20 years of community + innovation

In 2022, the Library Foundation celebrates 20 years of bringing together funding and partnerships to help the San Diego Public Library continue its evolution from simply providing books into a bold network that our community relies on to learn new skills, pursue lifelong ambitions, and achieve a better life.

The San Diego Public Library Foundation was created in 2002 when a group of motivated and concerned community leaders joined to focus their energy and attention on providing private support to build an outstanding library system in San Diego.

Since then, the Foundation has raised more than $160 million in private funds to advocate on behalf of the library and to augment and support library programs, collections, expansion, and services. 

Foundation support has been central to:

  • Completing the Central Library @ Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common,
  • Building six new library branches and improving existing branches,
  • Expanding collections throughout the system,
  • Developing a new Library Master Plan that will guide library planning and investments for decades to come,
  • Enhancing crucial programs such as the Summer Reading Program,
  • Establishing new programs, such as Library NExT and Career Online High School,
  • Leading library advocacy efforts to successfully fight proposed budget cuts and branch closures and earn new city investments in programs and materials, 
  • Working with the Friends of the Library to meet city Matching Fund goals for 18 consecutive years.