Benicia’s remarkable library, designed by Architect Frants Albert, recently turned 25, with numerous events to mark the special occasion. The Benicia Public Library on East L Street is a hub of activity, with something for everyone from tots to teens to senior citizens.

Part of Benicia’s civic complex, the library can be accessed on foot or bike from First Street, and from Military East or L Street by car. Even at 25 years old, the library is a beautiful and welcoming showpiece inside and out with its large glass windows and weathered copper roof, perched on manicured grounds. In addition to the stacks, the open floor plan with soaring wood-beamed ceilings offers special areas for younger kids and one for teens, with quiet nooks interspersed throughout the space to sit and read or work.After being housed in two previous locations, the current library, built in June 1993, is one of the centerpiece buildings anchoring downtown with the senior center, city gym, police department, city hall and community center.

Benicia’s first library was a couple of rooms in the old Capitol (then City Hall) in 1910; then in 1956, moved to 144 East G Street, now a private residence.

Malcolm Slight

Benicia Library reading room with Hatofski painting

A large part of the library’s charm is the serious commitment to public art, with large works in the main space and a separate, highly regarded Marilyn Citron O’Rourke art gallery with rotating exhibits. The Benicia Library is an inviting place to sit and read and soak up the literary and artistic offerings. With events that started in late April, the celebration continues this month. Here’s a list of what’s happening this month:

Week of June 10
Afternoon movies
June 11-15, (90s movies), 3 pm daily in the Doña Benicia Room
June 12, 90s Party, 8 pm

Saturday, June 16
11:30am, Family Storytime
12, 12:30 & 1pm, 25 Years of  Storytimes in the Doña Benicia Room
1:30pm, Speeches and cake in the Doña Benicia room
                    Johanna Ely poem on the occasion
                   “Moment of Silence in Memory of….”
                    Legislators and other dignitaries

2:30, 3 & 3:30pm, 25 Years of Storytimes in the Doña Benicia Room (continued)
4 pm, Music at the Fireplace with Coyote (acoustic)
5 pm, Adult Storytime

Jerry Bowles

Benicia Library interior