Twenty years ago, the Coronado library decided to launch a special blend of adult programs during the summer months. Previously, the summer break had been filled with activities and events specifically designed for children. Christian Esquevin, the Library Director at the time, felt there was a need to do the same for adults and hence the summer festival was born.
The idea was to offer concerts, lectures, film screenings, instructional demonstrations, and exhibits to stimulate the interest of our community and they have increased in popularity ever since. Twenty years later, highlights have included concerts by celebrity jazz artists such as Grammy nominated pianist Judy Carmichael or singer Tokeli Mushovic, a Coronado native. Talks have ranged from New York Times bestselling authors like Steve Martini to lectures on topics such as “How to make a living as an artist.” Summer exhibits have included everything from WW II Naval Aviation Art from the Naval Historical Center in Washington D.C. to photography of local surfers. To mark the 20th anniversary, this year’s cultural offerings aim to be just as eclectic and memorable.
Nothing says summer like the beach, so the Coronado Library has taken story time to Central Beach. The first event was so popular that they are hosting it again on Wednesday, July 24, at 10:30 am. You will find Elizabeth Page, the Children’s Librarian, by the main lifeguard tower in the purple tent. “Reading a good book on the beach is a summer tradition,” said Library Director Shaun Briley, “and because of screen glare and patchy Wi-Fi, a book is a great alternative that gets people off their devices and into true vacation mode.” Geared for ages 2-5, the interactive story time includes songs, stories and activities. Past books include Beachy and Me by Bob Staake and singing “Baby Shark” with pinwheels and bubbles. Beach story time celebrates the connection of the beach and reading, which is especially strong here in Coronado where the original library was located at The Del and called Coronado Beach Library.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out the Library’s amazing rotating exhibits, then you are missing out. The current 50th anniversary Apollo exhibit was collected from a variety of sources and focuses on the inspirational story of man getting to the moon. The upcoming Coronado Wildlife exhibit will be debuting in August and run through mid-September. This professionally curated exhibit will be on loan from the Natural History Museum and feature whale bones from the ocean, shore and land birds and other wildlife that would have naturally been found in Coronado.
A new centerpiece for the library will be the 100-inch video wall which is coming soon. The interactive touch screen display will tie in with the exhibits and feature pictures and digital content. There will be headphones for up to four guests to explore this new digital medium.
Reed Karosich is just one of the Coronado kids who has benefited from the library’s media lab run by Librarian Nick Burmeister. Reed learned about 3-D printing and then went on to create his own 3-D rocket. The media lab offers many services for community members like creating podcasts, posters, brochures, digitizing VHS tapes and scanning slides. Be sure and check out the library’s media lab to see how it can help you navigate the fast-paced age of technology.
As the hub of the community, the Coronado Library hosts hundreds of free activities for all ages throughout the year. One of the summer highlights is the upcoming Virtual Reality Demo on Friday, August 2, from 11 am to 5 pm in the Winn Room. Residents from eight to 108 years old are invited to experience new technology as they tap into their adventurous spirit with feet firmly planted on the ground, winging over the Dubai skyline, walking a plank between two towers or swimming with dolphins. Pick up your free tickets at the Library’s front desk.
You don’t want to miss learning the secrets to flower growing and design and get a behind-the-scene look at the Coronado Flower Show on Tuesday, July 23, at 6 pm in the Winn Room at the Demystifying Design Workshop hosted by the Coronado Floral Association. You will get to meet the judges and learn how easy it is to get involved in the longest-running tented flower show in the U.S. It’s easier than you think to have a green thumb!
Another unique workshop will be presented on Saturday, July 27, at 9:30 am in the Winn Room by Hilary Kearney on Beekeeping and Gardening for Bees, which ties into the beautiful Coronado gardens and the threat of bee extinction from our ecosystem. Participants will learn about insect gardens and can ask questions to Hilary, the founder of Girl Next Door Honey.
With an award-winning lineup of concerts throughout the summer, the final summer concert on Saturday, August 17, at 7 pm, will feature Coronado resident Diane Alexander, who is a critically acclaimed opera and Broadway soprano. In partnership with the Cultural Arts Commission, the concert will be hosted in the Library Foyer, and musical selections include classical pieces by Rachmaninoff to Broadway favorites like “The Sound of Music” and “Phantom of the Opera”. Free tickets for this event will be available at the Library front desk starting on August 3. Shaun Briley, Library Director said, “This promises to be a powerful musical experience with amazing acoustics.”
Celebrating 20 years of Summer Festival, the Coronado Library is a community hub with something for everyone from films, lectures, activities, workshops, exhibits, concerts, reading programs, book clubs, and more. These free summer programs are made possible by the Friends of the Coronado Public Library. Check out the complete schedule at CoronadoSummerFest.org.