Best Library Orange County 2012 - Fullerton Public Library
353 W. Commonwealth Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92832
In a year that has seen the city's civic fabric nearly torn apart because of the Kelly Thomas scandal, there is only one common ground: the Fullerton Public Library. Under the leadership of Maureen Gebelein, the library has boldly forged ahead into the 21st century, keeping active Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts; opening up its History Room to everyone, not just old fogies; and debuting a new conference room in the main branch that has full technological capabilities (its other branch, the Hunt Library, is an architectural gem designed by UC Irvine father William Pereira). More crucially, Gebelein understands that a library is not just a repository for books and microfilm, but also a public space that demands a roster of great speakers. With next to no budget, she has brought in such heavy hitters as Sandra Tsing Loh, Susan Street and Luis J. Rodriguez—and is even crazy enough to allow Weekly Mexican In Chief Gustavo Arellano to present a monthly array of Chicano scholars and other assorted intellectual weirdness titled "Gustavo's Awesome Lecture Series!"