Long Beach opens the Billie Jean King Main Library, a 92,500 square foot building for the community

After the official grand opening, the public entered and began using the new Billie Jean King Main Library, a 92,500-square-foot LEED Gold-certified building that includes space for about 300,000 books. The new facility also offers a Family Learning Center, the Center for Adaptive Technology, a Veterans Resource Center, study rooms, meeting rooms, a special collections area, and an extensive children???s area with a storytelling space, an art studio and more in Long Beach on Saturday, September 21, 2019. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

Long Beach residents have been able to check books out of the Billie Jean King Main Library downtown since Sept. 21 — opening day.

Starting Friday, Nov. 1, people will be able to buy books there, too.

The Friends of the Long Beach Public Library will cut the ribbon that day on the new Friends Bookstore, at the northeastern corner of the library's ground floor. The ceremony will take place at 11:45 a.m.

The Friends manned a bookstore in the lobby of the old Main Library, selling donated books and retired copies. Money raised goes to help the library system.

Like much else in the new library, the Friends store is state-of-the-art. It literally folds up, closing its cover, when it isn't staffed. That creates more public space and secures material as well. The result is called The Bookshelf, Friends president Barbara Sosa said.

Hours for the book store will be noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday to start. Volunteers still are needed to staff four-hour shifts — to find out more, email LB.LibraryFriends@gmail.com.

Donations of books, dvds and cds are accepted as long as they are in good shape, and the donations are tax-deductible. Donations can be brought to the main library, or, if you have two boxes or less, branch libraries can accept them as well.

Friday's grand opening is open to the public. To celebrate, on Friday and Saturday people can bring one bag and fill it with small paperbacks for free.

The library is at 200 W. Broadway.

—Harry Saltzgaver

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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