Architect Jenette LaQuire unveiled plans for the new Lakeside library on Monday, about two blocks down Woodside Avenue from where the current library — soon to be demolished — overlooks Lindo Lake.
The new facility is being built in the grassy field west of the Lakeside Sheriff’s Station with entrances planned from both Woodside Avenue and Parkside Street.
In an online meeting attended by about 50 local residents, San Diego County Library Director Migell Acosta said details of the project were drawn from the surrounding environment and culture, with nods to the history of Lakeside woven into the design.
Resident and Lakeside Friends of the Library representative Michael Evans-Layng asked how the Western-Rodeo personality of Lakeside will be incorporated into plans. LaQuire said the design element will likely be integrated through paint schemes and a possible mural.
“The kids section will have a small climbing wall and a visual of El Capitan mountain and the whole childrens area will be themed with nature and the Lakeside countryside atmosphere,” LaQuire said.
The architect said the entire design concept is based on allowing natural light to enter the building with modular elements inside the facility.
In addition to a community room with retractable partitions and a catering kitchen, the library will include a homework center, study rooms, and a teen room with glass doors for visibility that is also sound resistant.
LaQuire described how the building will fit into the existing landscape.
“What you’re seeing on these plans is where the ground is higher in two places on the easement. We can’t put a gazebo there or plant trees, but we can shape the earth,” LaQuire said.
She also said a Poet’s Patio will serve as a transitional space between the library and the natural space outside.
Friends of the Library Chair Terry Burke-Eiserling said she is excited for a planned shop just inside the entrance where visitors will be able to purchase used books and related items.
“People love their books and they love purchasing older books. I think it’s really exciting to have a bookstore because we can expand our library just by being able to raise money,” Burke-Eiserling said.
Asked how the library will serve the homeless community, Acosta said libraries are open to everyone.
“We welcome everybody, sheltered or not. With this new space, we’ll have a better opportunity to partner with local agencies by having the large community room available for use. The study rooms are also going to offer privacy and we’ll have VetConnect available,” Acosta said.
VetConnect is a County of San Diego program where veterans can apply for benefit programs through the Veterans Service Office at some libraries.
He also described a kiosk with laptop computers available for self-service use inside the library, simultaneously addressing a question on how the new library design incorporates potential to change over time.
“Library services change over time so just as we currently have personal computers available for use, we are also going to be offering the laptop checkout kiosk. Another example is how the community room has flexibility with chairs set up for a lecture or left completely empty for other activities,” Acosta said.
LaQuire said the project is on schedule and final plans will likely be submitted to the county for permitting in January 2021.
The library is expected to open to the public with a ribbon cutting ceremony in June 2022.