The campus library at East Los Angeles College was built only about 30 years ago. But the campus, which is located in Monterey Park but serves East L.A. and surrounding communities, and technology have changed dramatically since the library opened in 1979. On Thursday, school officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony for a dramatic makeover and expansion of the Dr. Helen Miller Bailey Library located in the heart of the campus. The reconstructed library, now about 25% larger than the original, is now wrapped in walls of green glass and houses an expanded collection of 150,000 books, archives, conference rooms and the systems to serve students who are more likely to crack open a laptop instead of a book inside the building.
The $19 million library project is part of several new buildings on campus, including a new arts and performing arts center and parking garages, that were funded by an approximately $6 billion Los Angeles Community College District bond program. While the bond program has transformed East L.A. College and other district campuses, it has also been criticized for some instances of poor planning and wasted spending.