City officials say incidents usually involve people with mental health related episodes and often require security or police.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- In 2019, the Billie Jean King Library opened on West Broadway in Long Beach.
The library cost millions of dollars and gives community members access to computers, books and more.
As of Sept. 27, the library has shifted to to-go services because of recent security-related incidents.
The city of Long Beach says those incidents usually involve people with mental health related episodes and often have required security or police. The temporary closure has caused an inconvenience for some visitors.
"Parked down the road and came over, just to put my computer up and work for the day, and the door was locked, and when they came to the door, they told me it was closed and gave me a list of other libraries in the greater area that I can try," said Reed Fernandez, a visitor in Long Beach.
Cathy De Leon, the director of the Long Beach Public Library, says the closure of the facility's main library is due to lack of security presence.
Jennifer De Prez with the city of Long Beach issued a statement that reads in part:
"During this service shift, Library staff continue to focus on addressing staffing levels, including routine security presence at the location, as well as specialized staff training to ensure a safe and welcoming library experience for patrons and staff. While the shift to To-Go services was originally intended to be only two weeks, it has been extended for at least another one to two weeks."
Eyewitness News contacted Councilwoman Mary Zendejas, who represents District 1 where the library is located, but has not received a response.
Meanwhile, the Long Beach Police Department says it's taking steps to ensure safety for both employees and visitors, such as having South Division Bike officers patrol the area and officers with the department's "Quality Of Life" (QOL) and Mental Evaluation Team (MET) are assisting by providing outreach to those experiencing homelessness.
They also say they're onboarding more special service officers and evaluating resources to increase officer presence at the library.
If you're interested in the library's to-go service, you can either call 562-570-7500 or place items on hold for pickup online at the Long Beach Public Library's website.
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