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Read all about it -- new library opens
(This story originally appeared in the Hesperia Star Tuesday, October 17, 2006)
Add one more entry to the record book: Once the home of one of San Bernardino County's tiniest libraries, the City of Hesperia now has the largest. And last Saturday, the city bestowed a fitting celebration to announce the opening of the state-of-the-art 20,000-square-foot facility.
Prior to the actual opening of the library, hundreds of guests -- the public was invited to join the celebration -- enjoyed complimentary food and drink, music from the the Phat Cat Swinger band, community booths and much more.
Congressman Jerry Lewis, who was credited for helping to secure federal funding for the project, headed a large collection of dignitaries who came to pay tribute.
"This is going to make a phenomenal contribution to the entire High Desert community," Lewis said during a presentation program emceed by City Manager Mike Podegracz.
Eric Swanson, president of the Hesperia Unified School District's board of trustees, took note that the library represented a wide cross section of participation.
"The library is based on partnerships," Swanson said.
Councilman Jim Lindley introduced First District County Supervisor Bill Postmus.
"Bill's commitment to building this library knows no bounds," Lindley said, noting Postmus secured at least $200,000 in county funds.
"What an awesome day for the City of Hesperia," Postmus responded.
Podegracz complimented head librarian Anne Marie Wentworth.
"She and her staff have done a tremendous job."
He also singled out Dave Burkett, who served as liaison to the contractor, City Communications Officer Kim Summers and Deputy Director of Economic Development Steve Lantsberger.
Former councilman Dennis Nowicki, who played an important role in getting the project started in the late 1990s, was on hand.
"It's going to be a good asset to the community for years to come," Nowicki said prior to the celebration.
Of the city council's initial efforts, he said, "Now you see the outcome of that planning."
The Hesperia Branch Library, which is open seven days a week, is the only county library branch to be open on Sundays. The library is at 9650 Seventh Avenue, Hesperia.