President's Message

December 13, 2022

As we head into the holidays and the end of the calendar year, it is time for me to update everyone on the Friends’ and the library’s activities.

Friends’ Activities

  • Earlier this year, the La Mesa City Council hired a consultant with the expertise to present feasible options for providing a larger and more functional library building. That consultant is now meeting with city and library staff. As part of the process, the consultant will survey city residents to gauge your opinions of the library and its needs. This survey was expanded to also ask about other parks and recreation needs. If you should be contacted by the consultant, please respond to the survey!

    Some of the needs this study hopes to address are:

    • A community room for larger-scale programing and activities that might otherwise disturb other library users

    • Study and meeting rooms for individuals and small groups

    • A more secluded Children’s Area so they can be themselves without disturbing other users

    • Additional staff and Friends’ administrative spaces to process all the books and materials that flow through our library

    • An outside space so library users can take advantage of our wonderful climate

  • Our annual General Membership meeting was held on Saturday, August 6th, at which time the following officers and board members were elected for two-year terms:

    • President – John Schmitz

    • Vice President – Robin Theilmann

    • Secretary – Marilyn Adams

    • Treasurer – Bob Thatcher

    • Membership – Joyce Purcell

    • Publicity – Joseph Miesner

    • IT – Justin Walker

    We welcome newcomers Joseph and Marilyn to the Board and thank retiring Bonnie Baranoff and Jonathan Lange for their years of service to the Friends.

  • Thanks to a generous donation from an anonymous donor, the Friends and the library staff are going to reactivate an old program of bringing La Mesa elementary schoolchildren on a field trip to the library and the civic center. This was done over ten years ago but ended when the cost of renting buses became prohibitive. We think this will be an informative activity for the third-graders.

  • Our bookstore continues to be our most consistent source of revenue, thanks to Robin Theilman and her wonderful volunteers. If you would like to help with the bookstore, please leave your contact information with an attendant or a library staff member.

  • Your support keeps us running! Please become a member or renew your Friends of the La Mesa Library membership today. (

Library Operations

As we all recover from the COVID pandemic, the library is now open 7 days a week and is gradually bringing back programs and activities. La Mesa Library serves people of all ages with things like:

  • A new, live online tutoring service, HelpNow, as well as in-person Math tutoring, available by appointment Mondays & Wednesdays

  • Such beloved programs as Chair Yoga, Teen Book Club, and Family Storytimes and other well-attended special events

  • A Ballot Drop Box during elections

  • Providing computers, printers, free public Wi-Fi, and space for teleworkers and homeschoolers alike

Our branch has had some notable changes in staff this year, starting with new Head Librarian Cassie Koldewyn. Many of the staff are still familiar faces but some newcomers appear as the County Library system adjusts to transfers, promotions, and departures. Stop by and say hello.

The library staff is also trying to do more outreach in La Mesa. In addition to working with the City on the Library Study and La Mesa-Spring Valley School District on the Civic Center visit, they are looking for ways to advise and coordinate with other community groups. If you have any suggestions for a group the library or the Friends can reach out to, please feel to provide contact information to the staff or with a bookstore attendant.

­John Schmitz, President