Posts Tagged ‘San Diego Public Library’

22nd October
2014
written by Richard
A postman wearing protective gauze. National Archives.

A postman wearing protective gauze. National Archives.

In the fall of 1918, San Diego children skipped rope to a popular rhyme:

I had a little bird

Its name was Enza

I opened the window

And in-flew-enza

In the last weeks of World War I and in the months that followed, an influenza outbreak swept the world, infecting a billion people and killing as many as 50 million. It was one of the deadliest pandemics in history. In San Diego the scourge reached epidemic proportions . . .

Read the story of The Spanish Flu.

25th September
2014
written by Richard

The Board of Education has just had their attention directed to a most deplorable state of morals existing in our schools; and the evil has been traced to some degraded persons . . . poisoning the minds of boys and girls.  —Reverend Samuel J. Shaw, United Presbyterian Church, San Diego.

In 1903 San Diego, the 14th century novel The Decameron, was the target of the book censors.  Read about the Deplorable State of Morals.

Reverend Samuel Shaw. From Smythe, History of San Diego.

Reverend Samuel Shaw. From Smythe, History of San Diego.

3rd June
2014
written by Richard

Last summer the collections of the San Diego Central Library moved to a new building at 330 Park Blvd. For the past several months the staff of Special Collections has been busily unpacking and arranging boxes of materials once relegated to the basement of our old building. Among reams of material we make discoveries. Below is a forgotten architectural rendering of the proposed Carnegie Library. The completed structure, designed by the New York firm of Ackerman and Ross, was dedicated in April 1902.

Ackerman & Ross, Architects

Ackerman & Ross, Architects

14th April
2014
written by Richard

In honor of National Library Week (April 13-19) here’s a little San Diego library trivia:

One of the smaller branches of the San Diego Public Library was the Marston Store branch.  As “a convenience to tourists and shoppers,” the room opened in 1917 on the 5th floor of the famed department store at 5th and C Streets.  The branch closed in 1921 and its collection was moved to the new Mission Hills branch.

br_mr1Marstons branch

 

19th March
2014
written by Richard
Alonzo Horton, ca. 1868.

Alonzo Horton, ca. 1868.

Mr. A. E. Horton yesterday donated to the San Diego Free Reading Room Association his fine library. It will be remembered by old residents that this library was bought as the nucleus for a public institution some time ago—Mr. Horton having paid a large sum of money for it.  –San Diego Union, May 21, 1873.

San Diego’s first public library struggled to open its doors. A large book donation by city father Alonzo Horton was a start. But there were strings attached. . .

The story of San Diego’s First Library.

9th July
2013
written by Richard

He has been called the greatest benefactor in San Ysidro history–a mining engineer turned rancher who donated land for churches and schools, and built the community’s first public library. Dimly remembered today as the namesake of streets and schools, Frank B. Beyer is less known as the “gambler from the owner’s side of the table”—a man with a colorful career below the border, who spent his last years giving back his wealth to his adopted community.

The story Frank “Booze” Beyer and Tijuana.037

2nd July
2013
written by Richard

The big move to the new Central Library is underway.  Here’s some footage of the action and a some brief  interviews.

 

28th August
2012
written by Richard

Reading Room of the Wangenheim Collection.

In my day job at the San Diego Public Library, I supervise the Wangenheim Rare Book on the third floor at the Central Library. (Here’s the library web pages that describe this great collection: http://www.sandiego.gov/public-library/locations/wangenheim.shtml) We try to keep this special place open daily in the afternoons. But we rely on docents to make this happen and right now we need some new volunteers.

Docents are vital to Wangenheim Room operations. Docents welcome visitors, conduct tours, and answer questions about exhibits in the Room. To be a docent, you must interact well with people, be able to remember text of tour script, present in friendly manner and feel comfortable working in a quiet setting. An appreciation and understanding of historical artifacts is desirable. You also must commit to working 1 day a week for 3 hours a day for at least 6 months. For more information, contact me, Rick Crawford, at (619) 236-5852.

31st July
2011
written by Richard

The public library will be open to the public evenings and Sundays, even if it requires the use of an axe, a la Carrie Nation style. –City Councilmen Percy Benbough, Jan. 20, 1917.

In 1917, San Diego librarians and the public waged war with the City Council over the library hours. Who would back down? The Library Mutiny.

San Diego's Carnegie Library at 8th and E Streets.

3rd June
2011
written by Richard

Believe it or not, there was a time when the  San Diego Public Library was open twelve hours a day, Monday through Saturday, plus Sunday afternoon.  The librarians took only three holidays: Thankgiving Day, Christmas, and July 4th.   One of my favorite library photographs is shown here below.  Those were the days . . .

In the early 1900s, San Diegans expected and received generous public hours at the Central Library.

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