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Cafe vibe, teen space at renovated SLO county library

Greta Mart/KCBX
The library was closed in October for the renovation project.

The main branch of the San Luis Obispo County library system reopened this weekend, after being closed since October for an $843,000 renovation.

Library Director Chris Barnickel says patrons can expect to see a third floor and an extra 1800 square feet added to the library. And, the updated first floor resembles a coffee shop, but without the coffee.

“We don’t have a cafe in there or a bistro but we’re trying to create more of that vibe where you have lots of ambient noise happening around you,” Barnickel said. “Everyone that we’re seen come through our doors thus far have been completely wowed by the experience and we encourage others to come back and check us out." 

The library has new flooring, and an entirely revamped cd and dvd collection. It also has ten more stations for public internet access. Barnickel says the library has some new changes for teen visitors, too.

“We have the only dedicated teen space in the county, so we’re excited about this. Our circulation numbers were always really strong, but we had a really hard time keeping teens in the branch itself,” Barnickel said, adding that a new children’s area has doubled in footprint.

Located at 995 Palm Street in downtown San Luis Obispo, the library is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m, and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m to 5 p.m.

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