May 18, 2022

California: Community Biology Lab Officially Opens in La Jolla’s Riford Library

From KPBS Radio:

Patrons of a local public library can check out more than books — a new community lab now lets them check out DNA, too.

The biosafety level one lab is nestled inside La Jolla’s Riford Library [a branch of the San Diego Public Library]. It aims to spark the public’s interest in biology by giving them access to DNA amplifying machines, microscopes and other basic equipment.

At a launch event Tuesday, Mayor Kevin Faulconer and other local officials were present to see school children busily extracting DNA from strawberries. Laura Jordan-Smith of The Wet Lab, a San Diego group helping run the library’s facility, hopes demos like this will get kids interested in a career in science.

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From the San Diego Union Tribune

La Jolla’s Life Science Collaboratory, which has been open since April, could be the country’s first at a public library. Biotech professionals reached for comment said they weren’t aware of any others.

The idea has been floated for libraries to offer some introductory biology stuff as part of their 21st century capabilities,” said Joseph Jackson, a chief management officer for Bio, Tech and Beyond. Jackson said that to his knowledge, the La Jolla library, part of the San Diego public library system, is the first to have actually done so.

San Mateo Public Library hosts biotechnology learning center with meeting space and computer resources. A laboratory is planned but not yet in operation, the library said.

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From Fox 5 San Diego

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.