About Us :: From the Librarian's Desk

Turning the Page

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This quarter the La Jolla/Riford Library is once again pioneering a new service not seen at other libraries. A fact of life for many of us is that we are simply too busy to take the time to participate in something like a library bookclub. Nevertheless we enjoy discussing what we are reading with other readers in our community. This is why the Riford has created our Anytime Book Club (ABC). Patrons only have to come to the library once to checkout a membership card for this club. The card enables you to access a latest bestseller in eBook format and to converse and comment on it online through a special portal we have created. Just like a traditional bookclub, everyone reads the same book at the same time. We are starting off with two titles: ‘Britt-Marie was Here’ by Fredrik Backman for our adult club and ‘The 5th Wave’ by Rick Yancey for our teen club. Now patrons can read and share comments with others in our community when they are in bed at night, on the beach, in the bath, whenever and wherever it is pleasurable and convenient for them.

This initiative follows our groundbreaking middle school bookclub in which we are the first library in the country to work with all the major publishers through Net Galley, providing La Jolla’s middle schoolers the opportunity to read new titles before they have been published and post their comments back to the publishers and reviewers like a focus group. The most important thing about this project is that it has captured the imagination of a demographic that pundits allege are losing interest in libraries and our middle school bookclub is sold out at 25 members with a wait list.

In a similar vein, we are reaching out to reluctant readers with a greatly expanded Graphic Novel collection, thanks to the generosity of the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation. These illustrated books, including important non-fiction works and renderings of the classics, are the fastest growing area of book sales. Vitally, they are very popular with young adults who are otherwise reluctant readers and have been shown to lead people into more mainstream reading.

The number of book checkouts at this branch is bucking trends with its growth and we have the largest adult event attendance figures of any branch library in San Diego, according to a recent City auditors’ report published in the Union Tribune. Rest assured that your staff in La Jolla are focussed on making your library relevant to the needs of our community today. Not content to merely keep up, we believe La Jolla’s library should be at the forefront. Please support us through our Friends group as we strive to provide new ideas and leadership to other libraries and other communities in the promotion of reading and literacy.

Shaun Briley,   Librarian/Branch Manager