Take Action for Libraries!
A Nurturing Place to Succeed – Nariah’s Story
Nariah has been visiting the Family Learning Center since her sophomore year of high school. High school can be a stressful time with difficult classes and all the preparation it takes to graduate and move on to the next step. When Nariah first discovered the Library, she would usually go to Dana Neighborhood Library or Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library and do her homework in the public space. Even though she was able to get her work done, she discovered that the Family Learning Centers at both branches provide an environment that was more helpful to her.
Because she doesn’t have a computer with internet access at home, Nariah appreciates that the Family Learning Centers have computers she can use. The centers are staffed by Learning Guides offering one-on-one guidance for homework and research.
“The Library is a big reason reason I push myself to be something. I enjoy meeting new people and the staff. I feel comfortable in this environment.”
Today, Nariah is a Library volunteer and enjoys supporting the librarians and staff who have supported her.
The Family Learning Center program is funded by the Library Foundation and offers support to students, job seekers, seniors, veterans, and anyone else who visits the Library looking for guidance with a project or research. You can support this program with a tax-deductible donation to celebrate National Library Month. CLICK HERE
Connecting and Making a Difference – Steve’s Story
Steve Leary first visited the Long Beach Public Library in 2008. At that time, he was apprehensive about using one of the library’s computers. Due to the high cost of internet, he didn’t have a computer at home. With encouragement from his younger sister, who lives in Ireland and wanted to be able to communicate with him online, Steve gave it a try. The Library offers a General Computer Use class that gave Steve the opportunity to receive one-on-one support to set up his email and use basic programs.
Learning how to communicate online has opened a whole new world for Steve. As a civic-minded Long Beach resident, Steve uses email and social media to connect with Mayor Garcia and City Councilmembers about the issues that matter most to him. He supports nonprofit organizations and community groups that he first connects with online. In April 2018, The Grunion published an Op-Ed by Steve in which he expressed his support for Urban Community Outreach, a nonprofit offering services to Long Beach’s homeless population. He is currently in the city’s Neighborhood Leadership Program to develop more skills, knowledge, and resources to make a difference in Long Beach.
Steve was able to discover these opportunities with the Library computers. It is estimated that 25% of Long Beach households do not have an adequate internet portal, and Steve is one of the residents without a connection. However, the computers available at the Library have had a major impact on his life. He has visited almost every branch, but usually goes to the Alamitos Neighborhood Library.
Every day the Library opens new doors for people like Steve. You can support Library programs with a tax-deductible donation to celebrate National Library Month. CLICK HERE
Visit Your Local Public Library (Opinion)
The following letter to the editor by our Board President, Susan Redfield, appeared in the March 22, 2018 issue of the Press-Telegram. To view the original letter on the Press-Telegram’s website, Click HERE.
Re “California librarian not a prim post at all” (Opinion, March 17):
Thank you for Larry Wilson’s piece about Greg Lucas, California’s state librarian. Like Greg, our libraries are so much more than the dated stereotypes people sometimes recall.
In Long Beach, our libraries have joined the 21st Century, offering more than just books. Over 1 million patrons visited our city libraries last year to access digital resources, 3D printers, free coding classes, homework help, job skills training and more.
In 2016, the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library branch opened in north Long Beach, an area that very much needed the community resources it offered. More than 5,000 people visited opening day, including many who made small contributions to the Long Beach Public Library Foundation’s $1 million fundraising campaign for the library. Since then, the library’s visits have increased by 70 percent and program participation has increased by 90 percent.
The Long Beach Public Library will further modernize with a new main library in downtown Long Beach. Praised as one of the most innovative public-private partnerships in the state, the new library will be a beacon of education and economic development in Long Beach, transforming the lives of patrons and our community.
Even if you are lucky enough to rely on your smartphones as the main source of information, it’s time to visit your local public library. You’ll be impressed by what you find.
— Susan Redfield, Long Beach
The letter writer is president of the Long Beach Public Library Foundation Board of the Directors.
Library Career Online High School Graduating Class of 2018!
In 2016, the Long Beach Public Library began offering the Career Online High School program for local adults, who were not able to graduate during their youth, to earn their accredited high school diploma through an online program at the Library. The Library Foundation supports this program with scholarships to make this opportunity accessible to those who need it. So far, 28 students have graduated.
On March 10, 2018 nine of these students celebrated their graduation in front of family and friends. Many at the ceremony spoke of their family serving as inspiration for their hard work including commencement speaker, Tracy Colunga, Innovation Team Director for the City of Long Beach.
These graduates can now transfer their credits to continue their education at a community college or university.
Check out the video below to hear from the proud graduates themselves.
Libraries Transform for Healthy Communities
Check out the video above for a tour of the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library Learning Garden by GrowingYourGreens.com.
2018 brings new opportunities to transform your life and embark on your healthiest year yet, and the Long Beach Public Library can help.
According to the American Library Association, more than 90 million U.S. adults have low health literacy, which means they have difficulty accessing and understanding information pertaining to health. Public libraries and librarians help bridge this gap with free resources and guidance that can help you make informed decisions about your health.
Each branch of the Long Beach Public Library contains nutritional cook books, exercise guides, and quality information to help you avoid getting sick. This flu season has been more severe than those of recent years and knowledge is power in the prevention and management of illness.
Your library is also a center of community activities and learning so that you can join others in living a healthier lifestyle. Throughout the year, the Long Beach Public Library offers the following programs:
- Healthy Living Workshops
- Cooking Classes
- Gardening Classes
- Group Exercise
- Mental Health Workshops
Check the library calendar to keep up with the latest programs: lbpl.org/events
Libraries are partners in a healthy community, so join us in making 2018 a healthy year for Long Beach.