Library Opens At New Site; Plans Underway To Repair Previous Site

Their library cards have been sitting idle since Hurricane Katrina, but soon Long Beach residents will be able to check out books again.

On Monday, the Long beach library will open in a new, temporary location on Klondike Road because the original building on Jefferson Davis Avenue was severely damage by Katrina.

By reading to her sons, Candi Husley hopes to pass the love of literature on to the next generation.

She spent her own childhood surrounded by books.

"I went to Harper McCaughn which is right next door to the library and stayed there because my mom has worked there since I was in first grade," she said.

After 24 years, Husley's mother Jeannie Rupoll still works as a Long Beach librarian. Rupoll says the staff has worked hard to get the temporary library open with mostly donated materials.

Each book is a reminder of the people who opened their hearts.

"We've got books coming from North Carolina," said the head librarian. "We have books coming from Wisconsin. We have books coming from Arizona.We haven't had a place to mail them to so they've been coming to my house so it's really been overwhelming at my house. We have to walk around boxes everywhere."

Plans are underway to repair the Long Beach library on Jefferson Davis Avenue.

The staff says that might not have been possible had it not been for the generosity of several groups giving their time and their money.

Rupoll said "There's a group of engineers, lawyers, bankers getting money together with the Rotary Club. They're working with the Rotary club here, and they plan to rebuild our library because Long Beach doesn't have any money. We lost like 75 percent of our revenue."

When she first saw the library after the storm, Rupoll says she was in tears. Now she is hopeful.

"I couldn't believe when I got the email that they were going to save our library and I thought oh, my gosh, these are strangers. They don't even know us. They don't even know the community but they're going out of their way to rebuild something they'd never even seen. It's been wonderful," she said.

The Long Beach library's hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The Internet won't be available on Sunday but the staff hopes to have computers on line by the end of the week or the beginning of next week.