After being closed since late December, the Ocean Beach library celebrated its grand reopening on March 10, sporting a new roof along with fresh carpet and interior paint.
The 83-year-old library, situated in a city historically-designated building, had originally been approved for roofing through an infrastructure bond in 2008; it has since been targeted for closure multiple times by mayor Jerry Sanders, each time meeting fierce community opposition.
Library staff greeted returning patrons and passed out chocolates to children, though in the early afternoon the number of users was noticeably lower than usual.
Despite a call for volunteers to drop in and help prepare for the reopening, many shelves were still empty. Staff also said that while the recent updates did not include the installation of a self-checkout kiosk, they were expecting one to be installed within the coming months.
The branch’s first day back in operation also marked the last day on the job for popular local librarian Bob Cronk, who was promoted and will move to the Scripps Ranch library. Throughout the day, Cronk received bittersweet farewells from local library patrons sorry to lose his service.