By Karen Reilly
Summer is approaching, and we are gearing up for our annual summer reading program starting June 1. What is summer reading? It’s a chance for everyone — babies through adults — to come to the library for fun events, great reads (plus movies, music, and e-materials), and the chance to win books and other prizes. Our theme this year is “Reading Takes You Everywhere,” which celebrates the incredible places people go when they crack open a book. Summer reading runs from June 1 to Aug. 1 at all San Diego Public Library locations.
If you can’t make it in for the opening day of the summer reading program, don’t worry. You can register online at sandiego.gov/summerreading, and challenge yourself and your family to either read 10 books or read for 10 hours. No summer reading program would be complete without prizes, and this year those include a book bag with food coupons (kids get museum and San Diego Zoo and Safari Park coupons, too) and a free book of your choice. Every 10 books — or 10 hours — also gets you an entry into our raffle for gift cards to the Library Shop, the gift shop at the Central Library. The store features an eclectic and well-curated offering of fun toys, jewelry and accessories, home décor, and (of course!) books.
The Mission Valley Library will host a kick-off event on Saturday, June 2, at 10:30 a.m., with an incredible family magic show. Then, every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. through July 26, you’ll find fun children’s programs related to music, dance, science, and animals. For a full lineup of our programs, visit our online calendar sandiego.librarymarket.com or check out our Facebook page at facebook.com/missionvalleylibrary.
If you have driven by the library recently — or read the article in this very newspaper — you know that the city of San Diego is in the process of installing solar panels in our parking lot. Why? The short answer is because the panels will provide 80 percent of the power needed to run our building, and save the city $28,000 a year in electricity costs. The longer answer is because the city is taking the lead in implementing our Climate Action Plan, which calls for all electricity used in the city of San Diego to come from renewable sources by 2035. That’s a pretty tall order, and explains why solar panels have been sprouting up at city buildings all around San Diego.
Why is the city going to all this trouble? Because in 2005, then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an executive order mandating that by 2050, greenhouse gas emissions in California be 80 percent below what they were in 1990. Once that goal was set, the Assembly decreed that greenhouse gas emissions be back at 1990 levels by 2020, and in 2015 Governor Jerry Brown signed a new executive order decreeing that California needs to be 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
These are ambitious goals, and the state has enlisted local governments like the city of San Diego to help get us there. The city developed its own Climate Action Plan to both meet the goals of the state, and try to benefit San Diego’s economy, save taxpayer money, and improve our quality of life at the same time.
Cars, trucks and airplanes are the city’s most notorious polluters, but electricity generation creates 24 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in San Diego. Every new solar panel helps us decrease emissions. The panels will not only save the city $28,000 a year in electricity costs, but the construction cost of the entire project is born by the solar company. Construction is being handled by Southern California companies Helix Renewables and Horizon Underground, both of which support local green jobs. Once the canopies are up, two-thirds of our parking lot will be shaded, which will make your car much more pleasant to get back into after a visit to the library. And yes, we will be replacing the trees removed for this project.
Try the trolley
In the meantime, to help with the loss of parking spaces during this project, our neighbors at Sudberry Properties’ Fenton Marketplace have very kindly offered to host your car in their parking lot during our summer reading program events. We would also encourage you to take the trolley to the Mission Valley Branch Library! The Fenton Parkway stop is the closest to the Mission Valley Library, and using public transit will also help the city reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
— Karen Reilly is managing librarian for the Mission Valley Branch Library. Reach her at KReilly@sandiego.gov.