By Bette and Ed Sharpe
Special to the Independent
Glendale’s newest library was met with a hero’s welcome.
City leaders cut the ribbon on the Heroes Regional Park Branch Library, at 83rd Avenue and Bethany Home Road, last month and welcomed residents to the city’s long-planned fourth public library.
Conceived more than 20 years ago in 1998, the project was delayed for various reasons. The new library is named Heroes Regional Park Library because the community voted for that name to honor all the heroes in the community. Inside the library, patrons will find displays and materials that recognize heroes from public safety to firefighters to military to the super heroes from print and movie screens.
The Heroes Park Branch’s first library card went to Vice Mayor Joyce Clark, who represents the Yucca District which includes the library and has been the library’s strongest advocate during her nearly two decades on City Council.
“It feels fantastic!” Ms. Clark said of the opening. “It has been so long coming, 20 years in the making. And the fact that I’ve seen an entire generation of kids grow up without this asset, has been disappointing, but now that it is here. I am just excited beyond words that it is finally here, and the kids in this area have a resource… It’s long overdue an I am just thrilled beyond words!”
The library is state-of-the-art and has over 7,515 square feet of public space with individual outdoor patio and programming space for youth, teens and adults. The environmentally friendly building features rainwater management and water harvesting features. The library will also be the second in the city to include a 3D printer available for public use.
The library’s opening day collection of about 9,000 items features materials with an early literacy focus, multi-media and bilingual materials, with room to expand to 25,000 volumes.
Other interior building features include LED lighting and time switches and a community programming room which can be divided into smaller spaces. The new library also includes a study room, youth nook, a family restroom and digitally controlled climate.
More than 200 people gathered for the grand opening, which included superhero cosplayers from the Arizona Avengers and Justice League of Arizona and children’s activities, including a scavenger hunt for prizes, a selfie station, face painting and a balloon artists.
Opening day patrons also saw the artwork of Pete Goldlust. Mr. Goldlust’s public art project, “Neighborhood Roots: From Sugar Beets to Cotton and Beyond,” included three pieces at the new library: a design in the terrazzo flooring, sand-blasted etched glass doors at the entrance and metal sculpture affixed to the east entryway. Mr. Goldlust has completed over a dozen public art projects, including work for the Children’s Museum of Phoenix and the cities of Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler and now Glendale.
For a limited time, individuals can purchase a brick for $100 that can have four lines of engraved text to be included on the Heroes Park Brick Walkway, located near the front of the near library. The price is $250 for corporations. For more information contact Glendale public library at 623-930-3600.
Glendale’s three other public library’s are the Glendale Main Library, near 59th and Peoria avenues, the Foothills Branch Library, near 59th Avenue and Union Hills Drive, and the Velma Teague Branch Library, in Murphy Park near 58th Avenue and Glenn Drive.