Forgive us for the pause in communication, we’ve been trying to regroup and wrap our heads around the messages coming from City Hall. The story seems to be changing everyday.
In Tuesday’s public budget hearing meeting, the City Manager, Pat West, said clearly that the City did not intend to “shutter” Main Library without some sort of temporary, “satellite” facility up and running first. The Mayor insisted that there is no development deal for the Civic Center Complex.
Pat West said that he had created a task force of department heads and would include representatives from the Friends of the Long Beach Public Library and the Long Beach Public Library Foundation (who have been contacted and plan to attend) to explore options of what the temporary location would look like and which services it might offer.
Councilmembers B. Lowenthal, S. Lowenthal, R. Gabelich, T. Reyes Uranga, and G. Schipske all spoke out as being opposed to a complete closure of Main Library. S. Lowenthal stated that this was the first she had heard of a “satellite” temporary library, but that she liked the idea, hoped we would think creatively about making it a model that would work, and could even possibly transition into a new library. S. Lowenthal alluded to the fact that there is a big difference between some kind of “tent” and a functioning temporary library that would be in place for several years while a new permanent solution for the building can be found.
The District Weekly has several articles updating the public on the meeting, and clarifying the story as it has evolved.
While this was a positive step in the right direction, the threat to Main Library’s services is still very real, and communication and support needs to continue throughout the budget process. There is a very big difference between some kind of temporary “trailer or kiosk” and a functioning temporary library. The public must be vigilant in expressing their needs and expectations to the Council.
(1) Please keep writing your Councilmembers and the Mayor. Tell them about the services you use at Main, why you use them, and which ones you need and expect in a temporary facility.
(2) Continue to collect signatures of supporters. We are up to 2,000 signatures!! We are going to present these at a future budget hearing meeting.
(3) PLEASE make sure you attend next Tuesday’s budget meeting at 3:30PM at City Hall. We have buttons and signs of support, and the Council NEEDS to hear your voices and concerns as they continue to try and balance the budget and make decisions about the future of the library.
Thank you for your support!