PB library celebrates a century of mind enrichment
by MARSHA KAY SEFF
Jul 09, 2014 | 1542 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Pacific Beach Branch Library manager Christina Wainwright checks out some of the materials for the “Yarn Bombing.” 
                                                                                                    Photo by Marsha Kay Seff
Pacific Beach Branch Library manager Christina Wainwright checks out some of the materials for the “Yarn Bombing.” Photo by Marsha Kay Seff
slideshow
he original library was located in the lobby of the Pacific Beach Woman’s Club on Hornblend Street, as shown here in this photo from 1914. 
                                                                                                                 Courtesy photo
he original library was located in the lobby of the Pacific Beach Woman’s Club on Hornblend Street, as shown here in this photo from 1914. Courtesy photo
slideshow
When the first Pacific Beach Branch Library opened in 1914 in the lobby of the PB Woman’s Club on Hornblend Street, the monthly circulation was 280 books.

This June’s circulation at the Earl and Birdie Taylor Library, now located on Cass Street, which boasts 92,000 items in its physical collection, was 14,536, according to branch manager Christina Wainwright. That includes books, audiobooks, movies, music CDs and magazines, but not PB’s share of the more than 17,500 eBooks and eAudiobooks accessed in a month through San Diego Public Library’s eCollections.

The Pacific Beach Branch Library is celebrating its 100th anniversary this month with a host of activities. Kicking them off is a community party from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 12, featuring speeches, proclamations and visits with former staff and volunteers, as well as refreshments, facepainting and a band.

Another highlight of the July festivities is what the library bills as a “Yarn Bombing” from 4 to 7 p.m. on July 30. Patrons, along with the rest of the community, have been knitting fish and trunk sleeves to adorn the 20 gold medallion trees in the library’s park. There are also knitted scarves to wrap around the bike racks in the plaza.

The knitters could still use some help, however. To join in, crafters of all ages are welcome to join in a “Knit-In” event from 12:30 to 6 p.m. on July 15 at the library.

What Wainwright refers to as the crafters’ “soft-graffiti public art” will remain in place through Christmas. “It’s our neighborhood, and it’s nice to do something to make it better,” she said.

There’s no doubt that the library has come of age during its 100 years, moving from the Woman’s Club in 1944 to a rental storefront on Ingraham Street until 1951; then to its first dedicated library adjacent to the Pacific Beach Middle School from 1951 to 1997, and finally to the current 12,500-square-foot Earl and Birdie Taylor Library.

On the site of the former Farnum Elementary School, the current library was built with funding from the Taylor children to honor their late parents, who were Pacific Beach real-estate pioneers.

“It used to be that reading was a luxury,” Wainwright said.

Now, with a more literate society, the library has kept current with audio and digital books and computers. The vast array of community activities has expanded to include tai chi, Zumba, cooking and toddler-yoga classes, Spanish storytime, movies, concerts, group meetings and art exhibits, funded in big part by Friends of the Library.

“When some people think of a library, they think of books,” Wainwright said. “We think of connections. Books are definitely relevant and wonderful and I love them, but that’s not enough.This is a place for people to make friends and to improve their minds and bodies. In a lot of ways, it’s the heart of the community.”

Louise Karstens, a “going on 85-year-old” who used to volunteer at the second Ingraham library and who puts in a 40-hour week now at the Taylor branch site, said, “People don’t realize what a jewel they have here.”

For more information, contact the library at (858) 581-9934 or stop by at 4275 Cass St.

For a list of activities happening at the library during the month of July, visit www.sdnews.com.
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