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Santa Monica Library Takes Books to the Beach
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Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica


By Jorge Casuso

July 5, 2016 -- The Santa Monica Public Library is giving new meaning to the term "a good beach read" this summer when it launches the second annual "SMPL at the Beach 2016" this week.

Friday will mark the first in a series this year of five seaside pop-up libraries that offer "fun in the sun" at the Annenberg Community Beach House, 415 Pacific Coast Highway, and Dorothy Green Park, where Ocean Park Boulevard ends.

"Librarians will be on-hand to sign out books from our curated collection of beach reads (no library card required), give personalized reading recommendations and demonstrate cutting edge library apps, eBooks and streaming media," library officials said.

Photo credit: Santa Monica Public Library

Visitors also can enjoy family friendly activities that include Seaside Story Time, hula hoops, ukulele lessons, nautical crafts and interactive environmental education, organizers said.

Those who want to relax in the shade can visit the Surfside Reading Lounge or participate in games such as bocce and ladder toss. Each pop-up will also feature a "unique, limited edition SMPL at the Beach giveaway," organizers said.

The pop-up libraries will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the following dates:

· Friday, July 8 at the Annenberg Community Beach House,
· Saturday, July 23 at Dorothy Green Park,
· Monday, August 15 at the Annenberg Community Beach House,
· Saturday, August 27 at Dorothy Green Park, and
· Saturday, September 10 at Dorothy Green Park.

SMPL at the Beach is part of a growing trend that is bringing books to beaches in cities as far-flung as Bulgaria, Israel, Australia and Spain, according to the book "Atlas Obscura."

France launched its “Read on the Beach” program 12 years ago, taking mini-libraries across the country that offer a wide assortment of books in all genres during the summer months.

In the U.S. the city of Mentor, Ohio launched a Beach Reads program in 2009 that has "given away thousands of gently used paperback books to beachgoers" at Mentor Headlands Beach and Mentor Beach Park on the shores of Lake Eerie, according to Mentor library officials.

SMPL at the Beach is produced by Community & Cultural Services and the Santa Monica Public Library and funded by Friends of the Santa Monica Public Library.

The Annenberg Community Beach House is located on the beach at 415 Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica, California. It is north of the Santa Monica Pier and south of Will Rogers State Beach. The Pacific Coast Bike Trail winds along the western edge of the facility.

For more information about this free public program, visit or call the Reference Services Department at (310) 434-2608.

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