Efforts underway to give North Richmond a library

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Plans are in the works to install a satellite library in North Richmond after local residents expressed a need for one last year, but county officials are still trying to identify funds to operate the facility.

Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia has partnered with the county and city of Richmond library systems to open the satellite library at the Shields Reid Community Center at 1410 Kelsey St.

The library is expected to be equipped with computers, free Internet access and other resources, said Luz Gomez, Gioia’s deputy chief of staff. So far, the county is providing books, staff and other library materials toward the effort, while the city of Richmond has pitched in funds for the renovation and for computers.

While renovations are currently underway at the community center, funds still need to be identified to operate the facility on a regular basis, Gomez said.

“We’re still working on a budget and are putting together a proposal,” she said. “We’re hoping the community will rally around this to make it happen, including the business community.”

Along with funds, Gomez said, volunteers are also needed to offer programs for community members such as literacy courses.

The idea for the new library came as the result of the Contra Costa County Library’s strategic plan. Last year, officials met with North Richmond residents who expressed a strong desire for a library in their community, Gomez said.

“We’re trying to explore every avenue to make it happen,” Gomez said.