Bench Dedication and Book Sale by OB Friends of the Library – Sat. Mar 28

by on March 24, 2015 · 0 comments

in Culture, Education, Media, Ocean Beach, Organizing

OB Library friends BenchDed

Judy Collier, president, and Tony Cataldo in front of the new bench with the new plaque.

The Ocean Beach Friends of the Library are heralding Spring with a book sale and – importantly – the dedication of the bench the group sponsored and had installed in front of the OB Library.  It’s all happening this Saturday, March 28th from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. And of course, it’s all on the lawn in front of the library, at Santa Monica and Sunset Cliffs Boulevard.

The bench dedication itself will be at 11:00. The Friends will spend a few minutes recognizing the names of the people on the newly installed plaque–Byrna Bicknell, Bryan W. Collier, George Murphy, and the OB Town Council.

Volunteers and Donated Books Still Needed

Volunteers and donated used books are still needed. If you would like to help, volunteers are needed to help set up the canopy at 8:30, to bring books and materials out from the library at 9:00 am, throughout the Book Sale, and clean-up and tear down at 12:30 pm. Volunteers are also needed to sort books on Friday, March 27, from 1:00 pm until finished.

If you would like to donate gently used books and audiovisual materials, please take them to the library, at 4801 Santa Monica Avenue. If you have any questions or issues, please contact Judy Collier, the president of the Friends at 619/223-1890 or leave comment to this article.

Campaign to Expand OB Library

The Friends have been spearheading a campaign to have the historic Ocean Beach library expanded, and have garnered hundreds of signatures on their Petition for Expansion.  (Here, download the Petition, have you and your family/friends sign it and bring it by the Book Sale for double kudos.) The City had promised more than a decade ago to expand and improve the current structure. But an economic downturn, politics, and institutional amnesia took its toll, and the project fell into never never land.

The campaign has resurrected the library expansion concept and has pushed it politically to the point where Councilwoman Zapf has come out and publicly endorsed it as a priority for her office. Plus it’s at the very top of the OB Community Plan public financing list – placed there by a generation of astute OB planners.

The lack of public infrastructure in Ocean Beach has also taken its tol and is definitely an issue – as it is in many neighborhoods. There’s insufficient public restrooms, recreation center, lifeguard station, public street lighting, and street furniture like benches.

In fact, it was the lack of a bench in front of the OB Library that led to a funny incident where the editor of the OB Rag was ordered off the lawn in front of the library by a private security guard. At the time, the editor was drinking a cup of coffee he knew he couldn’t bring in and was reading a magazine.

This lack of civility then led to his complaints, an apology to him from a supervisor, and an idea that he brought to the Friends of the OB Library – ‘let’s get a bench.’

Months passed and meanwhile, the Friends were out raising funds for a bench. $500 was brought in via book sales and another $500 was contributed by the OB Town Council. And then – poof – a bench was born. It’s being dedicated this Saturday.

UPDATE: Here is more info on those individuals honored with the bench.

Byrna Bicknell – Bryna was a longtime OB resident and member of the OB Friends of the Library. Even when she was undergoing medical treatments, she was their treasurer, and she counted the money at the book sales. She was a staunch supporter of progressive causes and a nice, fun person. Byrna’s children are Darci and Tony Cataldo who donated funds in her name.

Bryan Collier – was the husband of Judy Collier, president of the Friends. After 20 years in the Air Force, including time in Vietnam, he came to OB in 1972, where he lived until his death in 1983. He was active in the Community Planning Group in the mid 70’s. He loved words, stories, and free public libraries.

George Murphy – George has been active in the OB neighborhood, first serving on the OB Planning Board for years and then volunteering with the Friends of the OB Library for more years.

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