Fullerton’s Hunt Library Branch Closed — to be Leased to Church


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by Matt Leslie, from the Fullerton Rag

 

Homeless camp outside Hunt Branch; photo Fullerton Rag

The Fullerton City Council has voted to close the Hunt Branch library and begin the process of leasing the facility to Grace Ministries International for up to two years. The Council also accepted the Library Ad-Hoc Committee’s recommendation to explore ways to maximize the value of property on Bastanchury Road originally intended for a new library branch, and to sell the library’s bookmobile, already out of action for vehicular regulatory reasons.

Two years ago public outcry over the possible closure of the Hunt Branch helped lead to the formation of the Library Ad Hoc Committee, whose report, presented to the City Council on June 4, acknowledged that the prior reduction of the Hunt’s open hours to just two days a week had made its operation as a library untenable. The emergency closure of the Hunt earlier this year initiated the effective abandonment of the facility as a site for providing access to books and other library services to the public.

Although the preference of the Board of Trustees was to see the Hunt Branch adequately funded so it could resume its role as a full time branch library to serve Fullerton’s southwest residents, the Council, in a 3 to 1 vote (Mayor Whitaker dissenting, Council Member Sebourn absent), chose the fallback position of closing it entirely. They voted to authorize City Manager Joe Felz to commence formal negotiations with Grace Ministries to temporarily lease of the Hunt Branch, located adjacent to the church’s campus. The council also unanimously approved supporting an application by Fullerton Heritage to place the Hunt Branch building on the National Registry of Historic Places.

The Library Ad-Hoc Committee’s report includes recommendations by the Library’s Board of Trustees, who are very clear that, though there are suggested measures to improve the Hunt Branch as a library, the favored option is provide adequate funding to keep it open, not close it:…


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About Fullerton Rag

Stories cross-posted from "The Fullerton Rag" are generally written by Green and good-government activist Matt Leslie.