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Friday, May 21, 2004 - 02:48 P.M.

Opening Week schedule

Each day of opening week will highlight a different part of the building. All events are free and open to the public.

SUNDAY, May 23, 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

10:30 a.m. Several percussion groups perform, including Djembe Safara (Senegalese), Show Brazil (Brazilian), One World Taiko (Japanese), Radost Folk Ensemble (Bulgarian/Macedonian), Tsimshian Haayuuk (Native American) and Washington Middle School youth steel-drum band.

10:45 a.m. Dedication ceremony featuring City Librarian Deborah Jacobs, Mayor Greg Nickels, Library Board President Greg Maffei, City Council President Jan Drago and J. Benson Porter, Washington Mutual senior vice president of community and external affairs. Washington Mutual is the main sponsor of the grand opening and inaugural year programs.


Address: 1000 Fourth Avenue

Free bus service: With 30,000 people expected to tour the new building Sunday, Metro is offering free rides to the Central Library from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. You'll need to pick up a free ticket — designed as a bookmark — at any branch of The Seattle Public Library; at Metro's Customer Service office at the King Street Center, 201 S. Jackson St.; or Westlake Station, mezzanine level. Free tickets will be available outside Central Library entrances for return trips. Patrons may also contact Metro at 206-553-3000 for more information.

Parking: The new library has an underground parking garage that can hold 143 vehicles. But don't count on parking there next Sunday for the opening ceremonies; the garage will probably be filled by early-arriving volunteers who are helping with the opening. And yes, they will be paying to park there — just as you will be if you use the garage after Sunday.

The library will validate parking for its users for up to two hours; without validation, rates are up to double the validated price.

The lowest validated rate is $3 for 20 to 40 minutes of parking. It goes up to $4 for an hour and $10.50 for two hours. The non-validated rate is $4 for 20 minutes or less, $8 for an hour and $14 for two hours.

The parking garage will be run by AMPCO Parking.

Traffic: Two lanes of traffic on Fourth Avenue will be closed from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Sunday.

11 a.m. Doors open at the Fourth and Fifth Avenue entrances.

5:30 p.m. Discussion of artwork in the new library by artists Ann Hamilton, Gary Hill and Tony Oursler at the Seattle Art Museum, 100 University St., Plestcheeff Auditorium. Call (206) 654-3121 for tickets, which are free but required.

Until 7 p.m. Library staff, volunteers and signs will help guide the public through the building. Because of the thousands of people expected on opening day, the library staff encourages patrons to wait until Monday, May 24, to conduct library business.

Keepsakes: While supplies last, everyone attending opening day will receive a perforated paper model of the building.

MONDAY, May 24, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Charles Simonyi Mixing Chamber: The Mixing Chamber, on Level 5, is where library staff can help with general or in-depth questions.

TUESDAY, May 25, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Norcliffe Foundation Living Room: The Living Room, on Level 3, features the Starbucks Teen Center, the Maria Lee Koh and Family Fiction Collection, FriendShop, coffee bar, Microsoft Auditorium and the Library Equal Access Project. From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., there will be a "reader's advisory booth" with fiction librarians offering reading advice.

10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Book-It Repertory Theatre will give performances in the auditorium of "Baseball Stories" featuring "Wait Till Next Year" by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

WEDNESDAY, May 26, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Hugh and Jane Ferguson Seattle Room: This room features Seattle's rich history and in-depth genealogical services.

11 a.m. Genealogist Cyndi Howells will discuss her book, "Planting Your Family Tree Online," in the auditorium.

2 p.m. Seattle Post-Intelligencer book critic John Marshall will talk about his book, "Place of Learning, Place of Dreams: A History of The Seattle Public Library," in the auditorium.

THURSDAY, May 27, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Books Spiral: The Central Library's nonfiction collection is organized in the Books Spiral, on Levels 6-9.

FRIDAY, May 28, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Betty Jane Narver Reading Room: The new Reading Room, on Level 10, offers views of the city. Also nearby: the Maritz Map Room and Eulalie and Carlo Scandiuzzi Writers' Room on Level 9.

SATURDAY, May 29, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Kids and family day: Youngsters and teens are invited to sign up for The Seattle Public Library's 85th annual Summer Reading Program in the Anne Marie Gault Children's Story Hour Room in the Faye G. Allen Children's Center on Level 1.

Jugglers, storytellers and musicians will be performing all day in the auditorium.

For more information about the new Central Library and opening events, visit

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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