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Clog Community Close-ups: The Claremont Library

Posted By Sparsha Saxena On Jul 23, 2012 @ 3:20 pm In The Specials | Comments Disabled


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 [1], but at any rate libraries are where we “do work [2].”

Instead of heading to the libraries on campus or downtown, the Clog discovered a quaint library in Elmwood: The Claremont Library [3]. 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 [4]. 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 [5] 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 [3].

Images: Sparsha Saxena (all), Daily Cal

Article printed from The Daily Clog: http://clog.dailycal.org

URL to article: http://clog.dailycal.org/2012/07/23/clog-community-close-ups-the-claremont-library/

URLs in this post:

[1] BART: http://clog.dailycal.org/2012/07/17/the-bart-idiot-hall-of-fame/

[2] do work: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=do%20work

[3] The Claremont Library: http://www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org/about_the_library/neighborhood_branches/claremont_branch.php

[4] Elmwood: http://clog.dailycal.org/?s=elmwood

[5] relax: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/the-busy-trap/

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