4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Can't get the staff to open Ocean Beach library

Pacific Beach and Point Loma ahead in line

The 1928 building at Santa Monica and Sunset Cliffs has been shuttered,
The 1928 building at Santa Monica and Sunset Cliffs has been shuttered,

At the Ocean Beach library, March 13 marked an occasion no one wanted nor expected to see: the beginning of its third year of complete closure.

Place

Ocean Beach Library

4801 Santa Monica Avenue, San Diego

It's a status shared by only two other locations (Clairemont, Mountain View/Beckwourth) in the city's 36-branch system.

Library officials point out that, while the community's historic, 1928 building at Santa Monica and Sunset Cliffs has been shuttered, services for OBceans have continued. Virtual programming has allowed families to gather around a tablet for storytime and other online services. The old-fashioned phone line has been available for reference requests with a live Ocean Beach librarian that works dependable hours. The book drop accepts returns, 24-7.

And while there is no firm date for the reopening, officials believe light is at the end of the tunnel. The city is in the process of contacting some 145 potential library assistants with final job offers that – fingers crossed – will soon enable Ocean Beach to resume a six-day-per-week schedule, said Misty Jones, city library director, in a phone interview this month.

It's more likely Ocean Beach will open with a two-day schedule, similar to what has been in place at the Serra Mesa-Kearny Mesa Branch. The full schedule will resume once enough employees have been hired, trained and fingerprinted and have passed final background and health checks, Jones said.

When will that be? "I am more than ready and anxious for Ocean Beach to be open," Jones said. "If it's not before summer, it's going to be devastating. I'm really hoping before summer."

What's taking so long? There are two reasons, the main one being an enormous shortage of employees that has taken eight months to address.

Reason No. 2? When the city selected 13 locations for limited in-person services in October of 2020 and began adding branches in June of 2021, other communities, for a variety of reasons, were placed in line ahead of Ocean Beach. That's a point many OBceans, who need only look to the neighboring communities of Point Loma and Pacific Beach to see newer libraries and lifeguard towers, might acknowledge with a knowing eye roll.

City libraries have been as hard hit as anyone during the pandemic. "We lost about one-third of our staff," Jones said.

The process to restore the depleted ranks began last summer. In all, the city advertised for more than 270 library jobs and accepted applications until July 26. A certified list of suitable candidates arrived from the city's Human Resources Department in October. Higher positions were recruited first, allowing opportunities for employees to move up. "We want to keep that talent in the system," Jones said.

In all, five "hiring processes" have been conducted, with more than 500 in-person interviews. Final selections for the two lowest-level employees, the Library Assistant 1's and 2's, were made last month. Those candidates are now receiving phone calls and formal written offers from Human Resources, Jones said.

A decision to phase out hourly positions in favor of full- and half-time, benefitted positions has improved the pool of candidates, Jones said. And hourly employees who have moved up can start working sooner because they will require less training and can skip additional vetting necessary for new employees not in the system, she said.

The Ocean Beach branch has had additional setbacks. There was no branch librarian until the recent hiring of Christy Rickey Meister. In February, the branch lost its popular youth services librarian, who moved to North Carolina, and another employee transferred out, Jones said.

"Just when we thought we were getting there, we had two more vacancies pop up," she said.

Early this month, the branch only had four of its budgeted nine employees. The Point Loma/Hervey branch, which is open but also short employees, has been borrowing from Ocean Beach's staff, Jones said.

When the first 13 libraries reopened, city policy required at least one branch in each city council district, based on factors such as ease of access, size of collection, parking and mass transit. In District 2, selecting the Point Loma/Hervey branch, one of the largest in the system, was a no-brainer.

"It is the flagship branch for that council district," Jones said of the 2003, two-story building that lists a computer lab, media room and several conference rooms among its amenities.

Next in line (using the boundaries prior to the redistricting maps approved last December) was the Pacific Beach/Taylor library, which was built in 1997 with a large meeting room, a projection screen and even a grand piano, and is nearly three times the size of the Ocean Beach branch.

It's been a beehive of activity at those two locations. During a one-week period, Pacific Beach/Taylor and Point Loma/Hervey hosted events offering tax assistance, crafting, music, lego building, baby/toddler storytime, chess and get-togethers for older adults.

The other two libraries in the boundary – the 1958 Clairemont branch and the 4,579-square-feet Ocean Beach branch – have remained closed.

"I know some people don't venture up to Point Loma. We had to make some tough decisions," Jones said.

Mary Cairns, president of the Friends of the Ocean Beach Library, a group that hosts book sales and has been heavily involved as a plan to expand the branch gains momentum, has been "disappointed" but patient throughout the closure.

"We understand the protocols and issues with staffing, covid and the rest. We're hoping it won't be much longer," Cairns said.

Ocean Beach's first event of the year has been scheduled April 9 at 10:30 a.m. It's a STEAM event – STEAM meaning Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math – entitled, "Trash into Treasure: Creating Plastic Landscapes."

It'll be held on the lawn if the building isn't yet open, Jones said.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Peter Sprague does Pat Metheny, who returns the favor

Occasional collaborations inspire new two-volume set
Next Article

San Diego 5th in immigrants who walk away

Toni Atkins builds up pro-abortion war chest
The 1928 building at Santa Monica and Sunset Cliffs has been shuttered,
The 1928 building at Santa Monica and Sunset Cliffs has been shuttered,

At the Ocean Beach library, March 13 marked an occasion no one wanted nor expected to see: the beginning of its third year of complete closure.

Place

Ocean Beach Library

4801 Santa Monica Avenue, San Diego

It's a status shared by only two other locations (Clairemont, Mountain View/Beckwourth) in the city's 36-branch system.

Library officials point out that, while the community's historic, 1928 building at Santa Monica and Sunset Cliffs has been shuttered, services for OBceans have continued. Virtual programming has allowed families to gather around a tablet for storytime and other online services. The old-fashioned phone line has been available for reference requests with a live Ocean Beach librarian that works dependable hours. The book drop accepts returns, 24-7.

And while there is no firm date for the reopening, officials believe light is at the end of the tunnel. The city is in the process of contacting some 145 potential library assistants with final job offers that – fingers crossed – will soon enable Ocean Beach to resume a six-day-per-week schedule, said Misty Jones, city library director, in a phone interview this month.

It's more likely Ocean Beach will open with a two-day schedule, similar to what has been in place at the Serra Mesa-Kearny Mesa Branch. The full schedule will resume once enough employees have been hired, trained and fingerprinted and have passed final background and health checks, Jones said.

When will that be? "I am more than ready and anxious for Ocean Beach to be open," Jones said. "If it's not before summer, it's going to be devastating. I'm really hoping before summer."

What's taking so long? There are two reasons, the main one being an enormous shortage of employees that has taken eight months to address.

Reason No. 2? When the city selected 13 locations for limited in-person services in October of 2020 and began adding branches in June of 2021, other communities, for a variety of reasons, were placed in line ahead of Ocean Beach. That's a point many OBceans, who need only look to the neighboring communities of Point Loma and Pacific Beach to see newer libraries and lifeguard towers, might acknowledge with a knowing eye roll.

City libraries have been as hard hit as anyone during the pandemic. "We lost about one-third of our staff," Jones said.

The process to restore the depleted ranks began last summer. In all, the city advertised for more than 270 library jobs and accepted applications until July 26. A certified list of suitable candidates arrived from the city's Human Resources Department in October. Higher positions were recruited first, allowing opportunities for employees to move up. "We want to keep that talent in the system," Jones said.

In all, five "hiring processes" have been conducted, with more than 500 in-person interviews. Final selections for the two lowest-level employees, the Library Assistant 1's and 2's, were made last month. Those candidates are now receiving phone calls and formal written offers from Human Resources, Jones said.

A decision to phase out hourly positions in favor of full- and half-time, benefitted positions has improved the pool of candidates, Jones said. And hourly employees who have moved up can start working sooner because they will require less training and can skip additional vetting necessary for new employees not in the system, she said.

The Ocean Beach branch has had additional setbacks. There was no branch librarian until the recent hiring of Christy Rickey Meister. In February, the branch lost its popular youth services librarian, who moved to North Carolina, and another employee transferred out, Jones said.

"Just when we thought we were getting there, we had two more vacancies pop up," she said.

Early this month, the branch only had four of its budgeted nine employees. The Point Loma/Hervey branch, which is open but also short employees, has been borrowing from Ocean Beach's staff, Jones said.

When the first 13 libraries reopened, city policy required at least one branch in each city council district, based on factors such as ease of access, size of collection, parking and mass transit. In District 2, selecting the Point Loma/Hervey branch, one of the largest in the system, was a no-brainer.

"It is the flagship branch for that council district," Jones said of the 2003, two-story building that lists a computer lab, media room and several conference rooms among its amenities.

Next in line (using the boundaries prior to the redistricting maps approved last December) was the Pacific Beach/Taylor library, which was built in 1997 with a large meeting room, a projection screen and even a grand piano, and is nearly three times the size of the Ocean Beach branch.

It's been a beehive of activity at those two locations. During a one-week period, Pacific Beach/Taylor and Point Loma/Hervey hosted events offering tax assistance, crafting, music, lego building, baby/toddler storytime, chess and get-togethers for older adults.

The other two libraries in the boundary – the 1958 Clairemont branch and the 4,579-square-feet Ocean Beach branch – have remained closed.

"I know some people don't venture up to Point Loma. We had to make some tough decisions," Jones said.

Mary Cairns, president of the Friends of the Ocean Beach Library, a group that hosts book sales and has been heavily involved as a plan to expand the branch gains momentum, has been "disappointed" but patient throughout the closure.

"We understand the protocols and issues with staffing, covid and the rest. We're hoping it won't be much longer," Cairns said.

Ocean Beach's first event of the year has been scheduled April 9 at 10:30 a.m. It's a STEAM event – STEAM meaning Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math – entitled, "Trash into Treasure: Creating Plastic Landscapes."

It'll be held on the lawn if the building isn't yet open, Jones said.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Rady summer series kicks off with Berlioz, Moya, Mussorgsky

Sycuan Band comes up with $1.1 million
Next Article

Strauss spills the tea on collab

“There are drastic differences between kombucha production and craft beer”
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close