City of Long Beach
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd,
Long Beach, CA 90802
The City of Long Beach is pleased to announce that it will reopen the Billie Jean King Main Library (Main Library) to visitors this Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022 after a temporary closure. The Main Library will maintain special operating hours* through Nov. 1 and will resume regular operating hours beginning Nov. 2. The temporary closure was necessary to address security staffing levels and specialized library staff training. With Main Library being a high-volume facility in the city’s downtown core, combined with the state of mental health challenges that many are experiencing locally and throughout the country, it was apparent that in order to effectively conduct library business and provide a positive and inspiring environment for all who entered the doors, a new plan needed to be developed to meet the needs of this specific facility. A temporary security plan has been identified and will be utilized in the interim over the coming weeks while a long-term plan is finalized. Library staff thanks the community for their patience while the City resolved this important issue and we look forward to welcoming visitors and patrons back inside Main Library to take advantage of all the literary and educational resources, events and workshops offered.
The City emphasizes that the Long Beach Public Library system is a safe place for community members. At the Main Library and throughout the Library system, we welcome all patrons. At times, some who visit the Library may have unresolved trauma, medical issues and mental health challenges that negatively impact other library patrons and staff. The City will continue to develop strategies to manage these isolated events for the peace of mind of all who come through our library doors.
The City also recognizes the increased mental health concerns affecting individuals locally and across the nation over the last few years, especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and continues to work diligently to address these concerns. The City’s Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) is actively working to activate additional mental health outreach teams and is working with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health to create more mental health prevention and treatment access in Long Beach.
*Special operating hours are subject to change and are as follows:
Billie Jean King Main Library is one of 12 public libraries within the Long Beach Public Library system. The location temporarily closed to the public on Sept. 23, 2022 and shifted to the To-Go Service operating model along with online resources and select in-person programming. The temporary closure was due to a recent rise in volatile incidents involving people with mental health challenges and the need for appropriate security staffing. During this closure, the Department of Library Services assessed current staffing needs and conducted specialized training to learn how to more effectively manage these incidents, while City leaders engaged in interdepartmental discussions to identify short- and long-term solutions for appropriate facility security.
Media inquiries may be directed to Cathy De Leon, Director, Library Services, at 562.570.6016 or Cathy.DeLeon@lbpl.org.