The Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation granted La Jolla’s Riford Library $15,000 for what branch manager Shaun Briley expects to be one of the library’s “best circulating collections.”
The grant will establish the Scripps Express Youth collection, with material expected in the next month or two. Two-thirds of this collection will be educational materials that support the curricula of local schools, and the remaining third will be the latest and hottest new releases. The entire collection will only be available at the La Jolla branch.
The new collection came about as a three-way partnership between the La Jolla Library, Scripps Foundation and San Diego Unified School District.
“San Diego Unified School District Resource Librarian, Margo Denton, was invited to the (La Jolla) branch to review the existing youth collection, which resulted in a list of recommended purchases to fine tune resources to fully support the curriculum of local schools,” Briley said. Supplemental material includes both fiction and nonfiction reading that supports topics and themes the students are studying at school and gives homework assistance for those in kindergarten through 12th grade.
“The other component of the new collection will be the most popular top- selling items for youth,” he said. “The entire collection will be displayed separately with red label spines and will be treated as Express Books, a category that until now has only been used for the latest bestselling adult books.”
Most of the collections in the San Diego Public Library system can circulate between branches throughout the system. However, Briley said “Express Books are not available to be requested for shipment to other libraries and will only be available for patrons who actually come in to the La Jolla Library. The books will not even be visible on the general San Diego Public Library catalog and can only be searched in the La Jolla Library itself.” Briley added, “Often when we get in the
good stuff, the demand is such that there is a huge waiting list and the items do not show up at the branch until many months later. That will not be the case with this collection.”
The Scripps Foundation, named for La Jolla benefactress Ellen Browning Scripps, is funding the collection. Doug Dawson, executive director of the Scripps Foundation, explained that of Scripps’ many passions, the greatest were children and literacy.
“The Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation and trustees have felt from the beginning that among the many (grant) priorities should be books, library and literacy for children,” Dawson said.
“There has been a consistent pattern over the years of supporting literacy in La Jolla.” The Scripps Foundation regularly issues grants to La Jolla’s branch library. In 2014, the Foundation granted the library $25,000 to fund six programs in its youth department — including the installation of new child-safe touchscreen computers and educational resources for the library’s College Room.
When it came to determining this year’s grant, Dawson said after several meetings with the two other organizing partners, a question arose as to what the greatest need is for the youth of La Jolla, and how to meet that need.
They decided upon the components of the Scripps Express Youth collection. Crediting Briley’s “extensive outreach” to local schools and Denton’s research, Dawson said the Scripps Foundation was given a “considerable list” of material. “That made the whole conversation and resulting consideration of funding far more compelling and relevant,” he said. “We needed to be comfortable with the titles and themes of these selected books and we appreciate the depth and clarity of research to make us comfortable with making that investment.”