Change is in the air at La Jolla Library — Branch manager Shaun Briley is leaving to become the City of Coronado’s library director; the Friends of La Jolla Library held its annual election March 20; and celebrations are in the works for a 120th anniversary this summer.
Bye, Bye Briley
“It has been a real pleasure working here,” Briley told La Jolla Light. “But it isn’t really goodbye: we live here and our kids go to Torrey Pines, and eventually, Muirlands and La Jolla High. I’m looking forward to remaining involved in the community.”
Coronado City Manager Blair King said Briley stood out from among a strong pool of candidates for his “core beliefs in supporting traditional literacy and learning, and his passion for keeping libraries vibrant.”
Briley came to the La Jolla branch in 2014 and since then, has been named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2016 (the library world’s equivalent of “person of the year” for his innovations) and Employee of the Year by the City of San Diego Public Library in 2018.
Among his accomplishments, Briley established the 3-D printing and bio-tech lab on site, a book club for middle school children that provided them with books to review that had not yet been published, and the Memory Lab that helps residents to digitize items such as obsolete VHS tapes and photo slides.
He also established a Citizen Science project that mobilized more than 1,000 people to collect insects for DNA sampling that would become part of a global database.
Briley assumes his new post on April 8 (but is away from the La Jolla branch until April 2).
A City spokesperson for the San Diego Library system said an interim branch manager will fill in “while we complete an extensive search for a new full-time branch manager,” and that while they are saddened by Briley’s departure, “we have a lot of great librarians and we wish Shaun all the best.”
The Friends of La Jolla Library group elected Linda Dowley as their new board president and thanked those board members who have termed out.
“We are so excited to welcome a dynamic new group of board members who are excited to join the efforts of the Friends of La Jolla Library Board to support our terrific branch,” Dowley said.
“This group is comprised of community volunteers, who between them, have years of volunteer experience at various organizations such La Jolla Historical Society, the Board of The Scripps Research Institute, local schools, Girl Scouts, National Charity League and Las Patronas.”
New board members include Lisa Albanez, Anna Marie Cameron, Kim Doren, Katia Graham, Jena Joyce, Suzie Piegza and Sallie Warren. Sally Corson was elected for a second term.
Outgoing board members include Charles Hartford, Teri Newlee and Sue Wagener.
Dan Farley was elected vice president, Corson as recording secretary, David Bark as corresponding secretary, Sue Schreibman as treasurer, Jane Sagerman as assistant treasurer, Sarah Feeney as parliamentarian and Wagener as immediate past president.
120 years and counting
In 1899, The Reading Club was founded when Florence Sawyer donated land and a small cottage at the corner of Wall Street and Girard Avenue. It would become the La Jolla Library.
In 1921, the Library Association of La Jolla formed at The Reading Room, with Ellen Browning Scripps as the first president.
In 1955, the San Diego Public Library system began renting space from the Association, and all materials were donated to the Public Library except for those relating to arts and music, because the Library Association changed its name to become the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library.
The current La Jolla (Riford) Library opened in 1988 on Draper Avenue, and was renovated in 2004. Philanthropist Florence Riford gifted the $2-million piece of property to the City for construction of a branch library in La Jolla.
To commemorate the 120th year of having a public library in The Village, programs are planned for this summer with guest speakers and special events. Details will be forthcoming.
— La Jolla Riford Library is at 7555 Draper Ave. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday; 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; 12:30-5 p.m. Sunday. (858) 552-1657. lajollalibrary.org