young readers (copy)

Benjamin Scott, reads a book in Bay Shore Library last summer while sister Ivy, in background, checks out a book of her own.

All of Long Beach's branch libraries will stay closed Friday so the city's library staff can get training on how to more effectively provide service, especially when it comes to homeless people.

Librarians and other city staff will explore innovative service concepts, including a pilot program to bring social workers into libraries to connect people to needed resources, according to a memo from Director of Library Services Glenda Williams. A guest speaker and author, Ryan Dowd, will travel from Chicago to talk about how to compassionately work with homeless individuals.

Dowd wrote the book "The Librarian's Guide to Homelessness: An Empathy Driven Approach to Solving Problems, Preventing Conflict and Serving Everyone."

Branch libraries will reopen on Saturday and return to regular schedules. the new Billie Jean King Main Library is scheduled to open Sept. 21.

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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