January 9, 1974: San Carlos Branch Library Opened
Located in San Carlos, San Diego’s 23rd branch library opened on January 9, 1974. Speakers at the opening ceremony included the then current 7th district Councilman Jim Ellis & past Councilman Allen Hitch, San Carlos resident & City Librarian Marco Thorne, and SDPL City Librarian Bill Sannwald. The San Carlos Women’s Club served refreshments.
In 1974 the new 8000 sq ft San Carlos Branch was the largest branch library in the City and the 45-person Community Room was the first of its kind within the SDPL system. The Branch opened displaying 20,000 volumes of its 32,000-volume capacity. Future Friends’ Book Sales supplied the funds to fill the shelves. The total cost was $384,000, paid for by the Community Buildings and Improvement Bond Fund of 1966, and the City’s Capital Outlay Fund. Cost of land: $88,000, design & construction: $288,000, furnishings: $16,000. It took only 4 years to find and purchase the land, finance, design, build, and open the first San Carlos Branch Library. Our community thanks all those who helped fulfill the promise made.
The Branch’s first staff included: Managing Librarian Nathalie Gushikuma, YSL Carolyn Lima, Assistant Elaine Shannon, and Clerks Evelyn Ellison, Allene Haddock, Oneta Olson. The branch’s first library card was issued to Jeannette B. Hurley. Other Managing Librarians followed: Nathalie Gushikuma (Jan 9, 1974–July 1978); Rhoda Cruse (Aug-Oct 1978); Ruth Gardner (Feb 1979-Mar 1982); Verna Stewart (Mar 1982-July 1985); Esther Siman (Aug 1985-Aug 1993); Carolyn Demaray (Sept 1993- 2000); Jean C. Hughes (2000-2002); Jack Albrecht (2002-2010); Rita Glick (2010-2015); David Ege (January 2016-present). Space doesn’t allow for the listing of all our wonderful Youth Service Librarians, Library assistants and clerks that have been a part of the San Carlos family. But please know that we truly appreciate their smiles and the hours spent keeping our branch organized and assisting us when needed. Thank you, one and all!
By the Fall of 1987, the SCBL housed 50,000 volumes and its circulation was the 2nd highest branch in the city. Discussions began on where the branch could expand. SCFOL President Ann MacCullough and Councilperson Judy McCarty supported purchasing the lot on Navajo Rd between Jackson & Golfcrest, made available by the closing of the Walker Scott Department store at that location. The land quickly sold to a developer for apartments. In 1991, Bill Sannwald acknowledged to the Library Commission that the SCBL was inadequate for the Community’s needs.
Then, in 1994, SCFOL President Jack Winer had an idea. But first, let’s review the innovative volunteers who launched the San Carlos Friends of the Library (SCFOL) in 1982. Stay Tuned for The Rest of The Story.