Grant R. Brimhall Library
The Grant R. Brimhall Library serves as the main library for the city of Thousand Oaks, California. It is controlled by the Thousand Oaks Library System, which also controls the Newbury Park Branch Library. The Grant R. Brimhall Building is located on Janss Rd. near State Route 23. There are 81,000 square feet (7,500 m2) in the main building and 3,000 square feet (280 m2) in the adjacent Special Collections Storage building. It serves Thousand Oaks, including Newbury Park and Westlake Village. It is the largest library in Ventura County, the largest library in the region, and one of the largest in Southern California.
The library was originally located on Wilbur Road, across from the where the Janss Marketplace parking structure stands today. Today, the original building has been remodeled and is used for art work. The Thousand Oaks Library occupies its new building, at 1401 E. Janss Rd. in January 1982, which was later named the Grant R. Brimhall Library in honor of the former City Manager. Before 1982, the library was part of the Ventura County Library Services Agency. In November 1982, the City of Thousand Oaks assumed responsibility for library operations.
The Newbury Park Branch of the library opened in January 1991 at 2331 Borchard Rd. The library encompasses 17,000 square feet (1,600 m2). The building includes an additional 4,000 square feet (370 m2) which house the Technical Services Department and the Friends of the Thousand Oaks Library book storage area.
A.C. Martin and Associates Architecture firm located in Los Angeles was the designer responsible for the new library. It shares similar architecture to the original Thousand Oaks City Hall, which is located off Lynn Rd. across from The Oaks Shopping Center, and with the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Center and present city hall located on Thousand Oaks Blvd. The style is very clean and futuristic, with straight lines throughout. It is noted by local residents as being one of the most appealing buildings in the area because of its unique architecture, which was ahead of its time.
Relocation and return
For many years, the library was not located at the main Grant R. Brimhall Building. It moved to a large commercial building off Conejo School Road. In 1994, the Thousand Oaks Library was damaged by the Northridge earthquake and was temporarily relocated to 2400 Willow Lane to allow reconstruction to proceed rapidly. The Grant R. Brimhall Library re-opened at the Janss Road site in November 1996. The building began to have problems with the roof in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Damage occurred inside the library due to leaking, sent the city and original developer into a lawsuit that took years to conclude. Until the lawsuit concluded and the building could be repaired correctly, the library was moved to the Conejo School Road location, across the US 101 freeway from the present day Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza.
Thousand Oaks Library System
There are approximately 370,000 items in the collection, including books, magazines, newspapers, recorded books on cassette and CD, videocassettes and DVDs, CD-ROMs, puppets and music CDs. New materials are ordered daily by the library. The library system no longer uses the card catalog system, but rather a computer database system to store all library information. The library system also offers large meeting rooms and auditoriums at both library locations, and the Conejo Valley Art Exhibition at the Newbury Park Branch, which is constantly running and previewing local artists' work.
The Grant R. Brimhall Library recently finished a children's wing expansion project. The Library Expansion Project includes a 22,000-square-foot (2,000 m2) expansion of the Grant R. Brimhall Library. The project adds onto the south side of the building and is devoted to children's services and collections. Additional staff work area is also included in this project. The new Children's Library entrance is facing Janss Road, with additional parking, a drive-up book drop, a courtyard and children's patio. It also offers a separate program room, additional shelving for the juvenile collection, and extra study and seating area for children. The existing facility was renovated and modified to include a new location for the Library Foundation Store, the Special Collections Department, as well as new quiet and group study rooms, additional seating and shelving.
It was designed by Killefer, Flammang Architects located in Santa Monica, and constructed by AKG Construction, Inc., based in Van Nuys. It took approximately 18 months to complete from its start date, November 17, 2004. Total cost added up to $10,500,000.