Community Comes Together to Celebrate Malibu Library Opening
BY SUZANNE GULDIMANN
Musicians, authors, librarians, actors, performersgovernment dignitaries, city officials, and a large audience comprised of young and old, Malibu residents and visitors, gathered to celebrate the grand reopening of the Malibu Library on Sunday.
"Thank you for the gift of this most beautiful library," Malibu resident Pierce Brosnan said during the ceremony preceding the ribbon-cutting.
"This is a great day," Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky told the audience. "We've been waiting for a long time, an eight-year gestation period. It was worth the wait."
"We promised we would get done before [outgoing Malibu City Councilmember and library project champion Pamela Conley Ulich] left office," Yaroslavsky said. "She's leaving tomorrow."
"Libraries are important," Yaroslavsky said. "Every human being has the right to walk into that library, find information and use it. We've made this, you've made this, into a library that reflects Malibu."
Yaroslavsky presented the library's new surfing and ocean-themed collection with a history of surfing.
State Senator Fran Pavley continued the theme, presenting a copy of Dr. Seuss's environmental allegory "The Lorax."
"This is a LEED-standard building," Pavley said. "It uses less energy, recycled glass in the design. There are skylights [for natural light] with surfboards. The whole southfacing wall opens up. You won't have to pay for the high cost of air-conditioning. The lights are metered. There's an outdoor patio facing Legacy Park."
Special guest and longtime Malibu resident Dick Van Dyke described how important the public library was to him as a child growing up in the Depression.
"I was born in the Coolidge administration. I was five years old when the stock market crashed. Buying books was out of the question.
"Wait 'til you see this library. I don't just want to see kids doing homework, I want to see them breathing in atmosphere. Everybody, please go in and look. This place is gorgeous," Van Dyke said.
"Libraries play an essential role in democracy," Los Angeles County Librarian Margaret Donnellan Todd said. "Cicero said, 'If you have a library and a garden, you have everything you need.' Malibu has both."
"Happy Earth Day," library project champion Pamela Conley Ulich said. "Every single one of you are here for a reason. Go to the library. Find your passion. See and feel what happens when we are united."
The outgoing Malibu city council member described the library as "a legacy of reading and love of learning."
The ceremony ended with the release of dozens of monarch butterflies, accompanied by final words by special guest Keely Brosnan and a prayer by Chumash representative Alan Salazar.
"Whisper your heart's desire," Brosnan said. "[The butterfly will] take your wish to the heavens. My wish for you is this place to be."