Grand opening of Hill Road Library

A standing room only crowd heard from County Supervisor Steve Bennett and Ventura Mayor Erik Nasarenko and other speakers. Photos by Richard Lieberman.

“You may say I’m a dreamer, But I’m not the only one.” – John Lennon

Library staff and friends wore T-shirts that said, “Imagine…..Hill Road Library.” Indeed this new branch is a triumph of imagination and collaboration to being this dream to reality. 1100 celebratory Venturans showed up for the library opening on Sunday, Dec.3 at noon. There hasn’t been a library in the Midtown area since the Wright library closed nine years ago, and the local residents are overjoyed.

The program was MC’d by Ivor Davis, local author and celebrity. There were brief speeches by library officials, Hannah-Beth Jackson, Steve Bennett, and Erik Nasarenko. The emphasis was on the collaborative effort and financial support that it took to get this branch up and running.

The Ventura County Board of Supervisors approved ongoing funds in the amount of $250,000 to operate the new library, while the City of Ventura approved $50,000 annually that will allow for an additional 16 open hours per week. The City also provided $25,000 for one-time capital expenditures. The Ventura Friends of the Library raised and contributed $200,000, much of which came from used book sales to local residents.

In addition, there was entertainment by the Harmonix, a Rubicon Theater group of young people who sang “Imagine,” to go along with the theme of the afternoon, among other songs.

Nancy Schram (see additional article introducing the new Director), new Ventura County Library Director says, “We are thrilled to be opening a new library on the East side of Ventura. It’s a wonderful example of how the County, City, and community came together to provide funding and support so that we can reach more people with library services and ultimately improve lives and enrich the entire community.”

There was a lot more at the event than speeches. Children could make folk dolls and play with a Lego setup, there was a booth for fancy costumed selfie photos, a flower card reader, 3-D printer and wood etcher.

The Lions club supplied and served free hot dogs to all comers.

Kathy Thomson the President of the Ventura Friends of the Library, echoes this sentiment, “The Hill Road Library is an example of the collaborative efforts between government, nonprofits, corporate sponsors and citizens. When these entities work together toward a common goal the possibilities are infinite.”

Citizens of all ages lined up for get library cards, check out books on the new self-serve machines, talk to the librarians and buy books from the Friends shelves.

Mayor Nasarenko, a library supporter, gave this heartfelt statement, “To see the return of library services to the east end of Ventura is wonderful. Our thanks to Supervisor Bennett and the Board of Supervisors, Friends of the Library and County Library Director Jackie Griffin for helping to make this opening possible. I encourage Venturans to bring their families, their curiosity and their passion for lifelong learning to this new community resource.”

And Steve Bennet, who has backed the libraries all the way, had this to say, “I am really happy our residents in the east end will have a local library and very appreciative of all the efforts by the library supporters who helped make this happen.” Thank you, Supervisor Bennet, it wouldn’t have happened without you.

The Hill Road Library is located at 1050
Hill Road in Ventura.

Beginning December 3, 2017 hours of
service are Monday through Wednesdays,
10am to 6pm; Thursdays, 2pm to 6pm;
Fridays through Sundays, 10am to 2pm.

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