By SHAIN HAUG
The restrictions imposed by the pandemic denied us the opportunity to give Kathryn Johnson our good wishes and thanks for a job well done when she left us for new challenges. But we won’t let COVID-19 get in the way of greeting Ann Gomez as she comes to our community and takes over management of Benjamin Library.
Ann Gomez is from Brooklyn where early in her life she became enamored with books. Later when she was employed at B. Daltons she became equally and deeply attached to those who loved books. Her great joy was helping a customer who might describe a book with a description such as “It had a blue cover and it and the author had a funny name,” or “I read about the book in the Times Book Review a couple of weeks ago and it was set during a war.” The game was afoot and the search was on.
She left the book store to become a paralegal but the call of literature was too great to ignore. She missed the books. She missed the opportunities to bring the joy of reading to the public. She returned to study at C.W. Post College in Long Island, New York, she earned a Master of Arts in Library Science, and in 2006 she began her career as a librarian in New York.
In 2014, Ann and her husband moved to San Diego to join their two daughters, and now four grandchildren, and continued her passion. She took over the Balboa Library that serves Clairemont, Clairemont Mesa East and Kearny Mesa. She formed a strong bond with those communities, but the time came to move on and to bring the same joy and enthusiasm to Allied Gardens.
Her immediate goals are to refresh the space, to adjust the library to meet the needs of the community in these difficult times, to begin the incremental opening of the library, and to ensure that she and her staff will remain a vibrant source of community support. She wants to strengthen the on-line book ordering and pick up service that will allow us to continue to use the library even in the worst of times.
In that regard, you can order books for your children by designating the field of interest or topics and the library will bundle books that meet those unique needs. And your kids will receive a bags of crafts that the staff has prepared for their enjoyment and occupation while you are trying to catch up with real life after a day of Zoom. But as the late night commercial always tells us, “But wait, there is more!” Stay tuned.
As much as anything else, Ann wants to get to know us, to find out about what is special about our community, to learn what we need from the library, and to talk about how our talents can make Benjamin Library a leader in community resources.
So welcome Ann Gomez. We are so glad you are here to continue the great traditions of our library. And folks, if you really want to welcome her to Allied Gardens and Grantville tell her you want to talk to her about her favorite book, “A Prayer for Owen Meany” by John Irving. Or that you need a copy of “Love that Dog” by Sharon Creech. You just might get out by closing time.
The May 25 Allied Gardens/Grantville Community Council (AGGCC)Town Hall Meeting will be directed to the work of San Diego Canyonlands. We want this meeting to be our next and further step in our community’s investment in Navajo Canyon. We can learn so much from them. View their May 2021 newsletter at tinyurl.com/5bwsv37k to inspire you to join us in this effort.
Use the “Contact Us” page at aggccouncil.org to get on the AGGCC email contact list, to receive notices of the activities of our Community Council and the Navajo Community Planning Group, Inc. Our next board meeting will be on Monday, June 7 at 6:30 p.m. by Zoom. Join us.
— Shain Haug is president of the Allied Gardens/Grantville Community Council.