News from the Friends of the Ocean Beach Library

by on February 14, 2020 · 0 comments

in Ocean Beach

Here is a compilation of news and updates from Friends of the OB Library, much of it taken from their digital newsletter.

The OB Library will be closed Monday, Feb. 17, for Presidents day.

Mary Cairns Elected President

The OB Friends of the Library elected their new officers for the 2020 year. Their new president is Mary Cairns, a retired atmospheric scientist, who worked with the federal government for 34 years in many capacities, including research, development, operations, and policy. She enjoys birdwatching, vounteering, travel, and of course reading! She’s been married to Tim for 29 years and is devoted to her cat, Cassi!

Sharon Novak is continuing as treasurer. She carefully watches expenses and reminds them of their mission: To make as much money as possible for our OB library programs. Judy Collier is their much needed secretary.

Some committee chairs are

  • Tony Cataldo, liaision to the overall San Diego Friends,
  • Laura Dennison, Membership/Communications;
  • Judith Starker, Outside Book Sales;
  • Giovanni Chimienti, Inside Book Sales.

Call Laura Dennison for more information: 858-255-0053.

OB Library Expansion Public Hearings to Begin “Soon”

The Friends are crediting Dr. Jennifer Campbell, the District 2 Council Member for Ocean Beach for putting words into action for the OB Library expansion. In the current San Diego City Budget – passed on June 20, 2019, -there’s $500,000 in the Capital Improvement Project Budget for the OB Library expansion, and includes engineering and architectural renderings.

Members of the Friends of the OB Library pose with Councilwoman Jen Campbell- in middle.

Campbell worked with the eight other Council Members to secure a unanimous vote on that amount. In addition, the Mayor and Council Member Campbell added an additional $125,000. The Friends hope that soon public hearings will begin, revisions will be made, and a final design will emerge.

The Friends:

The City, with completed plans in hand, perhaps by this time next year, will start looking for funding. Whether a bond will be issued, or a philanthropist will come forward, or a combination of both — we won’t know. Keep the pressure on the City to expand the library — contact the Mayor’s office, and the City Council members to express support for this effort. The 2021 budget process has started with the City, and we will again voice our opinion at the city budget meetings in May! Stay tuned!

The latest estimates from the City Library Administration is that OB Library’s expansion will cost between $10 million and $12 million. The expansion will be from the existing historical part of the library onto the adjacent property next door at 4817 Santa Monica Avenue. For more on the background of its expansion, see below.

Other News From the Friends of the OB Library

  • City public budget hearings likely to consider funding for OB Library expansion will be held in May.
  • Matt Beatty, Branch Manager, won an award at the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association ceremony for his creative approach for the OB Library and his active community participation.
  • OB Library Friends Memberships Are Due! Pop your cash or check made out to Ocean Beach Library Friends-SDPL into an envelope and drop it off or mail it to the OB Library 4801 Santa Monica Ave. San Diego CA 92107

Build Your Resume

Learn how to put together your resume step by step with professional employment specialist, Aurora Toledo of Goodwill San Diego. You are invited to bring your existing resume to use for information or come and start from scratch! Wednesday • 2:00 pm February 19th.

Background to the OB Library Expansion

Moments Along the Rocky Road

  • 2001-2003 – City develops new design for expanded library with 2 stories, to be connected with next door building at 4817 Santa Monica, complete with courtyard, community garden and maintaining the historic core of the building. 3-D model presented at OB Planning Board.
  • 2005 – The building and land at 4817 Santa Monica Ave. to be expanded into was purchased via a federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) loan;lrental agreements for tenants of the Santa Monica building were not renewed and the tenants vacated the building in 2018 or so.
  • 2007 – 2009 – Recession hits; Mayor Jerry Sanders threatens to close OB Library or seriously cut back its hours (along with the hours of all other San Diego libraries); Ocean Beach community rallies to save the library (thanks to the OB Rag, the OB Historical Society, People’s Food, and of course, Friends of OB Library) and keep the doors open. Sanders relents and says the reaction in OB was the reason he changed his mind.
  • 2016 – OB Library’s 100th birthday party attended by more than 400 community residents, a total of $3,000 was raised. “We used this opportunity to alert the public at that time that it was finally time to expand the OB Library,” said Friends Expansion Committee.
  • 2018 – a feasibility study done during Zapf’s tenure concluded that the existing Santa Monica building needed to be razed, and library to be redesigned. That conclusion was supported by the City Library administration and the community. Therefore, the least expensive alternative was to demolish it and to expand the existing library onto the adjoining property, while preserving the existing library’s historic core built in 1928.
  • January 2019, the Friends, along with OB community leaders, met with Mayor Kevin Falconer.“He was enthusiastic and supportive of the expansion and directed his staff to begin the process,” Friends said.
  • May 2019 – Friends lobbied the City Council for money to move ahead with the expansion project; council members voted unanimously adding $500,000 to the capital improvement project budget for OB library expansion;
  • January 2020 – The design phase started;
  • Spring 2020 – Public Hearings expected on expansion designs;
  • Fall 2012 – expansion project is estimated to go to bid by the fall of 2021 if funding is available.
  • Completion is targeted for 2023.



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