Statement By Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas on the Florence Library

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas at Florence Library. Photo by Martin Zamora / Board of Supervisors

“I have always valued libraries as important — not to mention beloved —  community assets. Over the last decade, I’ve spearheaded the construction or renovation of several libraries in my District, including Willowbrook, View Park, Lennox, Culver City, and A.C. Bilbrew, to name just a few. Since the original Florence Library was built almost 50 years ago, and showing its age, I envisioned replacing it with a larger, more technically advanced and more accessible facility that would address our residents’ current needs.

“Given the state of emergency around homelessness, however, we must also prioritize affordable housing. The initial plan was to incorporate a  library into the footprint of the affordable housing project. Ultimately, however, this was not viable. An alternative plan, located on Compton and Nadeau Avenues, was presented to residents at several community meetings but they turned it down.

“Community input is important to me, so we shifted gears and have hired a real estate consultant to help us search for other suitable spaces  within the Florence Firestone area while operating a temporary library facility in nearby Roosevelt Park. I hope the community will partner with me as we try to find the best way forward to build the modern library that our residents deserve.”

Florence Library Teen Advisory Board - August 22 2009