community put so much time and effort into it.
“It’s amazing,” she said. “I am thrilled. Santa Barbara is so blessed. This is a great environment for the kids.”
Sarah Main sat at a round table with the sunlight from the large windows illuminating the surface. She read Mustache Baby Meets His Match to her children, Max, 3, and Harry, 2.
“I think this is a fantastic addition to the library,” said Main, who along with her husband, Neil Eggleton, brought their children for the grand opening.
“We get a lot of use out of it, especially on hot days. This has something for all ages.”
--Joshua Molina, NoozHawk Staff Writer
Published on 09.13.2015 3:04 p.m. in NoozHawk