Downey City Library Renovations

Michael Pasaye, Writer

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  • A student who spends time after school at the Downey City Library, Alex Garcia, 10, believes that there is always room for improvement. “Well, there is probably going to be a more efficient way of looking for them [books], navigating through the library more [efficiently],” Garcia said. “That's what renovations are for–improving. Just because something is good doesn't mean it can not be improved. Times are changing; maybe they'll add more technology to it [library].”

  • A library assistant at Downey City Library, Jose Aceves, is excited for the library’s renovation and the new opportunities it will bring. “The renovation itself is gonna be a very good renovation, so the new library is gonna really benefit the community because it's just going to have new resources; it’s gonna, you know, involve a lot of technological renovations as well, which is something that's important in the new age that we live in,” Aceves said. “We definitely do want to keep the old library system with us, but we also have to keep moving forward.”

  • Senior Eunice Han is devastated that she has nowhere to go after school during the City Library’s renovation. “I was caught very off guard because I didn’t expect the library to go under construction all of the sudden,” Han said. “I live so far so I’m still not sure what to do, or where to go.”

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Three years ago, Downey citizens voted yes on Measure S, a measure that will increase sales tax by 50%. which would generate $9 million to renovate local infrastructure. Now, the Downey City library is getting its first renovations in over 40 years.

 

The renovations include upgrading the interior of the library by reconfiguring interior spaces, replacing furniture, and installing energy-efficient lighting. For the exterior, the city plans to repaint the outside of the building and reconstruct the front entrance of the library. The renovations are planned to cost 8.5 million dollars.

 

To complete these renovations, the library will be closed for about a year from March of 2019 to June of 2020. None of the library workers will lose their jobs, but entrance to the library and lending services will be halted until the library is reopened.

 

This closure will also affect local Downey High students as they use the area as a place to stay after school, study for tests, and/or use the internet. Once the closure has officially begun, students will be displaced and lose a crucial part of their afterschool lives.

 

Senior Eunice Han has used the library as an after school haven since she was a freshman.

 

“It hit me hard when I heard the news,” Han stated. “I live 30 minutes away, so I can’t walk home. Also my parents work in LA and it takes them a while to pick me up because of traffic. Now I have nowhere to go.”

 

Displaced students will have to find new areas to hangout at after school. This could become a problem for surrounding business as people might gravitate to areas that are usually empty. Instances of loitering will most likely increase as well during the closure.

 

Marcus Munoz, 10, frequents the library after school and is worried about the closure.

 

“I think the library is great the way it is, but I guess it can be improved,” Munoz stated. “I often use the library for homework, so it is a bummer that it is closing during school. I think it would be best to start the renovations after school has ended.”

 

Students like Han and Munoz are disturbed by the news of the year-long closure, but sophomore Carlos Valdez is hopeful for what is to come.

 

“I’m excited to see the library when it is done,” Valdez stated. “Hopefully the renovations really improve the look and feel of the library, but it is annoying that it will be closed during school.”

 

Although the library will be closed, it will try to maintain its presence in the community by continuing its marquee programs, digital access services, and certain special events. To inquire more about the closure visit the library or their website: http://www.downeyca.org/services/library.