Happenings at the Allied Gardens/Benjamin Library

By Kathryn Johnson

Book sale success

On Saturday, Jan. 28, the Friends of the Allied Gardens/Benjamin Library had their first book sale of the year. People from near and far came to take advantage of the great prices and large selection. The money generated from these sales is vital to the success of our library.

Thanks to the Friends of the Library efforts (and believe me, putting together these book sales is a huge effort), we can provide a variety of programs, supply the all-important pizza at our teen programs and purchase toys and materials for our story times. Thank you to all who shopped at the book sale and to our amazing Friends group. Mark your calendar for the next book sale to take place on Saturday, April 29 at 9:30 a.m.

Friends of the Allied Gardens/Benjamin Library president Joan Curry (left) at the Jan. 28 book sale (Courtesy of Allied Gardens/Benjamin Library)

Free tax preparation

Thanks to the wonderful volunteers with AARP, our library is able to offer free tax preparation to people over 60 and those with low to moderate income. This drop in program will be offered every Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the exception of Monday, Feb. 20 when the library will be closed for Presidents Day. This service will continue through April 10.

New day and time for Teen Scene

We will be changing the day and time of our biweekly Teen Scene program. Instead of taking place every other Wednesday, we will host the program every Tuesday at 3 p.m. Teens and tweens are welcome to this free program where they will indulge their creativity, learn new skills and have fun with their peers.

Local talent and interests highlighted at the library

The Benjamin Branch display cases are bedazzled with collections from our friends, patrons and fellow staff members this February and March.

“Zelia’s Life with Barbie,” runs through Feb. 24. Zelia is a San Diego Public library clerk who works at the San Carlos Branch.

“I started collecting Barbies in 1991 when I received the Nigerian Barbie doll as a Christmas exchange gift,” she said. “My collection has grown to 100 dolls.”

Alas, we could not fit all 100 Barbies in our case, but we are happy that Zelia decided to share some gems from her collection. In March, we can all look forward to catching a glimpse of a Depression glass and vintage “Fun with Dick and Jane” books, not to mention an exhibit of historic San Diego and Vegas collectibles!

For our young patrons

On Feb. 23 at 10:30 a.m. we will be having a very special Library Lovers’ Story Time. Come join us in celebrating your place for information, reading and more with library-themed stories and crafts. Also, don’t forget to join us for our Baby & Toddler Story Time every Tuesday at 10 a.m., our regular Preschool Story Time Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. and Yoga Story Time the first and third Fridays of the month at 10 a.m.

Along with our great story times we have a number of other fun and interactive programs for children. On alternating weekends, we have our Science Saturday program where children get the opportunity to conduct their own science experiments and learn how science works. This program falls on the first and third Saturday of the month. On the second and fourth Saturdays, we have our Crafts for Children. Children get the chance to create their own works of art that they can take home and show off.

Until next month, see you at the library!

—Kathryn Johnson is the managing librarian for the Allied Gardens/Benjamin Branch Library. Reach her at

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