Photos and video by Keeley Smith.
The sunlight filtered through the temporarily erected canopy outside the solid edifice of the Michelle Obama Library Saturday morning. Blue balloons bordered the stage, and thousands overflowed into spaces beyond the outlined audience—beyond the chairs placed for participants in North Long Beach.
The mayor, councilmembers Rex Richardson and Al Austin, and Director of Library Services Brenda Williams could hardly contain their enthusiasm.
“This is truly a space by the people, for the people,” said Richardson. He traced the library’s history from its inception in the mid-aughts, when then-Mayor Bob Foster convened a study group to consider the possible uses of the property on Atlantic Avenue.
“Today we are fulfilling a promise,” said Austin to the crowd. “[...] today we have a funding source. Today, we have a library.”
Austin noted the library is only the second to be developed and built in Long Beach in the last 30 years, underscoring the city’s commitment to learning and enhancing educational opportunities in the city—specifically North Long Beach.
All three noted their pride in North Long Beach, heralding the library’s opening as a sign of the Uptown Renaissance moving North from Bixby Knolls.
Today's Michelle Obama Library unveiling in North Long Beach.Posted by Long Beach Post on Saturday, September 10, 2016