Sep 302015
The Mid-City branch library at the American Can Building. (photo courtesy of Kevin Allman of The Gambit)

The Mid-City branch library at the American Can Building. (photo courtesy of Kevin Allman of The Gambit)

The Mid-City branch of the New Orleans Public Library will stay in the American Can Company for four more months after being threatened with immediate eviction, according to city officials.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu, District A Councilmember Susan Guidry and New Orleans Public Library Director Charles Brown announced Wednesday that the lease for library has been extended until Jan. 31, “following productive conversations with the branch’s landlord.”

“I want to thank all parties for working together to reach this agreement, and I want to especially thank Councilmember Guidry for her leadership in this effort,” said Landrieu. “Libraries continue to be one of the most accessible avenues to education for any age and are important to personal and professional development – especially to those without access to resources at home.”

Landlords had previously told the library it had until the end of October to get out of the location in the old American Can Company, where it was paying a month-by-month rent. When landlords announced the termination in August, they said the library hadn’t paid rent in 10 months and was therefore breaking the terms of the lease agreement.

The landlord, ACV VII, LLC, also said the termination was due to another vendor wanting to expand their footprint.

On Wednesday, city officials said they were committed to securing a long-term location for the Mid-City branch, which they hope to announce by February.

“Mid-City residents have shown their need and desire for a permanent library, as the Mid-City branch is heavily used,” Guidry said.

Brown thanked residents for agreeing to fund the libraries in a special election last spring.

“We are very grateful to Councilmember Guidry and our landlord for working with us so we can continue serving the Mid-City community. We also thank the voters of New Orleans for giving us the resources in May’s special election to add locations and expand services of the public library system throughout New Orleans, including Mid-City,” Brown said.

The Mid-City branch will continue to operate on a month-to-month lease until January, unless it finds a new location and wishes to terminate the lease sooner, the city said.

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