Long Beach Public Library Foundation

Billie Jean King To Serve As Co-Chair For Library Campaign

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Billie Jean King Joins New Main Campaign Leadership Committee as Honorary Co-chair

From left to right: Councilman Rex Richardson, Billie Jean King, Councilman Daryl Supernaw, Mayor Robert Garcia, and Congressman Alan Lowenthal at the Billie Jean King Main Library grand opening celebration on September 21, 2019.
Photo: Long Beach Public Library

The Long Beach Public Library Foundation today announced that tennis legend and activist Billie Jean King has joined Mayor Robert Garcia as honorary co-chair of the Library Foundation’s New Main Campaign. The New Main Campaign has raised $2.1 million so far for technology, programs, and enhancements at the new Billie Jean King Main Library, which held its grand opening celebration on September 21, 2019.

From left to right: Library Foundation Executive Director Kate Azar, Ilana Kloss, and Billie Jean King at the Billie Jean King Main Library grand opening celebration on September 21, 2019.
Photo: Long Beach Public Library

The Library Foundation is proud to count Billie Jean King and her longtime partner, tennis champion Ilana Kloss, among the hundreds of donors who have given in support of the Foundation’s fundraising campaign for the new Billie Jean King Main Library. “Ilana and I are proud to join the hundreds of Founding Donors who have given to the Long Beach Public Library Foundation’s New Main Campaign,” said Billie Jean King. “These champions of literacy and education are helping Long Beach residents transform their lives through equal access to educational programs and services offered for free though the Long Beach Public Library.”

Patrons will have access to many enhancements to the new 92,500 square foot library made possible by donations to the Library Foundation including:

  • a Laptops Anytime automated checkout kiosk with 12 laptops available to library card holders;
  • a Chromebook charging cart with 35 Dell Latitude chromebooks;
  • educational oceanic décor throughout the KidSpace and Story Theater;
  • selfCheck kiosks and Tech Logic automated materials handling system for efficient check out and drop off of library materials;
  • 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;
  • the restored murals entitled, “Scenes from English Literature,” painted for the Library in 1937 by Suzanne Miller as part of the Work Project Administration Federal Art Project;
  • and more resources for families, students, job-seekers, older individuals, veterans, and those with disabilities.

“We are grateful to the hundreds of Founding Donors from across the city who have made donations of all sizes, from $25 to $575,000, to support technology, programs, and enhancements in the new Billie Jean King Main Library,” said Barbara Schwerin, president of the Long Beach Public Library Foundation Board of Directors.

The Long Beach Public Library Foundation’s New Main Campaign will continue through the end of the new Library’s first full year of service giving more people a chance to become Founding Donors and support programs and resources that will benefit those who depend on the Library for many years to come. Those who give $25 or more will be recognized as Founding Donors.

LBTV: Billie Jean King Main Library Opening

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PADNET: Billie Jean King Main Library Opening

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Celebrating with Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King
Photo: Long Beach Public Library

On September 21, 2019 the City of Long Beach celebrated the Grand Opening of the Billie Jean King Main Library with thousands in attendance. The Library’s namesake was one of the first to enter the newly opened library after a rallying speech to the crowd.

“My dream is that the new Main Library will be a place where the people of Long Beach will keep learning and will be a place where people can connect and prosper,” she said.

Thank you to the hundreds of Founding Donors who donated between $25 and $575,000 to help make Billie Jean King’s dream for the City of Long Beach come true. The Long Beach Public Library Foundation was proud to present a check of $2.09 million during the celebration to fund technology, programs, and resources at the new Library.

Executive Director Kate Azar presenting a check from the New Main Campaign to Director of Library Services Glenda Williams.
Photo: Long Beach Public Library
Library Foundation President Barbara Schwerin speaking at the grand opening.
Photo: Long Beach Public Library
Mayor Robert Garcia speaking at the Library Foundation’s New Main Campaign Founding Donor preview event in the new Library’s KidSpace.
Photo: Element 428
Photo: Long Beach Public Library
Photo: Long Beach Public Library
Photo: Long Beach Public Library

Special Weekend For Billie Jean King, Long Beach

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Tennis Legend Opens New City Library

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Billie Jean King Main Library On Verge Of Opening Cover

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Spectacular, new Main Library is set welcome, educate, and assist the entire Long Beach Community

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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.