Rally Supports Libraries; Opposes Lawsuit

Berkeley’s library wars heated up Tuesday as some three dozen people, including four city council members, rallied at Old City Hall to support demolishing and rebuilding the city’s South and West libraries, and to call on a preservationist group to withdraw a lawsuit that would hold up the projects.

A few hours later, the city council set a May 17 hearing to review the zoning and landmarks commissions’ approvals of the project.

At issue is the $26 million bond measure approved by voters in 2008 to renovate the city’s four branch libraries. The city and library board want to tear down the old South and West libraries and rebuild them.
However, the preservationist group, the Concerned Library Users, have sued the city, saying Measure FF supports remodeling, but not demolition. The measure said the funds would be used to “renovate, expand, and make seismic and access improvements” to the libraries.

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