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Balboa library branch to stay

After complaints from residents, city scraps electronic facility plans.

April 15, 2011|By Mike Reicher, mike.reicher@latimes.com

Library lovers on the Balboa Peninsula don't have to worry about the city closing the Balboa Branch any time soon, officials confirmed this week.

After strong opposition from residents, city leaders scrapped plans to replace the branch with some sort of electronic facility at the Marina Park Community Center. Also, the fiscal 2011-12 budget will fully fund the branch, City Manager Dave Kiff said.

"We're going to go back and figure out a different direction with Marina Park and not mess with your library," Mayor Mike Henn told a group of residents at a recent meeting.

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The city had proposed shuttering the nearly 60-year-old Balboa Branch building at 100 E. Balboa Blvd., the city's original library, and instead open an "electronic," or "Internet," facility at Marina Park when it is completed.

"I would like the library to stay where it is with its wonderful collection," said Kathleen Hall, who lives on Balboa Boulevard.

In the original proposal, the new branch wouldn't have stacks of books. This caught the ire of families on the peninsula and bibliophiles around the country.

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