The city of Riverside’s new downtown library will open to the public later this month, with a welcoming reception hosted by the mayor and other officials, it was announced Monday.

“The timing could not be better,” Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson said. “We’ll all be able to immediately enjoy what the new Main Library has to offer. We are the city of arts and innovation, and you will find exactly that in this beautiful facility.”

The grand opening ceremony is set for June 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., inside the facility at 3900 Mission Inn Ave., near Fairmount Boulevard, barely a block from the Fox Performing Arts Center. Light refreshments and tours are planned.

“The Riverside community should be proud of all the hard work done to bring our new Main Library to fruition,” said city Library Director Erin Christmas. “This is more than a just a building, it’s where young minds will transform into brilliance.”

The nearly $40 million library replacement and relocation project was approved by the City Council in 2017, and construction got underway a year later at the site of a former bus station.

The original Main Library was at Mission Inn and Orange Street, but the council decided to replace it with the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, which is still under construction. The “Cheech” will serve as a long-term repository for Marin’s collection of more than 700 Chicano-related works.

The new two-story, 42,329-square-foot Main Library will offer a range of modern amenities, including 60 laptop kiosks, 30 iPads for public checkout, wireless printing, self-checkout centers, multiple segments dedicated to special activities and archives, an outdoor terrace for views of Mount Rubidoux and downtown, study rooms and a bookstore.

With its opening, the city will return to having eight libraries available citywide.

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