Community members of all generations swarmed Washington Street on Jan. 26, 2019, to celebrate the grand opening of the new Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Branch Library. With a symbolic book pass, speeches from elected officials and live music, the event reflected the San Diego community’s excitement for this highly anticipated learning hub.
“This is a catalyst for community engagement,” San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said, highlighting the importance of gathering spaces for people to come together.
Following Faulconer’s speech were remarks from U.S. Rep Susan Davis, Assemblymember Todd Gloria, City Councilmember Chris Ward, San Diego Public Library Foundation CEO Jay Hill, and The San Diego Foundation President & CEO Connie Matsui. Many emphasized the importance of libraries beyond the books.
After a ceremonial ribbon cutting, crowds flooded into the library to explore the space for the first time. At the entrance, visitors are presented with popular books and movies on special display. To the left, a colorful teen area provides a nook for young adult books and magazines. Straight ahead, an outdoor patio adorned with succulents offers a relaxing reading space with fresh air. To the right, a children’s area is filled with lively opportunities to play and learn, including a children’s tower and hobbit house.
Live music, arts and crafts, and a meet and greet with illustrator Robin Preiss Glasser further enriched the grand opening.
A strong union and sense of collaboration among city officials, the design-build team, and the community made this project possible. The new Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Knox library will be a community hub for generations to come. Read more on the new library here.