It’s Saturday in HB and you don’t have any plans. You might have a little homework to do, or maybe you’re wanting to find a place to meet up with a friend, but the local Starbucks is crowded and you’re looking for a new scene.
Boy, do I have the place for you.
Founded in 1909, The Huntington Beach Central Library (the largest branch of 5) has held a special place in my heart since I was a kid (all the way back in 1909…okay, not really).
But what about when you grow up?
It can be hard when you feel like you outgrow the things you used to love, or in this day and age to prioritize reading when there are so many other wonderful distractions. Is there anything that can help you fall back in love with reading again?
Don’t worry, the HBPL’s got you covered.
1. Summer Reading Program: Not Just For Kids Anymore
The HPBL has a way to encourage you to read each summer by signing up for the Adult Summer Reading Program-and more, there are options year round too! The best part is it’s easy: you can do it online. Log in your reads, get personalized recommendations, and earn badges throughout the summer!
2. A Great Place To Support Community Theater
The Central Library branch was blessed with an amazing theatre on the ground level of the library which means that there are seasonal programs going on all year round. Whether you like dance, musicals, straight theater or even beauty competitions, there’s always something going on on that stage.
3. The Perfect Place To Study
It almost goes without saying, but the HBPL is really the place to study. With free wifi, designated quiet and community areas, not to mention printing, computers and many, many books, the HBPL can’t really be beaten.
4. You Can Get Your Caffeine Fix At One Fine Blend
When you enter the library, travel down the spiral ramp and beautiful fountains to the community space that hosts One Fine Blend, the HBPL’s designated coffee cart. They have everything from chips, to sandwiches and sodas, coffees and pastries, and even (my favorite) smoothies and shakes. What else could a reader need?
5. There Are Awesome Ways To Volunteer And Give Back
There are many ways to get involved at HBPL to give back to your community, including volunteering behind the desk, working the used books section, running the Friends of the Library Gift Shop, and giving free tutoring to kids and adult readers. HBPL boasts a pretty impressive adult literacy program, so why not get involved and help out today?
6.They Foster Creativity By Celebrating Local Art
One of the many awesome parts about the HBPL is that it celebrates local art and artists by giving them a space for people to come and see their work. The Windows Art Gallery, sponsored by the Huntington Beach Art League, gives these artists a chance to win scholarships and prizes for their work, and by hanging them up in a public space, gives us the opportunity to view them (and even buy them, too).
7. Explore Nature in HB’s Central Park
Need a break from all that reading and studying? Just outside those doors, there’s all of HB Central Park to explore. With a long path that goes around the entire park, from the side near the library to the one opposite, past the outdoor stage and the ducks in their marsh, to the little library lake, cafe, playgrounds, and really, so many people walking their doggos. Can’t see a downside in that, can you?
8. Get Lost In The Secret Garden
One of the best kept (not quite) secrets in Central Park is The Secret Garden. Managed by volunteers, The Secret Garden hosts a beautiful array of California native plants, grown together in a way that’ll have you wanting to get lost in them. Bring your friend, your date, your sketchbook or your book and take a stroll. It’s a lovely day for it.
9. So Many Special Events to Attend
So many special events. From historical reenactments of the Colonial and Civil Wars to Car Shows, Blues Festivals, and the Huntington Beach Concert Band Summer Series. Whenever you visit, there’s bound to be something on for you to come and see. Whether it’s inside or outside, why not check their events calendar for yourself?
10. Find Yourself At The Cultural Center of HB
The HBPL Central Library and Cultural Center is so much more to the community than just a place to house our books. It’s a place where families and students read and study, and people learn English and computer skills to get jobs, and kids getting tutored in math and all subjects, and theater nerds and art lovers and dog walkers and LARPers and people from all walks of life, all gather together in one common place and know they’re more than welcome, wherever they’re at in this life. And if you come to visit, you’ll be welcome, too.