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Pensacola's newest library remains closed

Escambia County's newest library is still not open.  Community leaders held a ribbon cutting for the Theophalis May Neighborhood Resource Center in May. 
The library is stocked with books and DVDs, the computer stations are ready, but the doors remain closed.

In 2007 the Westside Library opened on Cervantes Street.
It had over 300-thousand items to check out.
But since it moved into the new 'Theophalis May Resource Center'... no one - not even staff - has had access to the materials.

"Like many others I'm waiting to make the right decision and not a hasty decision" said Lumon May, Escambia County Commissioner.

Escambia County Commissioner Lumon May initially had concerns about children's safety.
A community center attracts a different mix of people than the library generally does.
And he says the layout of the children's area prevented proper supervision by library staff.
May says county staff is working with the library board on ideas for the library.
One proposal.... build a stand-alone library in another part of town.

"Do we temporarily open this until we build this new stand-alone, or do we just wait to build a stand-alone" said May.

One possible reason to move the library again..... Legion Field is relatively close to the main library on Spring Street.
May suggested the idea of moving into the Brownsville community.
We talked to Brownsville residents about that, and opinions were mixed.

"I think it'll be nice to tell you the truth about it" said Young Wilson, Brownsville Resident.

"I don't think too many people will want to come over this way, I don't believe they will so I think it's great where it's at" said Felecia Thornchill, Brownsville.

"If they had a library, it might get them interested into education again" said Leslie Bessent, Brownsville Resident.

Commissioner May says a decision on the future of Westside library could come within the next two weeks.