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Newhall Library opens

Grand opening event attended by estimated 2,000 community members

Posted: September 30, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 30, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Attendees tour the new Newhall Public Library at the grand opening on Main Street in Newhall on Saturday.

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With a cut of the ribbon and a roar of the crowd, the new Newhall Library officially opened its doors at 24500 Main St. on Saturday.

“Two years ago, your City Council had a vision,” Mayor Frank Ferry said at the dediation, “and here is that vision.”

At a time where it seems library services across the state are “going backward” due to budget constraints, it is a testament to the Santa Clarita community at large to be able to construct a new home for one of its libraries, Ferry said.

City Librarian Ed Kieczykowski said this library represents, in many ways, the evolution of libraries over time.

“People said the Internet would kill libraries,” Kieczykowski said. “But, if anything, it’s made libraries more important.”

While much has been made over the technological offerings of the 30-000-square-foot library, Kieczykowski made it clear that those are only some of the services the library will offer.

“We do have some books, believe it or not,” he quipped.

Kieczykowski also said that around 700,000 people visited Santa Clarita libraries last year, but the city is hoping for more than a million visitors this year.

After the ribbon was cut at the 24500 Main St. location, event attendees fell into a line that extended a block from the library to await their turns to get in.

City spokeswoman Gail Ortiz estimated 2,000 people attended the event.  

Local resident John Pulliam was among the earlier arrivals and said he was surprised the building was as large as it was, compared to the previous library location.

The old Newhall Library on West Ninth Street hosted the area’s seat for public learning and entertainment for 75 years.

Lorie Wallin attended the event at the urging of her three sons.

“I love coming here with my kids,” she said. “It gets them exciting about reading, and that is always a good thing.”

The opening was also marked with a street fair, which featured local vendors, businesses and organizations, many of whom rented their space from the city. According to Ortiz, the event cost the city around $3,000, about half of which was spent on advertising.



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