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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Groundbreaking Held for Pacoima Library

August 25, 2000

PACOIMA — Los Angeles city officials held a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday for a branch library on Van Nuys Boulevard that will be nearly twice as large as the old building.

City Librarian Susan Kent and City Councilman Alex Padilla promised that the new 10,500-square-foot building will offer a better selection of books, magazines and videotapes.

"It was here I did my homework," said Padilla, who grew up two blocks away. "I remember asking for certain books and being told, 'I'm sorry, you will have to go to Panorama City,' or, 'That's only available in North Hollywood.' "

The old Pacoima branch library had a collection of about 50,300 books; the new branch will open with about 58,000 books and videos, Kent said.

Padilla and Kent said the new library will also have more space for computers, as well as special areas for children and teen collections.

"It will be state-of-the-art, with all the bells and whistles," Kent said.

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