Library Foundation Check

Library Director Glenda Williams accepts a check from the Library Foundation at the grand opening of the new Billie Jean King Main Library on Sept. 21, 2019. ()

After construction began in 2018 on a new Main Library downtown, Long Beach Public Library Foundation board members decided to launch a capital campaign to help improve the facility.

On Jan. 15, 2019, Mayor Robert Garcia announced the campaign and its $3 million goal. By the time the library, now named the Billie Jean King Main Library, opened on Sept. 21, 2019, well over $2 million had been raised.

Now, on the first anniversary of the library opening, Foundation officials have announced the campaign has been completed with a total $3.3 million raised.

“This is the most successful fundraising campaign in our Foundation’s history!” Library Foundation Board President Sharon Weissman said in a release. “We are grateful to all the Founding Donors who helped create this beautiful, modern library that residents of Long Beach will enjoy for generations. The community should be extremely proud of this accomplishment.”

Library Foundation-funded enhancements include tools for those with disabilities in the Center for Adaptive Technology; Epson LightScene accent lighting laser projectors, a laser cutter, 3D printers, and more innovative technology in the makerspace Studio; educational oceanic décor throughout the KidSpace and Story Theater; self-check kiosks, a Tech Logic automated materials handling system and more.

A full list of donors is at lbplfoundation.org/newmain. Billie Jean King has sent a congratulatory video that can be seen on the Library Foundation website.

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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