Old Central Library Closes for Good

A new location a short distance away will open to the public on Sept. 28

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    When one library door closes, another one opens. At least that’s the case for San Diego’s Central Library.

    On Sunday, downtown’s San Diego Central Library, located at 820 E St., finally closed its doors for good in preparation for its big move to a brand-new location just a few blocks away.

    The current Central Library has been at the E Street location for the past 59 years.

    However, on Sept. 28, the City of San Diego says the Central Library will reopen at a new building located at 330 Park Blvd., near 11th Avenue and Petco Park in downtown’s East Village neighborhood.

    The project has been underway since June 28, 2010, when the city council approved the construction of the New Central Library.

    The new, fancy, $185 million facility is nine stories high, which includes a charter high school on two floors, two levels of parking, an auditorium and a coffee bar. The house of books is 497,652 square feet, according to the library website.

    Construction is about 90 percent complete, with the rest of the finishing touches being put into place in anticipation of that grand opening on Sept. 28.

    During this closure of the old location, the city says the library’s collection will not be available to the public. However, the book drop at the old E Street location will remain open.

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    The city says all other 35 local branch libraries will remain open during the Central Library transition. The closest branch to the old library is the Logan Heights Branch Library located at 567 S. 28th St., less than three miles away.

    Additional nearby branches include the University Heights Library (4193 Park Blvd.), Mission Hills Branch Library (925 W. Washington St.) and North Park Branch Library (3795 31st St.).

    The last day at the old Central Library was business as usual, with many people checking out books while they still had time before the doors closed for good at 5 p.m.

    Marion Moss Hubbard, senior public information officer for the San Diego Public Library, said there was a special buzz in the air on closing day, and excitement in anticipation of the new, much-needed library.

    “Everybody is in a more celebratory mood, waiting for new library” said Moss Hubbard.

    Still, she said the day was bittersweet, since the old space holds many memories.

    “There’s a lot of nostalgia at this library. It has meant so much for both people who have come to the library and for people who have worked at the library,” she said. “But I think, for everybody, we’ve known that we have outgrown this space long ago. Almost two-thirds of our collection is in the basement, so we really need the new space, not only for people to browse books, but for meeting space as well.”

    “So, it’s a bittersweet day. We know we need to get a new library, and it’s time now,” she continued.

    Moss Hubbard said the new Central Library will house lots of new technology for library-goers that will make the space a hub for gathering, studying, reading and learning.

    For more information about the New Central Library project, visit this website.