The always-bustling Main Library, the largest branch in the Santa Monica Public Library network, offers more than…More just a vast collection of books and audiovisual items. The newly renovated library offers a wide array of services for people of all ages and, even more exceptionally, is shining example of environmental friendliness.
Since opening in January 2006, the Main Library has become well-regarded in the Santa Monica community for its speaking engagements with pre-eminent authors like Ray Bradbury and Khaled Hosseini, free movie screenings and concerts, and a broad array of programs and classes for all ages. The library also hosts political gatherings, activities related to the Farmers Market and private events.
The Main Library hosts programs for children (story hour, puppet shows, crafts); teens (anime screenings, makeup workshops, poetry slams); and adults (readings, live performances, visual presentations). The Main Library also offers classes on English as a Second Language (ESL), computer literacy, career transitioning and more.
Santa Monica Citywide Reads, a free program that encourages the community--and visitors--to bond over one particular title each year, is headquartered at the Main Library. The community reading program began in 2003, and an Advisory Committee consisting of librarians, members of the library bookstore, city commissioners and teachers picks the focal book after soliciting suggestions from the community. Past selections have included The Kite Runner, The Time Traveler's Wife and The Shadow Catcher.
Anyone making donations to the Santa Monica Public Library is encouraged to bring the materials to the Main Library. The majority of donations are transferred to the Friends of the Library Bookstore, a nonprofit, in-house organization whose proceeds directly benefit the SMPL. Hundreds of items are donated per day.
In addition to featuring an outdoor patio, a cafe and a movie theater, the 104,000-square-foot library received a Gold Rating from the US Green Building Council's LEED Green Building Rating System. It is the second major Santa Monica facility deliberately constructed to reduce the building's negative environmental impact.