After a decade of patiently waiting, working and wishing, a new Los Angeles County library will open in Acton on Wednesday. It is the only library in the County system with hitching posts and water for horses outside the front door.
The grand opening of the Christopher Colombo Brevidoro Library at 33792 Crown Valley Road will begin at 11 a.m. Along with area officials, an excited group of local readers, many of them members of Friends of the Acton/Agua Dulce Library, is expected to attend and the public is invited to join them.
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The Friends group was founded in 2000 and was the only Friends group formed without a standing library. Readers were serviced by the County’s Bookmobile and the closest bricks-and-mortar facility was in Canyon Country.
When Proposition 14, the California Reading and Literacy Improvement and Public Library Construction and Renovation Bond Act passed in 2000, the sleepy little berg dotted with rambling ranches and highlighted by a rock formation recognizable all around the globe was targeted by Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich to get some of the bond money.
In 2003, John Brevidoro and his brother, Robert, donated 1.5 acres of land to the County to site a library that would serve the residents of the communities of Acton and Agua Dulce in northern Los Angeles County. The Brevidoro brothers donated the land in memory of their parents, Christopher C. and Ida G. Brevidoro, the founders of the Colombo Lilac Ranch in Acton.
Los Angeles County submitted its application for a grant to build a 10,000 square foot library on the site located on the east side of Crown Valley Road, just a quarter-mile north of Sierra Highway. The application was approved and the county received $4.6 million from Prop. 14 funds.
A groundbreaking was held October 29, 2007. The construction, which went on slow and steady, didn’t deter the enthusiasm of the Friends, who held book sales, started the Acton/Agua Dulce Reads project and appealed to Southern California Edison for a grant to start a Celestial Exploration program. Edison came through with $25,000, which the Friends used to buy a telescope and other astral viewing equipment. Their first event is October 21.
The library itself is named in honor of the Brevidoro patriarch, Christopher Colombo Brevidoro, who emigrated from Genoa, Italy to California in November 1920. The children’s reading area within the new library is named in honor of the brothers’ mother, Ida Ghio Brevidoro, a native Southern Californian.
The library has five public computers, four children's computers, two early literacy computers, and 17 community learning computers. It also has wi-fi access. A photocopier is available for community use. The 11,000 sq ft library has 1 study room (capacity 6), 1 meeting room (capacity 78), and a children's area. The collection consists of books, magazines, newspapers, DVDs, and audio and music CDs.
Along with their ongoing used book sales, the Friends of the Library are also offering patrons an opportunity to name a shelf for a $50 donation.