Long Beach Public Library Foundation

New Name for the Main Library

On July 23, the Long Beach City Council voted unanimously to rename the new downtown library the Billie Jean King Main Library. We appreciate the hundreds of community members who voiced their opinion about the name of the Library’s central hub.

Billie Jean King was born and raised in Long Beach, attended Polytechnic High School, and learned to play tennis on the city’s free public courts.  She is regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time and is best known for her 39 Grand Slam titles and win in the Battle of the Sexes tennis match. She also advocated for the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all federally funded education programs. This had far-reaching effects in public schools and universities and expanded women’s access to education and school sports programs nationwide. This work earned King many honors including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And now, the name of one of Long Beach’s most celebrated individuals will be lent to one of Long Beach’s most important educational institutions – the Long Beach Public Library.

The Library Foundation remains committed to raising much-needed funds for this new library and all 11 of its branches. We invite those who expressed their opinions on its name so passionately to join our campaign by making a donation of any size to ensure that this new library is one that serves the needs of the more than one million patrons who visit the Long Beach Public Library every year.

The Billie Jean King Main Library will host its grand opening on September 21. You can become a Founding Donor of the new Library in time for the opening celebrations with a gift of $25 or more to support technology, programs, and enhancements at the Library.

Long Beach Post: Sooooo many books: Library staff gears up for next month’s move to new facility

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Beachcomber: New Main Library on Schedule to Open in the Summer

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Grunion Gazette: Foundation Goes Public With Fund-Raising Campaign For New Long Beach Main Library

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Press-Telegram: Long Beach Public Library Foundation seeks $3 million in donations to support new library

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For media queries, contact:
Kimberly Caballero
562.628.2441 ext. 3

LONG BEACH, California, January 15, 2019 – The Long Beach Public Library Foundation with support from Mayor Robert Garcia announced today at the State of the City the public launch of its New Main Campaign. The Campaign’s $3 million goal is to support programs and enhancements at the new Main Library, the central base of the Long Beach Public Library system which serves approximately 1 million visitors each year. The new Main Library is scheduled to open in the summer of 2019.

All supporters who donate $25 or more to the campaign in the first year of the new library’s operation will be recognized as New Main Campaign Founding Donors.

“The New Main Campaign gives everyone in the city a chance to be a part of the foundation of the new main hub of the Long Beach Public Library. Any donation amount makes a difference and will be an investment in the future of Long Beach,” said Barbara Schwerin, president of the Long Beach Public Library Foundation Board of Directors.

“I have always been a believer that education is the most important investment we can make and our Main Library provides vital resources to our community,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “I encourage everyone who can to support this campaign so that our new Main Library is fully equipped to serve our community for generations to come.”

The new 93,000 square foot Main Library’s features will include:

  • Sustainable design of the entire structure that is on track to attain a LEED Gold or better rating from the U.S. Green Building Council;
  • Increased access for the disabled through specialized equipment in the Center for Adaptive Technology;
  • New Veterans Resource Center and Citizenship Corner to help the community navigate and apply for services;
  • The Studio Learning Lab, featuring makerspace technology and software for 3D printing, graphic design, robotics, coding, virtual reality and more;
  • Special collections area that is accessible and climate controlled to preserve the Library’s rare and historical books and materials;
  • Updated whimsical and age-appropriate children’s spaces, including an early childhood area to promote literacy and to accommodate family activities; and
  • Unlimited access to free WiFi, power sources at nearly all reader seats and work tables, and plenty of public computers.

Learn more about the New Main Campaign at LBPLfoundation.org/newmain.


The Long Beach Public Library Foundation, an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, provides support to enhance the Main Library and 11 neighborhood branches of the Long Beach Public Library and encourages literacy and education for all members of the community. LBPLfoundation.org

Click to Learn More About the New Main Campaign


Main Library Turns the Page

In 1977, the current Main Library opened to the public in the Long Beach Civic Center. As the central hub of the Long Beach Public Library system, the Main Library houses much of the Library’s collection of over 800,000 items, supports the needs of all of the branch libraries in Long Beach, serves as the piloting location for new innovative programs, and houses most of the Library’s advanced technology resources. After 42 years of serving the city, the Main Library will close its doors for good on January 18, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. to prepare for the opening of the new Main Library later this year.

In 2017, the Long Beach Public Library received the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor for libraries, thanks in great part to the resources and services offered at the Main Library. The new Main Library will build off of this innovative and enriching environment with an upgraded makerspace Studio, 3D printing lab, Family Learning Center, Children’s Library, Teen Library, Veterans Resource Center, Center for Adaptive Technology, and many more resources for all library patrons to enjoy. Learn more about supporting these educational opportunities at LBPLfoundation.org/newmain.

While we will miss the current Main Library, we are excited for the next chapter and the amazing memories we will create in the new Main Library.

Be sure to visit the Main Library before it closes. View the Library’s hours at lbpl.org/locations/library_hours.asp.

Photos from the Long Beach Public Library:

The Main Library shortly after the building was completed in 1977.

The Main Library auditorium has held many events including weekly film screenings.

In 2015, the Main Library became the first public library in California to carry a Zine collection highlighting the voices of local writers and artists.

In 2012, with support from the Library Foundation, the Main Library opened the Studio, a makerspace learning lab where patrons of all ages can learn graphic design, 3D printing, robotics, coding, photography, and more.

A Studio Guide holds a 3D printed prosthetic hand printed and programmed in the Main Library Studio.

The Miller Special Collections Room was made possible thanks to a generous gift in 1974 from Loraine Miller Collins in memory of her late husband, Earl Burns Miller. The room is modeled after a room in the Miller home and contains rare texts dating back to the 15th century, Chinese and Japanese art and ceramics, and American and European art and photographs. The Miller Special Collections Room has hosted several author and poetry readings through the years highlighting local writers and poets.

2017 Halloween parade at the Main Library.

A 2018 Cuentos y Cantos bilingual storytime event in the Main Library Storytime Theater.

On June 9, 2018, the Main Library opened the Veterans Resource Center with support from the California State Library’s Veterans Connect @ The Library project.

The new Main Library is currently being built in the Long Beach Civic Center and is projected to open in the summer of 2019.


Preview of the new Main Library – Long Beach Post feature

It has been almost 14 months since the celebration of the first steel beam erected at the construction site of the new Main Library. Since then, the Library has truly taken shape and is well on its way to becoming a premier public center of learning when it opens in the summer of 2019.

On October 31, the Long Beach Post joined the Library Foundation for a tour of the new Main Library construction site. Click the link below to see the feature with beautiful new photos and read why the Library is being called, “one of the most important investments in the public in recent years.”

Long Beach Post article and pictures

Long Beach Post: Inside Long Beach’s new library being constructed in Downtown

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Grunion Gazette: Long Beach Rotary Steps Up Again To Foster Literacy

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