North Neighborhood Library Groundbreaking Ceremony Set For Saturday, October 25

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Mayor Robert Garcia, Councilmembers Rex Richardson and Al Austin and the Department of Library Services invite the public to a groundbreaking ceremony for the new North Neighborhood Library, at 10 am on Saturday, October 25, at 5870 Atlantic Ave., in Long Beach.

“The new North Library is extremely important, because Long Beach Public Library services are both more popular and more necessary than ever,” Mayor Robert Garcia said. “Investing in our libraries is an investment in education and lifelong learning, and supporting education is the best investment we can make in our community’s future.”

The new North Library will be a state-of-the-art 24,655-square-foot single-story facility and will feature many amenities, including three separate community meeting rooms, a community patio, a storytime theater space, displays for artwork, an expanded children’s library and separate library areas for teens and adults. The new building will feature artistic glass walls and green foliage to face residences on Lime Avenue, and incorporate a reproduction of the former Atlantic Theatre’s iconic tower into a glass roof accenting the children’s section.

“The Uptown Renaissance continues with the new North Library,” Councilmember Rex Richardson said. “The new North Library will increase the quality of life for community members, and increase civic engagement by giving residents of North Long Beach more space to gather, share new ideas, and meet and interact with one another.”

The current North Library, located nearby at 5571 Orange Ave., was built in 1951 and is only 6,800 square feet. One of the City’s smaller libraries, it serves the largest population of all the neighborhood libraries in Long Beach. The new North Library will be four times the size of the current branch. Its collection will double in size and will offer four times more computer workstations and an enhanced Family Learning Center.

“The new North Library will enable more people to access the information they need and desire,” Councilmember Al Austin said. “The larger facility will also facilitate increased programs and services to the entire community, including children, families, teens, adults and seniors.”

The new North Branch Library will feature cutting edge technology such as a makerspace, self-checkout kiosks, an automated book return and sorting system, and 3D printing, along with enhanced technology services for disabled residents, currently available only at the Main Library.

“As more information is delivered via computers, smart phones, and other electronic devices, our community needs the ability to discover, comprehend and present content across various media,” said Glenda Williams, Director of Library Services. “Enhancing technology at the new North Library will provide more opportunities to patrons of North Library to develop these skills for the 21st Century.”

The project has been designed to incorporate many energy-efficiency and water conservation measures in order to achieve LEED Silver Certification. The design will improve indoor air quality for inhabitants and reduce consumption of resources.

In advance of the groundbreaking ceremony, the City will be conducting a community meeting on October 23 from 6:00 – 7:00 PM at Houghton Park, 6301 Myrtle Ave. The general contractor and construction management team will discuss the construction schedule and efforts under way to minimize impacts on the community.

The library will be located on former Redevelopment Agency (RDA)-owned property, and is scheduled to open in mid-2016.

The $17 million project is funded through a variety of sources, including American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Bonds issued by the former RDA, Upland Oil Funds and one-time funds approved by the City Council.

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