Submitted by Lei Udell
Friday night, I attended the Coronado Friends of the Public Library’s “Night at the Library,” a lovely evening devoted to thanking the Library’s many friends for their support. The evening was such a pleasure (we even won a prize!), and reminded me how much I love spending time in its beautiful, serene spaces.
Our library is such an amazing treasure. It offers something for everyone, whether you’re a toddler, a school-aged tween or teen, a work-from-home 20- or 30-something, a new parent, an accomplished parent, an empty nester, or an aging senior. And nearly all of it, free to users. I am so grateful for, and a little amazed by, the many Friends of the Library who give their time and money to nurture this wonderful place.
I knew the Library puts on a a fair number of speakers, concerts and films; but did you know that the Library put on 723 programs last year? That’s amazing! Its program attendance reached more than 34,000 attendees! Some of that is the same people going to multiple events, but still — that’s a lot of people benefiting from the Library. Second only to the beaches, I would guess that the Library may be Coronado’s most heavily-used public amenity.
As kids, growing up with a library gives many of us our first experiences of autonomy: being allowed to roam the children’s section, free to browse the books and pick whatever looks interesting to read, able to take books home, allowed to talk to strangers (the librarian; also my mother considered readers in general to be trustworthy). The Library makes kids feel like they belong, and also feel responsible (because it’s trusting you with its books) and intelligent (“You’ve chosen some great books!”). What great experiences to give a child.
When we moved here in 1993, the Library became the hub of my husband and children’s social life. 30 years later, its facilities, its peaceful ambiance, its resources and its great programs still draw us in. Our library— as a place, as a facility, as a collection of staff— is an asset worth investing in, and it produces great returns for us as community members. I hope we as a community will continue to nurture and support our library so it will be there to support us, our children and our grandchildren for many years to come.
Thank you, Shaun, Ivy, and all the library staff for all you do, and thank you council members Casey Tanaka and Mike Donovan for being there Friday to show your support for the Library. It is truly one of the brightest gems in the crown that is Coronado.