News from the Allied Gardens/Benjamin Branch Library — Dec. 16

By Kathryn Johnson

Looking back

This has been a wonderful year for the Allied Gardens/Benjamin Library. We have a new circulation desk, a new Teen Nook, and all of our materials have been tagged so we will be ready to go when our new self-check machine arrives! We have also had much success with the addition of baby/toddler story times on Tuesday mornings at 10 a.m. as well as our Saturday Science program which alternates with the Saturday Craft program.

It was a great pleasure getting out into the community and talking to regular library patrons while recruiting new library lovers. We were fortunate enough to attend a few of the Concert in the Park events, the Del Cerro Fall Festival, the GADS Harvest Fest and the Movie in the Park. Thanks to your input and feedback at these events we will be hosting additional story times and have more children’s programs on Saturdays.

Going forward

There are also a lot of exciting things on the horizon for 2017. We will have a Memoir Writing Workshop starting on Jan. 17 and continuing for the following five weeks on Tuesdays from 2 to 3:30 p.m. So, if you have a story inside you that you have always wanted to tell or ever wondered how to take your real-life experiences and craft them into a dynamic story, this is the workshop for you. Pre-registration is required so please call 619-533-3970 to sign up for this free opportunity.

For those of you who are thinking about making a New Year’s resolution to adapt a healthier lifestyle, and perhaps throw on a pair of overalls to become an urban farmer, we have the program series for you. In the first three months of the year, we will offer a Tuesday evening class each month to help you get on track to succeed in your goals:

  • New Years’ Resolutions: Jan. 10 at 6:30 p.m.

Learn ways to overcome the traditional New Year’s resolution pitfalls and be successful in making healthy changes in your life.

  • Healthy Living on a Budget: Feb. 14 at 6:30 p.m.

One of the most common reasons for not eating better is the cost, but you can eat, live, exercise and be healthy on a budget! Find out how in this exciting workshop.

  • Urban Farming: March 14 at 6:30 p.m.

Always wanted to be a farmer but weren’t sure where to start? This workshop will introduce many different topics, such as composting, water capture, vermicomposting, chickens/ducks, tilapia, gardening, and more. This class is intended to inspire the possibilities of options for your backyard farm ideas.

Meet the staff

As I mentioned in a previous article, we are very fortunate to have some new staff members at the branch. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce our new half-time library assistant and a long-time library clerk.

Linda has been with San Diego Public Library for 18 years and has worked at the Allied Gardens/Benjamin library for the last six years. She is a full-time library clerk who enjoys working in the library and with her co-workers. She describes her relationship with fellow staff as “a small family who are always joking around but we still care about each other.” She also loves the library patrons and says, “they are the greatest group of people.” When she is not at work, she enjoys cooking, reading, hiking and, her favorite, road trips. Currently, she is having a great time redecorating her boyfriend’s entire house.

Suzanne has been with the San Diego Public Library for just a few months as a library assistant. Even though she’s a newbie behind the desk, she is a long-time patron of our branch. In fact, this is the branch she used as a child and states that “it seemed so much bigger back then.” Suzanne enjoys working with our youngest patrons. She actually started her time with the library back in 2014 as a story time volunteer and is thrilled to be a member of the staff. She has two daughters in elementary school so she is quite busy outside of the library. In her spare time she loves reading, yoga, going to thrift stores and browsing Pinterest.

Please be sure to visit over the holiday season as we will be open for business on our regular days, with the exception of Monday, Dec. 26 and Monday, Jan. 2.

Happy holidays and I look forward to seeing you at the library!

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

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