By Supervisor Dave Roberts
The Del Mar Library has come a long way since it opened at its current location in 1996.
And thanks to a great collaboration among the County of San Diego, City of Del Mar, the Friends of the Del Mar Library and the Del Mar Farmers Market, the branch is better than ever, with new carpeting and furnishings and improvements that highlight the design of this historic building.
My predecessor has been a great friend to this branch.
In 2008, then-Supervisor Pam Slater-Price secured $250,000 to build the library’s heavily-used community room. That project included a new roof for the entire building as well as two additional parking spaces. The job five years ago included generous participation from community groups such as the Del Mar Farmer’s Market.
Then and now, Del Mar City Hall is an important partner. The city owns the building and the county operates it as one of its 33 branch libraries.
For the latest round of work, the city handled the contracting for the demolition, electrical work and the installation of the new carpeting. The Friends of the Del Mar Library contributed financially to the project, and so did Supervisor Slater-Price by recommending approval of a $20,000 county grant.
The county library’s carpenters replaced much of the shelving and custom-built some of the new furnishings. Other pieces were refinished and look like new.
The shorter shelves and the removal of a bulky soffit have opened new sightlines and views, which carry a premium in Del Mar. The project has freed valuable floor space for patrons and the staff.
The community is understandably proud of its library.
The building itself opened in the 1920s as St. James Catholic Church. Later, the Albatross restaurant and Pancho’s Mexican Food occupied the structure.
One year after it opened as a public library, the landmark building won an Orchid Award for Historic Preservation from the San Diego Architectural Foundation.
The county library system is celebrating its 100th anniversary. In about a decade, this building will turn 100.
Congratulations and many thanks to all preserving and improving this great community asset.