We can’t figure out whether libraries have a negative or positive connotation — we’d rather read books in a library than on the BART, but at any rate libraries are where we “do work.”

Instead of heading to the libraries on campus or downtown, the Clog discovered a quaint library in Elmwood: The Claremont Library. While you can’t necessarily do work — schoolwork and research — there, it’s a great place to read for leisure.


On May 5, The Claremont Library opened after being closed for a year due to remodeling. The library mirrors the community of Elmwood. The setting of Elmwood, a residential community near a commercial area, lends itself to visitors, senior citizens and families becoming the main patrons of the library.

Inside the library, the adult/teen section is placed in a setting similar to historical Elmwood, whereas the children’s section is more contemporary. The fireplaces, restored and working, will warm up the library during the winter season.

“It’s an extension of [residents'] homes,” Supervising Librarian Karen Joseph-Smith said.

The setting is smaller, which provides a homey and intimate feel, so the library doesn’t house a variety of books. It has a large travel, historical, biographical and literary fiction collection. Readers won’t find exam prep books, self-help books or any comprehensive book on research.

“This isn’t the place to do intensive research,” Smith said. “But if you are interested in a particular topic, there is material to satisfy your own personal interest.”

The library is a place to read for recreation. Even though we mainly associate libraries with studying before the midterm or a study setting, it’s still important to use it to relax with a novel that suits your interests.

Because of the new setting and atmosphere, the library will introduce new programs this year based on visitor interest.

“So much changes in a year that we need to constantly consider what our audience wants in our programs,” Smith said.

The library will offer laptops and is considering a Jane Austen “tea party” as a fall program for adults.

Even if a library means simply doing work, The Claremont Library keeps the essence of Elmwood and leisurely reading alive. You can find hours and event information here.

Images: Sparsha Saxena (all), Daily Cal

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