Dynamic Third Place

Flexible, creative and intentional Library Spaces attract users to experience the Library as a third place with a wide range of collections, services, programs and amenities.

Santa Monica Public Library provides comfortable, engaging and beautiful spaces for people to read, relax, discover, learn, and participate in social and civic discourse. The Library acts as an anchor in the community, a third place separate from home and work. The Library team is adapting spaces, technology and services to be flexible and responsive to new trends and community needs. Library staff and resources are extending beyond the walls of the Library facilities to meet people where they are. Community festivals, increased usage of mobile technology, pop-ups and outreach services are each playing a part. The Library is building a sense of discovery through place. Thoughtful arrangements of collections, merchandising space, and design elements are creating an enviable user experience. Ultimately, the Library, whether physical, digital or out in the community, is fueling learning, wellbeing and social connection.

In the Spotlight: SMPL at the Beach

During summer 2015, the Library collaborated with the Department of Community & Cultural Services to produce a series of pop-up libraries on the beach with the theme “Less shhh… more surf.” This included seaside story times, beach reads book discussions, marine life presentations, and hula hooping. Hundreds of beach visitors participated.

SMPL as Dynamic Third Place Launch Goals

Examine and make recommendations to improve customer movement, flow and discovery throughout Library buildings and to optimize space usage.

Working with other City departments, upgrade the Library’s broadband connectivity to support co-working and technology/creation spaces and learning programs.

Upgrade tools and technology in meeting rooms at all sites, including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium.