The Billie Jean King Main Library, which California State Librarian Greg Lucas visited on Friday, June 4, was a far cry from what he remembered from his youth.
Lucas’s parents grew up in Long Beach, so he was more than familiar with the forerunner of the modern structure with floor-to-ceiling windows that opened in fall 2019.
“I spent a lot of time in different parts of the city, so I remember the old library,” he said after receiving a tour of the facility from the director of Long Public Library. Beach, Glenda Williams.
“I saw the old library,” he said, “and that’s right – it’s so responsive in Long Beach, and there’s so much more going on in this building even though it’s older. smaller than the other, so for me it’s extraordinary. “
The Billie Jean King Main Library opened in September 2019, shortly before it was due to close due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But now the city can’t wait to share its amenities with the public again.
In addition to a family learning center, a veterans resource center, a children’s space and an art studio, the library recently added a Khmer search index, a unique feature. of its kind funded by a grant from the California State Library.
Lucas watched a demonstration of the Index, which is intended to provide accessibility to library resources for the Cambodian community, during his tour, and he said it was an example of the higher purpose of the libraries in general.
“They respond to the community they find themselves in,” he said. “Libraries really – not to get all the Disney movies – but they represent the best of people: sharing stuff regardless of your situation.” Anyone who walks through the door is welcome here. It is quite amazing.