January 27, 2021

Calfornia: San Diego’s Central Library Celebrates First Birthday

From the San Diego Union-Tribune:

In the era of Google and Netflix, smartphones and tablets, why should we have large urban libraries?

“The library has exceeded our expectations, and we had high expectations,” said Mel Katz, immediate past chair of the San Diego Public Library Foundation, citing rising circulation figures and SRO attendance at library events. “This is so much more than a building with books and shelves. It is a community center, a place for people to meet and gather.”

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While the library opened debt-free, without new bonds, taxes or infusions from the general fund, it needs plenty of money to keep operating. In 2013-14, the budget was $20 million. The current budget, reflecting a redistribution of duties and expenses, is a leaner $14.3 million.

Still, the new library is more than twice the size of its predecessor, and annually costs an additional $2.8 million to operate. This gap is bridged by $10 million in gifts from two anonymous parties, covering $2 million a year through 2018; and $800,000 a year from other sources, such as revenue from the Library Store, parking fees and rented space.

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See Also: Public Libraries: A Look at the New $185 Million San Diego Central Library That Will Be Dedicated on Saturday (September 22, 2013)

See Also: City of San Diego Library Director Announces Retirement (May 21, 2014)

See Also: Charter High School Opens INSIDE New San Diego Central Library Building (September 4, 2013)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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