When you think of your local library, you normally think books, right? How about a museum? Or, how about a high-tech lab for students? These are things you normally don’t expect to find at a library but you will soon find them at the Chula Vista Library Civic Center branch.
Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab
Coming soon to the Chula Vista library is a Qualcomm “Thinkabit Lab.” Qualcomm created these “labs” to stimulate interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers. A Thinkabit Lab is a hands-on classroom for middle school age kids to learn about high tech and foster interest of STEM concepts. By actually working on projects, they remove the mystery of technology and learn that a lot of creativity goes into engineering. Part of the aim is to expand the horizons of the middle school kids and to inspire those who might want to follow this career path. According to the Thinkabit website:
“Qualcomm® Thinkabit Lab™ is the combination of a lab, makerspace, and classroom for 6-8th grade students from all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. By combining mini-lectures with team interactions, students are encouraged to innovate, partner and achieve beyond what exists today and elevate the 21st century classroom.
Classes are led by Qualcomm engineers and career coaches who guide students to create, code, collaborate and present robotic creations better known as “Robo Crafts.” Middle school students experience hands-on learning in an integrated, student-centered environment.”
Also coming soon is a branch of the San Diego County Law Library (“SDCLL”) to the Civic Center branch. With four locations county-wide, the SDCLL serves both professionals and residents.
The San Diego County Law Library revenues have fallen nearly 40% since 2008 so this will be a way to save money and expand services to more people. The mission of the SDCLL is to bring the law to the public. What better way of doing that than by placing the branch in the middle of our public libraries. The branch at the Chula Vista Courthouse closed late last year and will relocate to its new location. The new SDCLL branch will open soon at the Chula Vista Civic Center branch.
A part-time Law Librarian will be available to help patrons. The Legal Aid Society of San Diego will also use this location to provide clinics for those in need of legal assistance.
South Bay Heritage Museum
What is already there is a museum that chronicles the history of the South Bay (including Chula Vista) called the South Bay Heritage Museum. The museum, which is a chapter of the Friends of the Library, partnered with the newly organized South Bay Historical Society to oversee museum operations and moved its location to the Chula Vista library’s Civic Center branch.
The focus of the inaugural exhibit is the Great Flood of 1916. The Museum partnered with the South Bay Historical Society to gather photographs, artifacts and eye-witness accounts of the flood and its aftermath and will be open during regular library hours.
If a City Hall is the brain of a city, surely then, the Library is its heart. It’s important to realize that library branches are so much more than mere repository for books. They are places where people can learn, enjoy, and be inspired.