South Mountain Community Library, a first-ever shared operation by Phoenix Public Library and South Mountain Community College, will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday, Sept. 24.

City Librarian Toni Garvey and Dr. Shari Olson, president of South Mountain Community College, will officially open the building at 7050 S. 24th St. with a ribbon-cutting at 9 a.m. The ceremony will be followed by music and free activities for the whole family.

The new 50,000-square-foot facility features a children's story room, large community meeting room, teen space, WiFi, study rooms, 117 public computers with Internet access, patio spaces and a new collection of DVDs, CDs, newspapers and magazines.

The library, designed by richärd + bauer, llc. and built by Haydon Building Corporation, is funded through the 2006 Citizens Bond Program and the 2004 Maricopa County Community College District Bond Program.

The building is modeled after an integrated circuit, promoting easy access and connections between library units. Light shafts bring natural light to the interior, which is lined in cedar. Laser-cut acrylic panels reflect the area's agricultural history. The building's exterior is clad in copper, which will weather over time.

A multi-faceted public artwork is being installed. "Passage," by Mags Harries & Lajos Héder, begins with steel letters embedded in concrete in the plaza in front of the library and continues to a shaded pathway that connects the library to the proposed Western Canal Bridge, providing a pedestrian link to the Legacy Village Shopping Center.

Speakers set in artistic acoustic chairs in the plaza will play recordings of poetry curated by Arizona poet Alberto Ríos that reflect south Phoenix and the local landscape. Four trellises spanning the path between the library and canal feature cut-out letters that cast poems in shadows along the path. The public art project is funded by city of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture Percent for Art program and the Maricopa County Community College District Bond Program.

South Mountain Community College is one of the 10 Maricopa Community Colleges.

For more information, call (602) 262-4636 or visit smclibrary.org.

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