Book Sale Helps Fund New Library

Cathy Salustri


Book Sale Helps Fund New Library

When hearing that the book sale benefitted the library and its building fund, South Pasadena resident Steve Kelly handed library administrator Phyllis Ruscella an extra five dollars.

In three hours Saturday morning, the Friends of the St. Pete Beach Library raised over $500 for a new library. The sale, organized and run by the Friends of the Library group, sold over 2,000 books and movies.

The Corey Avenue Business Association, CABA, supported the sale by providing the Tropicool iced treat bus. Library Administrator Phyllis Ruscella said locals who came to the event told her they did so specifically to help support a bigger library. All the monies raised Saturday will help fund $2.3 million in renovations to the older library.

The library will also receive $200,000 in grant money from the county's library cooperative, PPLC, but it will not fully cover the cost of renovations. The Friends group has over $100,000 earmarked for the renovations. The city has yet to commit a dollar amount to the renovation, although the commission did support a resolution in support of the project, which it would begin in 2015.

The renovations call for an expansion that include a new conference room with a kitchen, a lobby, new restrooms, and an outdoor entry patio with benches. The original building will remain but will undergo a through remodel.
The building has original linoleum and restrooms as well as a leaky roof. The carpet dates back to the 1970s. The commission discussed renovations in the past but, a check with the city's finance director, Elaine Edmunds, doesn't show the library renovations in the budget until the current year. An appearance in the budget doesn't mean work will start that year; engineering work won't begin until 2015. Construction will commence in 2016 if the commission doesn't alter the timeline as it goes through the budget process.