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S.D. Library Project Takes Step Forward


Aired 10/14/09

Plans for a new main library in downtown San Diego are still moving forward. A city council committee took action on the project Wednesday.

— Plans for a new main library in downtown San Diego are still moving forward. A city council committee took action on the project Wednesday.

Rendering of the proposed Downtown San Diego Central Library.
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Above: Rendering of the proposed Downtown San Diego Central Library.

The council’s Rules Committee authorized $500,000 in redevelopment funds for the library project. The money will be spent putting the project out to bid. The full council will consider the issue in two weeks. Council President Ben Hueso says people should remember that most of the money for the project would come from grants, school bonds and donations.

“And it would be a shame if we passed up on a project like this because we’re not trying to exert ourselves or provide strong leadership and trying to find a way to make something happen. That requires some extra effort on our parts and I think we should definitely put that effort forward,” he says.

The new library would be built downtown near Petco Park. It’s one of three major projects the city is considering right now. The others are a new city hall and a convention center expansion.

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Avatar for user 'wamdam'

wamdam | October 23, 2009 at 9:08 p.m. ― 7 years ago

A bigger, new downtown library is an idea whose time has come, and gone, overtaken by social change and technical progress.

Downtown is not, and has not been, the social soul of the city. We who live in the 'burbs go there for work, play and a very few civic events.

Downtown dwellers no doubt need a new library - one that meets their needs and is not unwisely burdened ancillary functions that don't serve them. Cut this grandiose plan down to neighborhood size and locate other functions where they belong.

We need a city archive of one-of-a-kind works but, it should be accessible to all, from anywhere. Digitize it and put the server farm on less expensive land. No patron need come near it.

A charter school should be where it best serves the kids. Having a neighborhood library nearby is a good idea but, school location criteria should influence library location, not the other way 'round.

Put the money you save into improving the digital book system and the other neighborhood libraries. Start by simply keeping them open longer. Current neighborhood library hours are an embarrassment to a literate citizenry.

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Avatar for user 'bernasconi'

bernasconi | October 23, 2009 at 11:16 p.m. ― 7 years ago

I agree. Put the money towards the internet and the rest of the libraries. A big downtown library is no longer needed and would not be used as much as the neighborhood libraries.

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Avatar for user 'robertjon'

robertjon | October 25, 2009 at 4:20 p.m. ― 7 years ago

I applaud the council's Rules Committee for authorizing $500,000 in redevelopment funds for the library project. I just made a permanent move from Minneapolis, MN to San Diego in August. One of my first tasks was to sign up for a libary card at the San Diego Public Library. I was appaled at the condition of San Diego's Public Library after enjoying a world class public library in downtown Minneapolis. I think that San Diego could learn a lot from Minneapolis regarding the mission and funding of a downtown library. Minneapolis built a world class new library in 2002. Shortly thereafter the city ran into funding problems. Hennepin County of which Minneapolis is a part stepped up to the plate and integrated the Minneapolis Public Library in the the county wide system. Now, the Minneapolis Public Libary's rich collection is accessible to all residents county-wide. The library was a win-win for the city and the county. I would recommend that KPBS do a documentary on the Minneapolis Public Library so that San Diego city and county residents may learn from the Minneapolis and Hennepin County experience. You may wish to link onto their website at

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