Support :: Message From The President

A Message From the President

I have loved libraries for as along as I can remember. Growing up in La Jolla, the branch library was on the corner of Wall St. and Girard – and is now the Athenaeum…but was the main LJ Library when I was a child and I loved everything – from the Dewey Decimal card catalogue drawers to the tall, dark wood shelves that held what seemed like an endless collection of books. My library fixation continued in college. Attending a large public research university meant there were dozens of libraries on campus and just a few of my favorites were the Southeast Asian Studies Library, the Engineering Library, the Law school library and the French department library – each provided not only a great place to study, but an array of fascinating titles. And for a college job, I worked in the Inter-Library Borrowing Service office housed in Doe, the main library (yes, I was a Golden Bear at UC Berkeley). It was difficult to believe that any title couldn’t be found in the University’s enormous collection, but when a researcher located a needed item at another library somewhere else in the world, our department would send a request to borrow it. Likewise, we would package up books from our own collection to loan to other scholars at various institutes of higher learning. 

Sounds so lofty now, since when I sit down to read something from our local library, I tend to choose something less research-oriented, and more to feed my soul. Our collection ranges from recent releases (Express Books!) to beloved classics; fine literature to non-fiction tomes – and a great collection of children’s and young adult books, periodicals and audio books. But our “new” branch (yes, it has been 30 years at our current location, but it still feels new to me!) holds so much more than books and provides so many ways to feed our souls! As a long-time friend (and member of the Friends Board) Kim Doren recently wrote to me, “in my youth I thought the library was defined by its collection of books, but now I see that the library is more a collection of life long learning resources and people; it connects the community and provides opportunities for discovery and inspiration.” She is spot-on.

Our reimagined Idea Lab holds science experiments, new computers, and 3-D printers. The Memory Lab is a place where patrons can digitize photos and videos to keep these priceless memories intact and readily accessible. Our branch offers afternoon films, homework help, toddler reading sessions, art exhibitions, musical concerts, citizen science lectures, creative writing classes…check out our calendar and prepare to be impressed! But in our branch you will certainly find books to read, to listen to and to use. My daughter and her husband recently returned from traveling around the world and moved to La Jolla for a few months. They immediately got library cards and began checking out ethnic cookbooks from which they prepared exotic dishes…just another reason I love libraries!

We are so fortunate to be able to celebrate having continuous library service in La Jolla for 120 years! And, as I said, our beautiful branch opened on Draper Street 30 years ago in June. A lot to celebrate this year and we welcome you to join in the festivities (check the calendar). The Friends group exists to support the programs and book collection – and you too can be a member for as little as a $10.00 donation. If you chose to join, we thank you sincerely for your support! We take pride in being part of and preserving the history of our community through our History Room – its archives of digitized copies the La Jolla Light, the La Jolla Blue Book along with loads of ephemera and books on the history of La Jolla and or region. We preserve the past, and look ahead!

And of course, we hope you will stop by and see what the library has to offer that might interest you and feed your soul!

Linda Gammage Dowley, President

Friends of the La Jolla Library