La Jollans solve mystery at library’s anniversary party


The Friends of the La Jolla Library on June 6 celebrated 120 years of library service in La Jolla — as well as 30 years at the 7999 Draper Ave. location — with “The Caper on Draper,” a whodunnit mystery about a missing, priceless manuscript.

Actors representing famous La Jollans (Sally Ride, Raymond Chandler, Theodor Geisel, Jonas Salk, Ellen Browning Scripps and Raquel Welch) were stationed around the library attempting to answer guests’ questions to lead to the discovery of the whereabouts of the manuscript and bring the thieving perpetrator to justice.

While Friends members snacked on literary-inspired delicacies (the Green Eggs and Ham deviled eggs were a huge hit!), they were treated to tales from Raymond Chandler, the mystery novelist, who eventually took his place near the library’s History Room. The room houses the Memory Lab where patrons can digitally preserve family memories, like photos or video recordings, with the assistance of trained volunteers.

Other actors’ locations prompted members to tour the library to acquaint themselves with the Idea Lab (coincidentally the site of biology experiments being conducted by Dr. Jonas Salk, that evening), the graphic novel collection, the Express Book collection and other library resources, and comfortable reading nooks and crannies.

The final reveal, delivered by Chandler in Hercule Poirot-style, hilariously showed that the manuscript was not lost but merely misplaced, and that everyone who reads and loves learning is a winner at the local library.

This event was a Friends of the La Jolla Library members-only program. The Friends is a non-profit organization supporting materials and programs for the branch. Membership dues are $10 per year. New members are welcome to join, details at