Mental-health wellness center’s library named in honor of Soloist author

Maureen Calderon and Antonio Ornelas volunteered to finalize the Lopez Library corner at the Mental Health America Village.

Maureen Calderon and Antonio Ornelas volunteered to finalize the Lopez Library corner at the Mental Health America Village.

The Long Beach Public Library Foundation’s 9th Annual Long Beach Reads One Book, which featured The Soloist by Steve Lopez, added a new project called Sending a Book on a Journey. Long Beach Reads One Book is a community-focused cultural initiative designed to bring people together and raise the standards of literacy by encouraging everyone in Long Beach to read the same book at the same time.
Its new literary project, which concluded during National Library Month in April, asked the community to donate new or gently read books to establish a library at the Mental Health America (MHA) Village and Wellness Center in Long Beach. That library was named the Lopez Library in honor of author/journalist Steve Lopez.
“Not only did we have great community response, but complete support from everyone at the Library Foundation, Long Beach Reads One Book Committee, 12 Long Beach library branches, Friends of the Library, MHA and book-loving volunteers– they made it all possible,” says Betty Buffington, chair of the Sending a Book on a Journey committee.
An inserted “book note” encourages homeless and mentally ill readers to share the joy of reading by passing their books on to others, thus sending a book on a journey.
Anyone wishing to donate new or gently read books to the MHA Village or the Wellness Center of Long Beach should call the Long Beach Public Library Foundation at (562) 628-2441 to make arrangements for pick-up.

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