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New Lake Hills Library ready to open

Computers are ready for the patrons who will use them at the new Lake Hills Library, which will be dedicated Saturday. - Chad Coleman, Bellevue Reporter
Computers are ready for the patrons who will use them at the new Lake Hills Library, which will be dedicated Saturday.
— image credit: Chad Coleman, Bellevue Reporter

Workers scrambled about the premises to screw scores of rounded orange table tops to their bases while deliveries of office supplies arrive by the truckload to the new Lake Hills Library on Wednesday.

The new facility will open Saturday, Sept. 11, just a few blocks east of its old location.

Of the most exciting to Managing Librarian Wendy Pender is the continued emphasis on foreign language materials. The library holds numerous foreign newspapers and magazines, books and DVDs in Hindi, Korean, Vietnamese, Mandarin and Russian. Pender said the library carries citizenship guides in 13 languages, and driver's manuals in numerous languages as well.

"We serve a high population of new Americans, and expanding our outreach to them is what I'm most excited about," she said.

The new library is located in the redeveloped Lake Hills Shopping Center. A community stakeholder group created a redevelopment proposal in 2003, calling for a new library, retail and office space and residential units to be constructed in phases.

Construction of the new $3.2 million library is part of the $172 million capital bond, approved by voters in 2004 to fund major upkeep and expansion of King County Library System facilities.

Pender said the new library will draw the foot traffic needed to sustain a growing and developing area.

"I think placement of this library on the corner is going to be a real draw for the shopping center," Pender said. "This shopping center has an exciting future, and we're pleased to be an anchor for that."

The 10,000-square-foot library features a children’s area, teen center, meeting room and study spots. Sustainable design practices were a priority during the design and building process and include energy efficient lighting and sustainable interior finish materials. The high-angled ceiling features exposed wood beams and much of the library is infused with natural light.

The central nature of the library, along with its vibrant look is sure to turn the area into a gathering place for the Lake Hills community. The only question left to answer is how to balance with the quiet, serene atmosphere most library patrons enjoy.

"It's always a challenge between people who want the quiet library of their past, and those who want to do tutoring and other more social activities," Pender said.

Nat Levy can be reached at 425-453-4290.

Join the festivities

The library will open for the first time Saturday following a ribbon-cutting ceremony. After the ceremony, the public is invited inside to tour the new library and enjoy refreshments and a musical program.

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