Book Bash

Here's your once chance to make some noise at the library.

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Lakewood Public Library unveils its recent face-lift at tonight’s Be the First to See the Best Library Gala. It’s the first time in nearly 60 years that the building has been renovated. “It was modernized in the ’50s and brutalized in the ’80s,” says Ken Warren, the library’s director. “The new space is warm and welcoming. People appreciate the beauty of Lakewood’s architecture, so we built a structure that was iconic.”

The black-tie party starts with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the new 40,000-square-foot annex. Patrons can then cut the rug to jazz and tango music on a makeshift dance floor. Organizers will conduct tours of the facility and hold a silent auction, which features items like golf lessons, Cleveland Orchestra tickets, and a week-long Cape Cod getaway. They’ll also show off $50,000 worth of artwork -- including a pair of 500-square-foot paintings by muralist Richard Haas. “Libraries are all about lifting up the spirit of intellect and possibility,” says Warren. The gala caps off a 13-month construction project that nearly doubles the size of the 90-year-old library to 93,000 square feet. Architect Robert A.M. Stern designed the addition to reflect early 20th-century Carnegie style -- which focuses on spacious reading rooms, prominent doorways, and sweeping staircases. “They inspire people through learning,” says Warren. “They convey a sense that we belong to an order of beauty and knowledge that come together.” The addition will officially open for business on July 9. “This is the craziest time,” says Warren. “This has been a lot of motion for a library that’s been growing for nearly a century.”
Sat., June 23, 7 p.m.

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