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An update on Riverside’s Main Library

The new Main Library in downtown Riverside has been open for almost two months and the $43.3 million, more than 42,000-square-foot facility offers city residents a host of modern amenities.

The building contains 60,000 materials in the circulating collection and it also offers 60 laptops for public use and 30 iPads for checkout. There are rooms available for study and storytime, conference rooms, laptop kiosks, wireless printing and self-checkout machines. The third floor contains rentable terrace areas for events or meetings.

“There are many spaces throughout that people can enjoy … Every section of the entire area is designed with residents in mind and we think it will be a special place for everyone,” Library Director Erin Christmas said.

The library’s final completion comes years after the city first decided to find a new site for the Main Library in 2016, moving it from its first location which was located next to the historic Mission Inn. Its previous location is now what is being renovated into The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture & Industry.

One year after the location was determined, an architect was selected and the overall budget was set at $43.3 million, which was maintained through the end of the project.

On the June 26 grand opening, 1,882 customers came into the library, 834 books were checked out and 459 new library cards were issued.