“Riviera Beach” Opens A New “Library & Empowerment Center”!

Learning and fun just went up a notch in Riviera Beach.

City leaders held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new library and empowerment center on Saturday.

The new library features a modern design with books pushed to the center of the aisle, easy for guests to see and pick one up.

“We pushed the books out so people can actually really come in, grab a book, sit here, stay awhile and want to check the material out,” said Library Director Rodney Freeman. “So we’re trying to get everybody to come back to the library, we know it’s been a year that we’ve been closed down.”

Designers also mixed in cultural items and statuettes with the books.

“I think it’s important that folks understand the level of influence that these books and those cultural elements have on a way of life,” said Riviera Beach City Manager Jonathan Evans. “We have to understand the history and the folks that have sacrificed so much for us to be here today and so we wanted folks to be able to sit down, grab a book, and maybe stare up at a bust of Frederick Douglass and then try to understand what his vision was, what his thoughts were, and anything to get the creative juices flowing, and anything that’s thought provoking. We want this space to be that for persons so they can feel like they’re walking into an academic creative experience that touches you from multiple angles.”

Guests can also use computers for learning and to take standardized tests.

People can get their game on in the new virtual reality game room, a component of the virtual technology program where students can build virtual games.

The library is more than books. It’s a hub to build futures.

“What our goal is us to offer our kids an opportunity to not only think outside the box, but also be able to be academically enhanced through our STEM program, our virtual technology program or our entrepreneurship program,” said Valerie Grimsley of Youth Empowerment.

And if a student is not yet interested in college, there’s support here, too, through partnerships with FAU, CareerSource Palm Beach County, Marriott Singer Island and Pumphouse Coffee.