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Local News in Brief : Construction of New Atwater Library Begins

April 07, 1988

More than seven years after Atwater residents first began pressuring Los Angeles city officials to get their branch library a permanent home, construction of a new building finally began this week.

The Atwater branch, the smallest of 62 branches in the Los Angeles Public Library system, has been operating out of two cramped storefront rooms in a drab building at 3329 Glendale Blvd. since 1952.

In about a year, its 32,000-book collection will be moved into a $1.4-million building being built at the corner of Glendale Boulevard and Revere Avenue. At 5,900 square feet, the building will be almost five times the size of the current facility.

"There's nothing a community needs more than a place to read," said Barbara Lass, an Atwater resident who founded Friends of the Atwater Library. "It was something that needed doing, it just had to be done."

The group that Lass founded has grown to 75 active members and more than 200 supporters, she said, and was responsible for countless petitions, letters, fund drives and phone calls to City Hall. Now Lass said she is at last confident that the library will be built.

Expected to be completed in March, 1989, the new library will have a meeting room and seating space for 30 people. It will be staffed by eight librarians.

The construction is funded by a federal community development block grant administered by the city.

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