Balboa Library Story is Gone with the Viral Wind

It turns out media outlets across the country really did give a damn about a story covered March 25th in The Daily Pilot and enlarged upon a few days later in the LA Times.

The author of both articles, Mike Reicher, today retraces the chain of viral events that sprung from his coverage of a plan by Newport Beach to replace the existing Balboa Branch library with an all-digital service center at a new Marina Park community center. Helping feed the local sound bite fury was the mistaken assumption among some residents that the plan would affect all Newport Beach library branches. City spokesperson Tina Finnegan attributes part of that confusion to a small edit in the second iteration of the article:

The Times version didn’t explicitly state that the Balboa Branch was the one being replaced, and instead referred to it as the “original library.” Finnigan believes this is why some of the national stories were also ambiguous.

Newport Beach officials are now trying to come up with an acceptable compromise. At a reportedly contentious community meeting last Thursday, a plan was floated that would see 12,000 books housed at the new Marina Center branch.