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San Luis Obispo library to open after months-long renovation

Staff at the San Luis Obispo Library are putting the finishing touches on their newly renovated facility before their Grand Opening on Saturday.

“Truly if you were dropped off, blindfolded into this branch you wouldn’t recognize a thing. We’ve changed everything from floor to ceiling,” explains Director of Libraries for San Luis Obispo County, Chris Barnickel.

Some of their changes include two new creative labs where visitors can use Adobe products to edit pictures and videos as well as a newly designed teen area that’s the only one of its kind in the county.

“[Teens will be able to] do their studies, reference our collections and then during their breaks, relax a little with some entertainment,” Barnickel says.

Library staff liken their brand new third floor to more traditional libraries, with non-fiction and reference books.

“We like to think of it in the traditional sense of Carnegie libraries where you rise to knowledge,” Barnickel tells us.

Each year the San Luis Obispo Library sees about 163,000 visitors and now with these additions, even more people will have a reason to stop in; this bodes well for the downtown area that surrounds the library.

“Having a newly renovated library is really important to this downtown core; it helps drive foot traffic downtown, it helps businesses out, [and] it creates a cultural center for downtown SLO,” Barnickel explains.

All of the festivities for the Grand Opening begin Saturday at 10 a.m. Library staff are expecting over a thousand people to show up.

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