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Chateau La Jolla unveils new library annex filled with books from former resident’s collection

A Chateau La Jolla resident grabs a book from the new Barbara Smith Library Annex.
A Chateau La Jolla resident grabs a book from the new Barbara Smith Library Annex.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

In a space formerly occupied by mailboxes, Chateau La Jolla opened the Barbara Smith Library Annex on March 31, named for a longtime resident and bibliophile. The annex, which houses some of the thousands of books and DVDs that Smith has amassed over the years, is available to all residents of the senior living community.

“When Barbara Smith moved to a higher level of care at a different facility, we realized she had quite a collection of books and over 1,000 DVDs,” said Chateau Executive Director Wendy Matalon. “Her son donated them to us. Staff organized the books, marked, stamped and placed in alphabetical order by author. We also took several from the collection to fill out the [main] salon library. We probably added two or three dozen books to that library.”

Trish Robinson, Chateau La Jolla assistant managing director, cuts the ribbon for the new Barbara Smith Library Annex.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Trish Robinson, Chateau assistant managing director, said she knew Smith while she was a Chateau resident.

“She obviously loved to read, everything from fiction to biography and tabletop books to architecture and gardening,” Robinson said. “We have a couple of residents that have volunteered to be our ‘librarians,’ so if someone wants a book, all they have to do is take it, and when they are done they can put it in the reshelf area and our volunteers will put it back in their place.”

The book donation will provide a lasting benefit for residents, Robinson said. “This age group is really into physically holding a book, and it’s huge to have something like this because it provides a huge variety.” ◆