Student Essay Contest is Now Open!


The annual Friends of La Jolla/Riford Library Student Essay Contest is now open to all students in 4th grade.

Take up your pen, polish your writing skills and enter to win. Topic: Tell us about your favorite book and how it has had a personal imapact on your life. How did it impact you and why? Top essays will be invited to an award ceremony in spring 2020. Winners receive gift cards & more!  Deadline is 6:00 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, 2019.

Please feel free to share with 4th grade teachers and families. The entry form and essay prompt linked below.


Sensory Storytime Makes its Way to the La Jolla Library


Books, songs, and props. A storyteller and children. On the surface, it reads much like a traditional story time. Yet this program will take place in the Seminar Room, where a separate area in a corner of the room will be designated for anyone needing a break. The lights will also be dimmed more than usual. The idea is to reduce surrounding stimuli so the focus can be on the storytelling. The goal? To create the kind of story time all children can attend and participate in, including children with autism. 

Bill Mallory, Branch Manager at La Jolla/Riford Library, called for the program, which is similar to the Sensory Storytime offered at San Diego Public Library’s Central Branch.  The difference is this program will more overtly cater to children on the autism spectrum. “It’s not that common,” said Mallory. “But I see a need for a program designed with children on the spectrum in mind. We want parents and caregivers to feel comfortable coming to the library.”  

For months, Mallory studied recommended structural guidelines and prepared for the launch of this new program with targeted marketing efforts. According to facts compiled by Rady Children’s Hospital, an estimated one in 59 children are on the spectrum with autism. In a bibliographic era calling for more inclusion, Sensory Storytime fits perfectly. The best part, Mallory said, is that every child will be made to feel welcome. “We just want kids to be engaged and have fun,” he emphasized.

Sensory Storytime will be held monthly beginning on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at noon. A storyteller will lead the hour-long program in the Seminar Room of the La Jolla/Riford Library.




Did you know?

The La Jolla/Riford Library boasts what is quite possibly the first biology lab inside a public library anywhere in the world. It contains everything required for the majority of molecular biology techniques, such as a thermal cycler, gel electrophoresis, and centrifuge. Thanks to the camera connected to one of the lab microscopes, students can view their slides up on the TV or on a computer screen, take images, and conduct more in-depth analysis of microscope slides. 

At the new space’s grand opening, Congressman Scott Peters bestowed it with a congressional proclamation! As he put it, the lab is “a reflection of the bio-tech industry in La Jolla and makes emerging technology accessible to anybody.”

Summer Camp!

The first summer camp at the bio-lab was a Hands-On Genetic Modification workshop aimed to teach children and their parents about cells, DNA, DNA replication, and PCR. These experiments were completed with a bacterial transformation (introduction of foreign DNA), which caused the bacteria to glow when exposed to UV light.

Explore the Idea Lab


The Idea Lab at the La Jolla/Riford Library is open to “any member of the community who is curious about science or has an idea they want to try out.” Those are the words of Callen Hyland, a Senior Research Scientist at the University of San Diego and one of the lab’s passionate volunteers. Since the Idea Lab’s grand opening on May 25, 2019, volunteers and patrons have made excellent use of the signature space. The lab has three main aspects—a community biology lab, a 3D printer lab, and two brand new Mac computers equipped to edit digitized photos and videos (such as what you’ve digitized in the Memory Lab!).

Hours of Operation

The bio lab is accessible to registrants from the public during scheduled weekend workshops and by appointment only. The 3D printer lab and memory lab are open whenever a volunteer is present. Check here for information on service hours and upcoming workshops and unleash the citizen scientist in you! 




The La Jolla Library Art Gallery is pleased to announce its summer show, A World Underwater.

Thirteen members of the San Diego Underwater Photographic Society have been invited to exhibit their

work which tells the story of the diversity and beauty of plant and animal life that exists in our oceans.

These photos immerse the viewer in nature’s exotic, compelling and breathtaking sea life and showcase

a truly spectacular and sometimes mysterious world.

The show runs from June 18 to September 14, 2019, with an opening reception on Sunday, June 23 from 2-4pm.

Participants include Bob Pooley, Corinne Klein, Dana Buchner, Erin Chandler, Greg Volger, Jami Feldman,

Marla Matin, Matthew Meier, Mike Couffer, Robert Yin, Teresa Pooley, Walter Heim, and Nan Oslett.

upcoming events and programs