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Sandy-ravaged Long Beach library set to reopen

Nearly five months after superstorm Sandy wiped out its entire first floor, Long Beach's central public library is reopening.

The Long Beach Public Library, on West Park Avenue, is scheduled to welcome back patrons at 9 a.m. on Wednesday.

The loss of the library hurt the Sandy-ravaged city, said City Council member Fran Adelson, a former member of the library trustee board.

The library "serves as a community center with various concerts, movies, and programs for children and seniors," she said.

"It's been sorely missed, especially at a time when people are out of their homes and looking for a place to gather," Adelson said.

The library system has spent $400,000 so far on the rebuilding, said George Trepp, the system's director. The library still needs to replace materials that were lost to Sandy, he said.

The library will reopen with full service except for its quiet study area, which is due for refurnishing the week of April 8, Trepp said.

Trepp asked residents to be patient with the library as it finishes its rebuild.

"We are coming back online," Trepp said. "We do anticipate surprises."

Sandy also forced the closure of two branches in the West End and Point Lookout. The Point Lookout branch reopened in January, but the West End branch's fate has yet to be determined, Trepp said.

Long Beach residents have been allowed to use Oceanside's library since Sandy. Residents still will be able to use Oceanside's library after the Long Beach library reopens, but privileges might be scaled back, Trepp said.

The library's hours will be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

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