Scripps Miramar Ranch Library

The History of the Scripps Miramar Ranch Library & The Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library

March 1972

  • The library bookmobile starts making weekly stops in Scripps Ranch at Scripps Ranch Blvd. and Red Rock Drive, near the elementary school.
Bookmobiles used by the San Diego City Library in the 1960s
Bookmobiles used by the San Diego City Library in the 1960s.

February 1973

  • Scripps Ranch Civic Affairs Committee push for a night stop by the bookmobile in addition to the regular Friday morning stop since University City and Penasquitos are getting branch libraries.

1974

  • The San Diego Public Library’s bookmobile comes to the corner of Ironwood Road and Scripps Ranch Blvd across the street from the first temporary school. Residents can order any book in the San Diego library system and have it delivered to the bookmobile.The City’s last bookmobile is a $37,000 vehicle bought in December 1973 and, when fully loaded with about 4,000 books, weighs nearly 13 tons.

March 4, 1980

  • The City Council adopts the Miramar Ranch North Community Plan, which allows for 4,100 homes to be constructed in Miramar Ranch North, including development on the hills above Lake Miramar.The Planning Area includes two light-industrial parks, two commercial areas, two elementary schools, and two neighborhood parks.The plan also provides for the development of, and shared use of, secondary school facilities, a community park, a library, and a fire station.

1981

  • Scripps Ranch has been loyally served by the bookmobile for seven years, which came once a week. When Scripps Ranch registers the greatest use of any bookmobile in San Diego, an additional day of service is added.

1986

  • The Meanley estate is declared a historical site in the Scripps Ranch Community Plan. The Friends of the Library, led by Karen Kissane, are permitted to remove items of historical significance and usable materials appropriate for furnishing the permanent community library scheduled to be completed by 1991 on the site of the Meanley House.

April 17, 1986

  • Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library holds its first meeting at the French Gourmet restaurant on Carroll Canyon. The lease for the storefront library is almost complete. 

    The bookmobile has extended its hours until the storefront library opens. The storefront library is to be located at 10635 Scripps Ranch Blvd. and have about 20,000 volumes.

July 4, 1986

Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library walked in the Fourth of July parade as their favorite storybook characters, 1986

  • For the first time, the annual Fourth of July festivities include a fun bike ride sponsored by the Scripps Ranch Old Pros in conjunction with their 10K Run. The ride is set at distances of 12 and 45 miles. In addition, “library spirit overtook the Ranch! The Fourth of July saw children dressed as their favorite storybook characters marching in the parade under a library banner.”
  • After the 1986 Fourth of July parade, the SRFOL holds its first post-parade book sale in Hoyt Park as a fundraiser for the upcoming storefront library.

Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library book sale, 1986

September 1986

  • Nancy Corbin Assaf becomes the chief librarian for the Scripps Ranch branch. She remains in that position until her retirement in 2006.

October 11, 1986

Scripps Ranch library grand opening ceremony, 1986
Councilman Ed Struiksma speaking at the library grand opening ceremony. Nancy Assaf, who had just started as the librarian for the Scripps Ranch library is in the red sweater.
  • Scripps Ranch storefront library opens and the services of the bookmobile are terminated. Susan Roberts, the hard-working president of the Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library, is the first winner of the Perpetual Award Trophy for Service to the Library as a result of her remarkable job in getting the storefront library up and running in eight months.
Susan Roberts at Scripps Ranch library grand opening ceremony, 1986
Susan Roberts, the first Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library President, holding up a celebratory T-shirt for the library opening.
Brownie Troop conducting flag ceremony at Scripps Ranch library grand opening, 1986
Brownie Troop conducting flag ceremony at Scripps Ranch library grand opening.
  • The 4,630 square foot library opens with great fanfare, with a wine and cheese preview on the previous day. A balloon release is the finale at the grand opening ceremony for the Scripps Ranch storefront Library. Soon the library will host lectures, children’s programs and concerts on the rug.
Balloon release, Scripps Ranch library grand opening, 1986
A balloon release finale at the Scripps Ranch library grand opening.

November 1986

  • The Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library publish their first newsletter.

First issue of the Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library newsletter, 1986

August 16, 1987

  • The Meanley Family makes a donation for the new Scripps Ranch library “in memory of William A. Meanley and his parents, Nackey S. Meanley and Thomas M. Meanley, Co-Founders of Meanley and Son Hardware, Inc., La Jolla.”

    The cover letter addressed to Karen Kissane states, “your attempts to put together a library for Scripps Ranch to include the Scripps Meanley memorabilia, sounds like a worthwhile project. Since the Hardware Store is the outgrowth of a T.M. Meanley dream, we, the family of William A. Meanley, his son, would like to show our support at this time. Relative to the events that preceded this land allocation for the library, your work as it has unfolded in such a natural way, is probably the way in which it was intended, in order to bring about the harmony and purpose for this project. Many thanks.”

August 29, 1987

  • Friends of the Library holds the Southwest Serenade, a special fundraising gala, at the Meanley House, the future site of the permanent Scripps Ranch Library.

October 1987

  • Southwest Cable TV presents the Southwestern Salutes award to the Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library (SRFOL) and Karen Kissane, the chairperson of SRFOL’s first major fundraiser (which collected nearly $15,000 for construction of the permanent library) in recognition of their commitment to their community.At the ceremony, Councilman Ed Struiksma notes that the SRFOL was instrumental in getting an interim library situated in Scripps Ranch years ahead of schedule and that with 250 members, the Scripps Ranch FOL is “by far, the most active and successful Friends of the Library organization in this city, especially considering that they were established just one year ago.”

February 1988

  • The Meanley home is razed to make room for the new library and property development.

July 4, 1989

"Mazie the Loch Miramar Monster," the Fourth of July parade float entry built by the Slavicek family for the Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library, 1989

  • “Mazie the Loch Miramar Monster” is built as a Fourth of July parade float entry by the Slavicek family for the Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library.

November 1989

  • Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library launches a fundraising drive to raise $250,000 for the construction of the new permanent library.

January 27, 1990

Children's program at Scripps Ranch library, 1989
Children’s program at Scripps Ranch library, 1989.
  • Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library sponsors the first annual HodgePodge Arts and Crafts for the Kids where young children create “keep-able” art projects. Victoria Mazelli chairs the program.
In 1992, Richard Spaulding volunteered his time at HodgePodge to help kids make Italian stained glass crafts
Richard Spaulding volunteers his time at HodgePodge to help kids make Italian stained glass crafts, 1992.

April 15, 1991

  • City Council approves the plans for the 20,000 square foot library to be built in Scripps Ranch.

May 1991

Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library accepted a large donation from McMillin for the Scripps Ranch library community center
Susan Roberts, SRFOL President, and Walter Heiberg, McMillin Communities, during the presentation of a $2 million donation to the City by McMillin to help finance the construction of the library’s community center.
  • With the final passage of the Miramar Ranch North community development agreement, McMillin-BCED/Miramar Ranch North Partnership gives an additional $2 million, which along with the contributions of other Miramar Ranch North developers, helps to finance construction of the library’s community center.Funding provided by the City is not sufficient to cover the cost of the community center that is attached to the library.In recognition of the Miramar Ranch North contribution to the project, the library will be known as the Scripps Miramar Ranch Library.

May 19, 1991

  • The First Annual Ride Around the Lake to benefit the new Scripps Ranch Library is held.

Summer 1991

  • The founding members of the Scripps Ranch Music Club answer a call for “serious music lovers who would enjoy performing for others in the nonjudgmental setting of a Scripps Ranch home” and meet in the home of Bob and Marianne Paul.The initial members include Russ Schaefer, Miriam Cole, Dorothea Kramer Elaine Neuss, and Bob and Marianne Paul. The club performs at the Scripps Ranch library, nursing homes and other venues around the county.
  • While the City and the community are planning the new Scripps Ranch library, the community continues to put the storefront library to good use. Percussionist John Szanto of the San Diego Symphony puts on a children’s program during Summer 1991.

John Szanto of the San Diego Symphony leading Scripps Ranch library children's program, 1991

September 15, 1991

  • A groundbreaking ceremony is held for the Scripps Miramar Ranch Library.
Tom Meanley, Jr. and Susan Roberts, Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library President, during library groundbreaking ceremony, 1991
Tom Meanley, Jr. and Susan Roberts, Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library President, during library groundbreaking ceremony.
Flag ceremony during Scripps Ranch library groundbreaking ceremony, 1991.
Flag ceremony during library groundbreaking ceremony.

Groundbreaking ceremony for Scripps Ranch library, 1991

Mariachi band at groundbreaking ceremony for Scripps Ranch library, 1991

Young boy at groundbreaking ceremony for Scripps Ranch library, 1991

1992

  • Richard Spaulding is commissioned to design and create 11 stained glass works for the new Scripps Ranch library. This body of work is made up of three traditional decorative glass works, Terra Triptych, seven contemporary abstract landscape works, Geomancy Series, and a window for the Children’s library titled Mixtec Menagerie.

Richard Spaulding commissioned to design and create stained glass works for the Scripps Ranch library

  • The decorative works are images derived from the local environment. The omnipresent eucalyptus trees were the first reference, with leaves weaving a lattice border to the medallion of a eucalyptus tree form in positive and negative design.The Water window pictures a dam and reservoir with red ridges and hills, rather like how the terrain was before massive development.

    The final window of the series is the Rock window. This imagery is drawn from the desert environment near San Diego and is meticulously depicted in various glass working techniques.

  • Construction of the Scripps Ranch library is in full force.

Construction of Scripps Ranch library, 1992

Interior construction of Scripps Ranch library, 1992

Exterior construction of Scripps Ranch library, 1992

May 1992

  • The Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library holds a fundraiser downtown called the “Gatsby Gala” to raise money to help construct the library. Through the years, the Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library is instrumental in raising funds to build a permanent library in Scripps Ranch.

The Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library Gatsby Gala, 1992

February 1993

  • A “book brigade” tries passing the books hand to hand from the storefront library to the new library building. Light rain doesn’t dampen spirits until a deluge descends. Book-passers all run for cover and stay on for cake and punch under the portico.

March 12, 1993

  • The night before the library opens to the public, the Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library hold a slumber party in the library.

The night before the library opened to the public, the Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library held a slumber party in the library, 1993

March 13, 1993

  • The 22,000 square foot Scripps Miramar Ranch Library Center opens. It was designed by Architect Richard Bundy of Bradshaw/Bundy and Associates, as a contemporary interpretation of the Mission Revival style of architecture, echoing the Meanley house’s Mission Revival style.A thousand celebrants are welcomed by the new Friends of the Library president, Susan Howe, and councilman Tom Behr, who cut the ribbon and mandate that “children go first.”

Councilman Tom Behr at Scripps Ranch library grand opening ceremony, 1993

  • Artifacts from the original Meanley home have been incorporated into the building. The home’s original front doors are now located between the Children’s Area and the Reference Area. Windows from the original home are used as freestanding dividers throughout the library.Windows from the Meanley home have been used as doors on built-in bookcases throughout the library. The central courtyard of the library echoes the courtyard of the Meanley home.

    A central feature of the Meanley home was a fountain, whose presence is reflected in the library’s courtyard fountain.

    Head Librarian Nancy Assaf and a steering committee take the best of what existing libraries offer and put them together with innovations such as a library bookstore directed by Grace Roos, a computer lab set up and staffed with volunteers headed by Jerry Weil, the centralized organization of children’s materials, the preponderance of book stacks, the presence of individual study carrels, the 5,000 square foot community room with state-of-the-art kitchen, and the unique art glass windows created by Richard Spaulding.

    “Mixtec Menagerie,” a glass work by Richard Spaulding, is displayed in the Scripps Ranch Library and considered a Public Art Feature by the City of San Diego. Mixtec Menagerie is a collection of animal designs in the style of the Mixteca people of Central Mexico and is inspired by a publication of the Mixtec Codex.

July 28, 1993

  • Due to the foresight and hard work of the Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library (and in particular, Katie Sullivan and Jerry Weil), the library dedicates the Ellen Browning Scripps Computer Room at the Library and becomes the first library in the city to have a computer room with state-of-the-art computer equipment and access to other terminals.

September 15, 1993

  • The Scripps Miramar Ranch Library Center inaugurates The Pleasure of Your Company, a monthly series of free chamber music concerts dedicated to the joys of making and sharing music for small ensembles.The first concert begins with vocal duets by sopranos Florence Blumbert and Cheryl Brown, a Scripps Ranch resident, and accompanied by pianist and Scripps Ranch resident, Myron Fink.

    The library’s piano, a concert grand Schimmel, was selected after a committee headed by Arnold Gass and Nancy Assaf spent a year searching for the best piano.

Classical pianist, Dimitri Kilichenko, performing at the library, circa 2000s

June 14, 1994

  • The monthly meeting of the SRCA is the first meeting to be held under the new citywide “no fee” policy for community groups recognized by the city to meet in a library center.This new policy is the culmination of a yearlong effort by Luis Herrera of the Library Department and Bob Dingeman. The SRCA provides $625 to fund a new security system, which preserves the security of the library while eliminating the need for library personnel to be present at overtime costs.

August 2004

  • The San Diego Public Library recognizes the Scripps Miramar Ranch Branch Library staff as “Team of the Year.” In the aftermath of the Cedar fire, the library staff reached out to victims, made meeting rooms available to them on a large scale, and assembled relevant reference books.

September 30, 2006

  • A gala reception is held in the Scripps Ranch Library community room to celebrate Nancy Assaf’s 20th anniversary as the Scripps Ranch librarian.

July 21, 2007

  • The library’s Book Nook reopens after a complete remodeling and is renamed “Grace’s Book Nook,” in honor of Grace Roos, the first long-term manager of the Book Nook. 

    Grace Roos organized used book sales when the library was just a storefront. The Book Nook raised nearly $175,000 since the library opened, all of which benefited the library.

August 30, 2008

  • Community icon, Nancy Corbin Assaf, retires after roughly 22 years as the Head Librarian of the Scripps Ranch Library.