Thursday, July 24, 2008

Last week, during meetings with the community, several City Council members confirmed that the new "balanced" City 2009 Budget (completely separate from the parcel tax issue) includes a plan to "CLOSE" THE MAIN LIBRARY!


As you can imagine, we were shocked. But as more sources have also heard this news, our shock has turned to deep concern to take action. The Mayor's budget recommendations are not expected to be made public until August 1st, 2008. In the meantime...


This blog has been created by library supporters to give you frequent updates, with the details as we learn them, and provide you with facts about the Long Beach Public Library and its importance to the entire Long Beach Community.

Please read it daily and forward the address to everyone you know.

We have less than one month to make sure that YOU, the PEOPLE of Long Beach are heard!

On the right, under the tab "HELP" is a list of concrete things we need help with.

The Long Beach Main Library is a vital community resource! It receives 500,000 visits a year. For 27,376 children living in the downtown area, Main Library IS the "neighborhood" library. Most of these children do not have access to transportation to another library. Even if they COULD travel, the nearest neighborhood libraries cannot handle an increase from downtown.

Closing Main Library would mean shutting off access to:
  • 70 public library computers
  • more that 150 reading and school readiness programs for preschoolers
  • the grant-funded Information Center for People with Disabilities which provides special tools and resources to the disabled community
  • nearly 500,000 volumes on a range of subjects available only at Main library.

We all understand the City faces grave budget challenges and tough choices.

But closing a library is NOT an acceptable solution.

EVERY Long Beach resident deserves a library!


Anonymous said...

It seems there must be alternatives to shutting down an institution that serves our city's most vulnerable residents. This library has helped us raise our children. Shutting down Main directly affects at least 25 schools. The children rely on the Main Library as a safe haven to study, receive homework help, use computers and printers, attend story time and other enrichment programs in the after school hours and on weekends.

MAIN is not only a community library but also a cultural and community center for the entire city. I hope those who have benefited from this great gathering place and enjoyed meeting with authors, attending lectures, programs and workshops will write to the Mayor and City Council. CLOSING MAIN IN OCTOBER 2008 IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.

Anonymous said...

You cannot shutter the City of Long Beach Public Library. It would be a crime against education and learning. It is beyond dispute, that an American metropolis with the population, diversity, complexity and breadth of the City of Long Beach, one of the largest in the State of California, cannot shut down its historic main branch, which contains a half-million volumes and seventy computer terminals ansd so many programs encouraging autodidactism, literacy and community interaction.
Please keep this library alive. My brother and his family formerly resided in Long Beach and avidly used the resources contained in the library and whenever I am visiting your beautiful seaside community, my itinerary consists of Pine Avenue's restaurants, the Aquarium, the Latin American museum, and the main library as well as the various events, like last Sunday's Crawfish Festival. With the closing of Acres of books, the central--and only-- bastion of books in Long Beach (and neighboring communities) is teh Long Beach Central Library.
Maurice Kane