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 2017, the Library collaborated with the Department of Community & Cultural Services to produce a series of four seaside pop-up libraries at the Annenberg Community Beach House, and Dorothy Green Park with the theme “More surf…less shhh.” This included Seaside Story Time, nautical crafts, ukulele lessons, hula hooping, and hands-on, interactive environmental education, as well as demonstrating cutting edge library apps, eBooks and streaming media. 875 beach visitors participated.

SMPL as Dynamic Third Place Launch Goals

The Facilities Master Plan, under consideration, will include a twenty-year outlook for facilities maintenance, and a review of future use of the Main and Branch libraries. 2018 improvements include, replacing the Automated Material Handling Service (AMHS) and a new service desk at the Pico Branch Library and new lounge furniture for the Ocean Park Branch.

In 2018, the Library will create a 3-5-year Technology Plan that will be approved by the Technology Committee and the Library Board. The plan will ensure all library facilities (Branches and Main Library) have the most up to date technology.

As incorporated in the Technology Plan, self-checkout systems will be implemented at all libraries to increase self-service opportunities to improve access and usability.

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