Hayward Public Library opens its doors

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Hayward Public Library opens its doors

PHOTO BY ELISA BUITRAGO/THE PIONEER

PHOTO BY ELISA BUITRAGO/THE PIONEER

PHOTO BY ELISA BUITRAGO/THE PIONEER

By Elisa Buitrago-Duran, CONTRIBUTOR

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Hundreds of people celebrated the grand opening of the Hayward Public Library on Sept. 14th with fun activities such as live music, storytimes, and arts and crafts.
It has been one year since the closure of the original public library located in Downtown Hayward. The new public library was set to open October 2018, then was promised again in January, and then once more in June.
The new hub for learning and enrichment finally opened its doors for regular operations after the city had struggled to open the anticipated library because of safety concerns and construction delays.
“It was like the floodgates opened,” Director of Library Services Jayanti Addleman told The Pioneer.
Addleman was appointed as the new director in January of this year. She too was counting down the days for the grand opening, elated to welcome residents back into a vital community resource. Crowds of visitors from all ages poured into the newly constructed building, lining up for library cards and tours.
Expansion in the surrounding downtown area does not stop there, as a Heritage Plaza will also be accompanying the new library in the near future. It will be about the size of San Francisco’s Union Square. The Plaza will be located right outside the library doors on Mission and C Street, where the original library once stood, according to the City of Hayward.
The original library was constructed in 1951 and was once known as the heart of the community. The rise in population within Hayward required an upgrade to the library.
In order to better serve a diverse community of nearly 150,000 residents, the brand new modern building provides 50 percent more books, additional computers, a cafe, and even tools like a 3D printer.
It is also a “Zero-Net Energy” building, which requires no additional energy consumption besides the renewable energy created within the building. The Hayward Library is one of the largest Zero-Net Energy buildings in the country.
“This is the library Hayward deserves,” Addleman added, emphasizing that a 21st-century library is more than just books.
The public library will provide a variety of resources and workshops for all people, from homework centers to career and retirement workshops. Additions such as the digital media lab and computer classroom remain in construction, but once finished will provide equipment for artistic expression in movie-making and other digital arts.
The Hayward Public Library is one of many built in the Bay Area since 2000 with the intention of re-inventing themselves by providing not only printed books but innovative technologies suited to nurture the growth of communities in the 21st-century.
“From stroller to walker, we’ve got you covered,” Addleman reassured. The library strives to focus on learning and enriching the lives of everyone, no matter their age, race, social status or citizenship.