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The Short Version: Located just outside Los Angeles, Newport Beach is a tranquil coastal suburb in Southern California. If you want to become more engaged in the close-knit community, you can stop by the Newport Beach Public Library to expand your horizons while meeting learned locals. Its three branches organize literary programs, educational events, and other community-based activities that give attendees something to ponder and discuss. Every year, over 1 million visitors go to these library branches in search of learning, entertainment, and connection. The library doors are open to everyone, so people from all walks of life can come together here. With its welcoming atmosphere, public events, and other resources, the Newport Beach Public Library can help you find a study buddy and open a new romantic chapter in your life.
One day, a couple came into the Newport Beach Public Library (NBPL) with a unique request: They wanted to have their wedding there. When the librarian asked why, they explained that they’d met at the library as students.
The connection had started with a furtive glance. He’d look at her. She’d pretend not to notice. She’d look at him. He’d bury his head in a book. They had studied at tables near each other, strategically placing themselves so it was impossible to ignore that something besides learning was going on here.
Eventually, the couple had started chatting and formed a friendship in the halls of the Newport Beach Public Library. Then, when the library had closed for two weeks for renovations, they’d met at each other’s homes to study together, and their romantic relationship had blossomed from there.
Since 1909, the Newport Beach Public Library has provided the backdrop for many friendships and relationships in the community. It may not be the first place residents think of when brainstorming romantic date spots, but it’s a central location for personal enrichment and interpersonal connection.
“Our mission is to be a cultural, educational, and informational heart of the community,” said Katherine Mielke, Marketing Specialist for the NBPL, “and I think we fulfill that.”
If you’re looking for a way to meet interesting and intelligent folks in your neighborhood, you might want to pay a visit to the library to see if you can find your happily-ever-after by browsing the bookshelves.
People of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds visit the Newport Beach Public Library. The librarians see everyone from kindergarten students learning to read to retirees seeking a pastime. Some business professionals come by the café for lunch, and some college students from the University of California in Irvine come by to study for exams. Altogether over 1 million people a year visit the three branches of the Newport Beach Public Library, which has over 1.4 million materials in circulation.
There is no typical library goer. Walking through the library, you’ll see mothers accompanying children in the kid’s section, adults doing research on the computers, tutors working alongside students in private study rooms, and many other people browsing, reading, and learning together.
“I was trying to see if we have a particular age group, and we don’t — it’s all across the board,” Katherine said. “We have pretty much every generation.”
The library is a multi-faceted public institution, and people use its resources in different ways. Some bring their own laptops, while others prefer to use the free wifi and desktop computers. A few couples have even used the beautiful architecture, particularly the bunny sculpture outside, to create a picture perfect moment. Whatever you’re looking for, you can find a catalog of entertaining and educational options at the Newport Beach Public Library.
“We have seen tremendous support in the community,” said Katherine, “and that’s been key to our success.”
The Newport Beach Public Library hosts dozens of public events throughout the year. You can check the online calendar to find out about upcoming lectures, book signings, exhibits, and other educational or engaging activities. These events help individuals come together through shared interests and feel part of the community.
From poetry readings to small concerts, the Newport Beach Public Library showcases the talent of many local students, artists, and musicians to educate and engage people in the community. Some events cater to young adults by offering beer and wine before the lecture, film screening, or presentation.
The library also supports a ProLiteracy program that pairs volunteer tutors with people seeking to improve their English skills. This is a remarkable opportunity to give back and meet diverse individuals in the community.
Sunday Musicales bring a lot of people to the Central Library on Avocado Avenue. This event features musical performances by violinists, pianists, singers, and other ensembles. You can take a date to these programs to enjoy live music in a low-key setting.
During the summertime, Concerts on the Green are a major date-night function with people sitting outside to listen to music and enjoy the warm weather and friendly atmosphere.
If you’d rather stay in with a date, you can access Kanopy video streaming using your library card on the NBPL site and watch a rom-com or a documentary as a cheap date night activity on a Friday.
The staff at the Newport Beach Public Library is as diverse as the people they serve. From 20-year-old interns to senior librarians, people of all ages and experience levels work together to provide a public service to the community. These highly trained and well-educated individuals have a passion for education, technology, multiculturalism, and, of course, books.
The staff makes a point to provide personalized service. If you have a question, a knowledgeable staff member can direct you to the reading or resources you require. All it takes is a library card to open yourself up to a world of knowledge and opportunity.
By combining various skill sets, the librarians, researchers, and other staff members have created a highly advanced informational network available for free to everyone.
Because they often see the same faces day in and day out, many librarians are on a first-name basis with regular visitors of the library. “Even though it’s a fairly large library, it still has that personal feel,” Katherine said, “because the staff gets to know visitors by name.”
The Newport Beach Public Library staff feels honored to be part of the love story of local couples (like the two lovebirds who met while studying), and they work hard to foster opportunities for residents to gather in study rooms, at educational events, and in other public spaces.
For book lovers, there’s nothing more romantic than discovering someone who loves the same authors, genres, and titles they do. Every day of the week, people come to the Newport Beach Public Library in search of knowledge and find a community of dreamers and doers. By attending a lecture at the library or making conversation among the bookshelves, you can expand your social network and maybe even get a date in an intellectually stimulating environment.
“It’s more than just a building containing books,” Katherine said. “It’s a place to bring the community together. It’s not about the contents of the library; it’s the environment it provides for people to better themselves.”
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