In the Media January 3, 2024

Opinion: San Diego libraries are suffering from years of neglect. This plan helps carve a new path.

By Raul Campillo and Patrick Stewart (The San Diego Union-Tribune)

On Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022 at the San Diego Central Library, Joe Brady stood at his favorite desk located near the large library window with a view of the Coronado Bay Bridge.

In November, the City Council approved a new Library Master Plan that provides a blueprint for alleviating many of the issues that plague the library system.

Campillo is a San Diego City Council member representing District 7 and lives in Del Cerro. Stewart is the CEO of Library Foundation SD and lives in San Diego.

Throughout history, libraries have been a space for communities to gather, share knowledge and discover all the things that make us human — from art to cultural wisdom. The same is true of our libraries today. The ones right here, in our own San Diego.

Libraries are an investment guaranteed to pay dividends into our collective future as a city and as a community. Investment in our libraries are a value statement about what we believe is important and about the tools we hope to provide our children as they seek lives of independence in a civic-minded democracy.

This makes it all the more disheartening when considering the decades of neglect and disinvestment San Diego’s libraries have suffered, which has resulted in branches falling into disrepair and a library system that is struggling to keep up with the changing needs of the communities that it serves.

We can now fix that.