Northside Library zipped through a busy inaugural year. An estimated 280,000 visitors have walked through its glass doors. About 380,000 items have been checked out. 200 programs have taken place. About 18,000 people have participated in programming. The 15,000 square-foot building handled even more foot traffic with about 3,200 attendees at its Aug. 8 one-year anniversary bash. Among them were Mayor Jamie Matthews and Councilmembers Debi Davis, Teresa O’Neill and Pat Kolstad.
“Northside Library is only going to turn one once,” says Cheryl Lee, branch manager and program coordinator. “Because it was such a battle to get this library opened, we wanted to do a big celebration. We want to celebrate our accomplishments over the past year and we want to celebrate the community that has welcomed us with open arms into the neighborhood.”
“Celebrate Like a Star!” was the event theme. Attendees arrived on a red carpet that was spread out at the front of the library. In the morning, the party kicked off with a movie premiere featuring a cinematic synopsis of Northside Library’s first year. Next, magician Brian Scott performed. My Song, Your Song, a family-friendly band, gave a concert. Python Ron showed off pet reptiles. Finally, Puppet Arts Theater performed Cinderella. Children took pictures with the 501st Stormtroopers, Frozen’s Elsa, Cinderella and Tinkerbell. Appearances were made by Miss Silicon Valley Melissa Bowling, Miss Santa Clara’s Outstanding Teen Caroline Monahan and members of the Santa Clara Fire Department and Santa Clara Police Department.
Lee remembers that once the grand opening date for the library had been set, she and her staff had only a few months to prepare for the big day. Since then, the library has hosted a number of successful and unconventional library programs. At the winter Lunar New Year celebration, lion dancers loudly roamed past bookshelves and library goers. At the spring 80s prom, attendees shook it to Bon Jovi and Earth, Wind & Fire. At the summer pasta making workshop, teens learned that a soda can is as effective as a rolling pin.
In September, the library will host cooking demonstrations, a Harvest Moon festival, visit from the Silicon Valley Roller Derby girls, grandparents day, mother and son culinary event and a baby week. The baby week will come with a fashion show, a meeting with a lactation consultant and workshops on baby sign language and making baby food. Also coming in the fall is another LinkedIn photography session for professionals and a speech and debate program for junior high students.
“We want to be a boutique kind of a library, not a replication of your grandmother’s library,” Lee says. “The diverse community around here uses this library as an information site for many things.”