On Tuesday, February 9, the Long Beach City Council approved naming the new North Neighborhood Library as the “Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library.” The motion was approved by a majority vote of 6 to 0.
Councilmember Rex Richardson spearheaded the movement to name the library after the First Lady. Inspired by the advocacy students from Jordan High School, Councilmember Richardson put forward this proposal because the students strongly felt the library should be named after someone they can identify with and speaks to their issues.
“This is a historic day for Long Beach. By honoring First Lady Michelle Obama, we have our first library named after a person of color and demonstrated that we are a forward thinking city that values the opinions of our youth, acknowledges contemporary heroes, and embraces diversity,” stated Councilmember Richardson.
The city will issue a formal invitation to the First Lady to visit the new Library for a dedication ceremony once construction has been completed. Slated to open later this year, the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library will be the largest neighborhood branch library in the city and serve as state-of-the-art focal point for North Long Beach. The 25,000 square foot facility will offer educational opportunities, such as an expanded children’s library, a story time theater space, and community center with spaces for large and small gatherings.Rex Richardson represents the neighborhoods of North Long Beach on the Long Beach City Council. Since 2014, Councilmember Richardson has led the effort to revitalize North Long Beach and has placed a focus on community and youth empowerment, with initiatives like participatory budgeting, the North Long Beach Whole Village Initiative, the P.A.T.H. Young Adult Diversion Program, and the Creative Corridor Challenge.