San Carlos Branch Library
Friends of the Library

San Carlos Branch Library
7265 Jackson Dr
San Diego, CA 92119

From the blog

Essay Contest Chair needed

San Diego City School teachers will soon be receiving the instructions for students who wish to enter the 20th Annual Writing for Literacy Library Essay Contest. The contest, envisioned by Jack Winer, began at the San Carlos and Benjamin Branch Libraries; it is an activity than is dear to our hearts. This annual contest is open to all students, public, private, parochial and home schooled, in grades 4, 8 & 10, who attend a school served by the San Diego Public Library system. This contest is co-sponsored by Friends of the San Diego Public Library, San Diego Public Library and the Unified School District Library Media Teachers, KPBS in conjunction with the “One Book, One San Diego” selection(s), and Computers 2 SD Kids (C2SDK). Topics included the current “One Book, One San Diego” book selection(s).

As you read further in this article, you will learn the history of this contest, and perhaps recognize many of the names of those who helped get it started. Many of those listed have continued to donate their time every year, for twenty years, to keep this student experience alive. Sadly, several of the key personnel have given notice that this will be the last year of their involvement with the contest. We wish to thank them for their dedicated hours of volunteering. These inspiring folks will be leaving their positions with everything in order and we are looking for others to take over the reins. Now would be a great time to volunteer to follow in their footsteps while they are still available to pass along their “handy hints.’ The San Carlos Branch is in need of a contest Chairperson. We already have the essay readers (judges) lined up, a volunteer to maintain the computer records, and the FSDPL will be notifying the schools and teachers. Our President, Joan Hayes is well versed in what is needed, and will be working alongside the new Chairperson. This is a short term commitment. Students will turn in their essays to the library the last day before the start of winter break; we have 3 months to judge our local entries; the local award ceremony is held at the library in March or April, and the City-wide award ceremony is held in May. We hope you will consider this opportunity to volunteer with SCFOL. Leave a note for Joan at the library with your name and contact information, or Email Joan at President.

Back L to R: Antoine Nouger, Talin Gardini, Victoria Crisologo*, Noelle Stewart*, Edie Mueller; Front L to R: Meredith Eaton*, Jakob Romaine Gleim, Joshua Beail, Ella Moore, Tiffany Nguyen, Kate Le, Evan Hurst.

Back L to R: Antoine Nouger, Talin Gardini, Victoria Crisologo*, Noelle Stewart*, Edie Mueller; Front L to R: Meredith Eaton*, Jakob Romaine Gleim, Joshua Beail, Ella Moore, Tiffany Nguyen, Kate Le, Evan Hurst. Victoria Crisologo was a  2016 City-wide Grand Prize Winner.

Victoria Crisologo, 2016 Essay Contest Grand Prize Winner CONTEST HISTORY: The contest was started at the San Carlos Branch Library by its supporter and past SCFOL and FSDPL President, Jack Winer, who envisioned a contest where our youth would become engaged in the literary arts. The first contest in 1997, received strong support from School Board Member Sue Braun and area assistant superintendent, Dr. Eloisa Cisneros. The entry forms and contest rules were developed with the collaboration of Librarians Wendy Gay (from Lewis Jr. High), Marian Day (from Pershing Jr. High) and Sharon Boyette (from PHHS). It was sponsored by the San Carlos and Benjamin Branch Libraries and limited to the twelve local schools, grades 3 through 12, in the “Henry Cluster” (feeder schools to Patrick Henry High School). There were 145 entries and 31 finalists at all grade levels which brought over 200 parents, teaches and students to the awards ceremony held on May 20, 1997 at the San Carlos Branch Library. Lucia C. Barbu, an eleven year old, 4.0 GPA, 7th grader from Pershing Jr. High, was that year’s Grand Prize winner with an essay titled, “The Importance of Libraries to the Community.” Does anyone know where Lucia is now? We would love to get in touch with her.

Essay topics were limited to four subjects: The Importance of Libraries; Heroes; Building a Better World; and Getting Along in the Community. The first judges were the publisher of the Mission Times Courier,  a retired San Diego Union editor, and a local active Real Estate agent.  Thirty-one school winners were presented  with Certificates of Recognition from the offices of U.S.Congressmen Brian Bilbray and Randy Cunningham, State Senator Dede Alpert, and Assemblywoman Susan Davis.  City Council Member Judy McCarty was the keynote speaker and also presented Certificates.  In 1997, first and second place prizes were $100 and $50 savings bonds respectively. Engraved Cross pens were given to those with Honorable Mention awards.  All entrants were awarded paperweights displaying the Lamp of Knowledge emblem, and the inscription: “Friends of the Library Essay Contest Finalist, 1997.”  Does anyone still have theirs?  We would love to see it or have a picture. The result of everyone’s effort is the City-wide Essay Contest we have today.  Jack Winer was also instrumental in the City’s right-to-purchase agreement of the Jackson & Golfcrest corner lot on which we will build the new, 25,000 sq. ft. San Carlos Branch Library and Community Center. In his honor, the community room of the San Carlos Branch Library was named the Winer Family Community Room & Art Gallery during the library’s 40th Anniversary year in 2014.  The three Winer sons continue to support the work begun by their father and hope to see the completion of his dream for a new San Carlos Branch Library.