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West Hollywood's new library celebrates

Westhollywoodlibrarymattres

You know you're at a wilder library celebration than usual when, in addition to signed first editions and fancy restaurant dinners, the silent auction includes a special-edition signature mattress set.

The mattress set, books and dozens of other auction items were on display on the patio at the West Hollywood public library Saturday evening. Library supporters had access to the patio, a lush green lawn and the library itself for a gala cocktail event. As West Hollywood Mayor John Duran noted, the new multi-story library was built with a significant contribution of private funds -- a $7.2-million oversized check was presented, to much applause.

A bit more needs to be raised -- aside from the silent auction, helpful people wandered the event, hoping to find contributors interested in naming the library's bookshelves.

The 32,000-square-foot library, which has a silver LEED environmental rating, was designed by Steve Johnson and Jim Favaro of Johnson Favaro. It has lots of new computers, carrels for reading and working, 150,000 books and a whimsical children's area. It also has an enviable design room, a broad open stairway leading between its floors, stunningly patterned ceilings and tennis courts on the roof. Reading chairs are lined up before floor-to-ceiling windows on the San Vicente side, so those caught in traffic may gaze longingly at the literary refuge. And if they want to stop in, there's a new, much-needed parking structure, which flaunts a mural by Shepherd Fairey.

The library, now holding regular hours, will celebrate its grand opening Oct. 1 with the help of Jackie Collins. The public is welcome.

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-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: The special edition West Hollywood Library mattress set. Credit: Carolyn Kellogg / Los Angeles Times

 
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