Saturday, August 23, 2008

Evening Community Meeting This Week!

101 Pacific Ave, Long Beach 90822

The City has set up an important community meeting on Tuesday evening right after the 1st District regular community meeting which goes from 5:30PM-6:30PM. Both meetings will be held the Main Library auditorium. (Main Library is open until 8pm on Tuesday and Thursday evenings)

The Director of Public Works, Mike Conway will be presenting important information regarding the City's claim that the Main Library needs to be closed due to health and safety issues. The information should be very interesting and hopefully address the issues that supporters keep raising. It's important that the community comes to the meeting to hear the city's position and asks questions. Eleanore Schmidt, the Director of Library Services will also be discussing the library services the Main currently provides and what services would be needed in a temporary library. Additionally, there may be a presentation about possible temporary library sites.

It's important to get many community members to these meetings as possible and for everyone to provide input so that the City hears how important the Library is to our community!

We will update the blog on the news we hear Tuesday night.

We are up to 3,000 signatures!! Petitions are due September 1st and can be mailed, faxed or dropped off to the Long Beach Public Library Foundation who have agreed to collect them. Email for more details.

Also, there was a very touching article in the Press Telegram newspaper today called "Fighting for the Library" which talks about a Long Beach Librarian, Virginia Sanchez, who is stationed in Afghanistan and the LETTER she wrote to City Council.

Monday, August 18, 2008

"I Want to Help, But What Should I Write?"

We've received comments that many of you want to help by writing an email to City Council, (THANK YOU!) but you aren't sure of what to write.

The most important thing is that they hear from you. Your email/lettercould be short and sweet: "Don't close Main Library, I use it!"

Or you could talk about the reasons you feel the City of Long Beach needs a Main Library.

Or you could just copy over this form letter and REPLACE the parts in red to personalize it and send it to the entire City Council using all the emails listed below (and on the right side of this webpage), with the subject "Don't Close Main Library!",,,,,,,,,,,

City Hall needs to hear your voice!

Dear City Council and Mayor,

I am *CHOOSE ONE: incredibly concerned, upset, angry, outraged* about the proposal to close Main Library. As a resident of Long Beach and a library patron, I am in support of a strong public library system, including a Main Library that provides free access to information for our entire community.


I do not feel that the Council and City Management have been forthcoming and upfront with the exact costs, details and options to repair the current Main Library. I am alarmed to hear how long the City has deferred maintenance on the Library and that there was money set aside for repair projects last year, but the project was never completed and the money is no longer available.

I do not support the investment of opening the branches additional days if it means that our City will be without a Main Library. Our branch libraries cannot handle the overflow. If cuts must be made to our libraries, I believe other options should be explored and a plan should be in place before closing Main Library.

I am concerned by the lack of planning in this proposal. Before the City Council votes to close Main, I want to see a well-defined, considerate plan for a new Main Library that addresses the needs of the community and provides all the important services the current library is providing, including:

- Access to the largest collection of books and Media not available at our branch libraries.

- A children’s section with a story time theater, special children computers, children’s books and children’s programming.

- A Family Learning Center for homework help.

- An Information Center for People with Disabilities

- A computer center for adults

- A place to display artwork and special collections

- Meeting space

- Access to periodicals and government documents

- A Friends of the Library bookstore

- A Reference Desk staffed with knowledgeable librarians to help the public with questions

- Programs such as the Homebound Reader’s for Seniors

- Quiet open spaces for individual study and reading

- A replacement or replica of the Miller Room

- Administration to help oversee all of the branch libraries, the system wide programs, and inter-library functions


Please do not cut these valuable programs and interrupt services to our community. The Main library is a vital tool to educating the community and preventing crime by keeping people in a safe, quiet environment where they can access information for free. It’s important for the City of Long Beach to protect this cultural institution!



AUGUST 26th 6:45PM-8:00PM - Main Library Auditorium

Important community meeting entitled "Rebuild and/or Relocate Main Library" The department of Public Works and the Department of Library Services will be presenting and there will be an opportunity for questions from the public.

SEPTEMBER 2nd, 3:30-5:30PM - City Hall Council Chambers

City Council budget workshop on the Library which allows comments from the public. We need as many people as possible to attend this meeting! We will have signs and there will be a chance for anyone to address the Council on the library topic. Comments limited between 1-3 minutes depending on what the Council decides and how many people want to speak.

Many individual Council Disctricts are also meeting throughout the month on the budget, we encourage to attedn the one in your district.

8-20, 11:30AM- 9th District, Coolidge Park

8-21, 11:30AM- 3rd District, Yacht Club

8-21, 7:00PM- 7th and 8th District, Petroleum Club

8-26, 5:30PM- 1st District, Main Library Auditorium

8-27, 6:00PM- 6th District, McBride Park

Thank you for continued attention and support!!