New library opens in Riverside

Many Riverside residents are excited about the new public library located in Downtown Riverside.

The long-awaited new location of the Riverside Public Library opened to the general public on June 26. The new space spans two floors totaling 42,000 square feet, and it contains an innovation center, archive reading room, outdoor terrace, study rooms and children’s room, according to a press release by the city of Riverside.

Erin Christmas, library director, spoke on some of the features offered and upgrades from the old location. She said they gave extra care to the different components of the library during planning and construction. 

“Everything was perfectly put in its space,” Christmas said. “The old main library had a lot of adapted spaces, which we do not have to worry about here. The adult section has four wonderful study rooms with the newest technologies in them, including adapters where you can set your digital device to the television. All of that makes those really ideal spaces for anyone in our community to use.” 

Mason Morris-Moncada, senior  anthropology and history double major, mentioned how impressive the architecture was, as well as the convenient location.

“The features that stuck out most to me was the importance of creating a library but also ample amount of space for children,” Morris-Moncada said. “Among having physical books, the museum has an extensive online collection to choose from, something the old library lacked.”

Miguel Esparza, sophomore photography major, said that he thinks the new library will benefit the Riverside community. 

“I think this new library is going to give more people opportunities to access resources and materials they would not normally have access to,” Esparza said.

Esparza said he was also amazed by the maker space on the first floor of the library, which contains a 3D printer, available to the public, as well as the massive size of the space in general.

“The maker space on the first floor really stuck out. It is a great place for people from the community to exercise their creativity,” Esparza said. 

The old location of the library shut down due to the opening of the new location. However, Christmas said the space is being converted to a Chicano  exhibit. 

“The old location is becoming the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture and Industry, and it opens in May 2022,” Christmas said.

Christmas welcomes California Baptist University students to come and visit the space and get a library card. She also welcomes students to utilize the four study rooms and outdoor terrace to get work done.

“I definitely want to welcome all CBU students to come and check out the space,” Christmas said. “There are great spaces to get studying done both in groups and individually. To get a library card, all you need is a photo ID. We would love to have you all.”

The new library is located in Downtown Riverside at 3900 Mission Inn Avenue.

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