LONG-AWAITED LIBRARY BRINGS TECHNOLOGY, EDUCATION AND OPPORTUNITY TO HISTORICALLY UNDERSERVED COMMUNITY
San Diego – Continuing his commitment to bring opportunity to every neighborhood, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer joined City Councilmember Vivian Moreno and community leaders today for the opening ceremony of the new San Ysidro Branch Library, followed by fun and festivities for San Diegans of all ages.
“This new library is just the latest investment we’ve made to deliver on our promise to lift up historically underserved neighborhoods across our city,” Mayor Faulconer said. “It’s been a long time coming, but we’re replacing the oldest library in our system with a new one that has all the modern amenities that the San Ysidro community wants and deserves. This will serve as the center of opportunity and community engagement for San Ysidro for decades to come.”
A project the making for more than two decades, the new 15,000 square-foot, LEED Silver-certified facility features several modern amenities – including an outdoor reading patio and movie screen, public art, a teen center, study areas, computer and technology labs, a multi-purpose room and accommodations for persons with disabilities.
“San Ysidro was forced to wait decades for a new library. But after years of struggle and advocacy by the community, San Ysidro has emerged victorious,” Councilmember Moreno said. “Today, we open the doors of a beautiful new library, a place for us to come together, learn, and take pride in our community.”
The $13.5 million library marks the third new branch library to open since Mayor Faulconer took office. It replaces the old branch built in 1924 – the City’s oldest existing library – and is expected to serve more than 55,000 San Diegans per year.
The library is made possible thanks to a public-private partnership between local philanthropists and the City. The City purchased land for the library site in September 2015 and will contribute $12 million to the project. Philanthropists Lloyd and Caroline de Llamas generously contributed $1.5 million.
“My wife and I are pleased to help bring this important new resource to San Ysidro. It is our hope that this will create new opportunities for the children and families of this community where I spent several years of my childhood,” Lloyd de Llamas said. “State-of-the-art libraries like this one are a way to even the playing field and provide equal resources to often overlooked neighborhoods."
The day-long celebration organized by the San Diego Library Foundation and the Friends of the San Ysidro Library offered free children’s library books, live mariachi music provided by the San Ysidro High School, library card sign-ups, face painting, puppet and musical shows, an artist talk of the Library’s public art pieces, and more.
The public artwork at the library was commissioned by the City’s Commission for Arts and Culture. The artists – brothers Einar and Jamex de la Torre – created two distinct, site-specific installations for the San Ysidro Library. The interior and exterior pieces were created with a combination of cultural and historical references, which is a common thread found throughout the work by these internationally-recognized artists.