Come Celebrate an Amazing Accomplishment

| January 7, 2019 | 0 Comments

The new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Branch Library is preparing for its grand opening.

We may all have made similar comments about something not happening “in our lifetime.” Yet, happily, I can say that I’ve seen a lot happen in my lifetime and some pretty incredible accomplishments.

As a longstanding resident of Mission Hills, I’ve seen lots of changes occur in the business and residential areas of the community. Some we have endorsed with open arms and support. Others we have challenged with reason.

We are soon to celebrate a very substantial accomplishment that is a collaborative effort of two communities, Mission Hills and Hillcrest, and the San Diego Public Library Foundation. It’s a new community library that is named after the donors who gave generously to this effort. Private funding, including $5 million from the Hervey Family Fund and the Harley and Bessie Knox Memorial Fund at The San Diego Foundation, and other generous individual donors.

I am excited to say that the grand opening of the new Harley and Bessie Knox Library, located at 215 west Washington Street (corner of West Washington and Front Streets) is scheduled to take place on Saturday, January 26, 2019 with local elected officials attending and residents and guests of Mission Hills and Hillcrest.

The new library is 15,000 square feet, compared to the 3,500-square-foot Mission Hills Library at 925 W. Washington Street, just a few blocks away. It also has two underground parking levels with 85 spaces, compared to nine at the old library.

In addition to its much larger size, the library will offer new services for those who take advantage of all that it will offer, including
• The 1,600 square-foot Emily Brightwood Children’s Area, which features Hope’s Hobbit House to provide a unique space for storytime and give children a special place to curl up and read their favorite books.
• Children’s programs will include story times, children’s craft time, and Lego playtime
• The Brightwood Children’s Area has seven computers equipped with special educational software
• A separate Teen Spot with teen-specific books and magazines
• An IDEA lab with 3D printing
• Technology classes and professional resources
• Free Wi-Fi
• A large, adaptable Community Room with a catering kitchen and doors that open to the Patio
• Three six-person meeting rooms and a larger eight-person room that can be opened to accommodate more than 14
• Peaceful open-air Garden
• The Friends of the Mission Hills-Hillcrest Library will have a new, separate space off the Library Patio to hold book sales to support the branch
• Career Online High School
• READ/San Diego
• ESL classes for adults
• Public art space that will feature pieces from the City’s public art collection
• A main art focus will be a permanent piece from Janet Zweig in the Library’s central area

The San Diego Public Library Foundation and Friends of the Mission Hills-Hillcrest Library are making opportunities available for community members to be permanently recognized at the Library through a space naming or an engraved tile. More information is available at or by calling (619) 238-6643.

I was also informed that there are plans underway to have a human line of people to participate in a “book pass” from the old library at 925 West Washington to the new library at 215 West Washington, between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., Saturday, January 26. Already, over 1,300 registrants have signed up to participate. You can register as a family, an organization, or solo at the website:

As a member of this community, I am sure we are all grateful for the effort of the San Diego Public Library Foundation to bring this library to fruition. And, we have been told that the members of the San Diego Public Library Foundation are eager to share in this celebration.

“The San Diego Public Library Foundation is excited to join with Mayor Faulconer to bring the community together to celebrate the opening of this important community resource,” said Library Foundation CEO Jay Hill.

This is a great way to start 2019, with this joyous occasion and new addition to the neighborhood. We look forward to the grand opening and lots of activities, and books galore for all of us to enjoy for many years to come.

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Category: Education, Local News

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