Featured LIFE

Scripps Miramar Ranch Library opened 30 years ago

The Scripps Miramar Ranch Library staff includes (top row, from left) Jeff Lash, Melissa Barbour, Lexi Calienta, Becky Gleason, Gina Aragones, Riley Apon, Ann Marie Pilapil, Ashu Agarwal, (bottom row, from left) Ally Nguyen, Matt Beatty and Luis De la Cruz. (courtesy photo)

Scripps Miramar Ranch Library opened 30 years ago

The Scripps Miramar Ranch Library first opened its doors to the public on March 13, 1993, at its permanent location, 10301 Scripps Lake Drive.

Thanks to architect Richard Bundy, the structure has an abundance of nooks and angles that keep it appealing. The building also contains fascinating details with an assortment of stained glass creations by artist Richard Spaulding and a few remnants of the old Meanley house melded into the interior.

“The original idea of the library is that we have this huge view of the nature beyond. Of course, a lot of the area has been developed since then, but we still have beautiful sunsets from the back of the library, especially near where the children’s story time area is,” said Matt Beatty, library branch manager.

“The library was built in the mission revival style – after the Meanley house, which stood right behind the wall next to the library. A lot of the things in the library are taken from that,” Beatty said. “We have the original doors from the Meanley house … We have French doors that were on their patio – and we have them as dividers throughout the library.”

The library was built with several “firsts” for a city branch library in San Diego. It has the first permanent public art works in a San Diego branch library. It had the first computer lab in a city library. It has the first large community room. It’s the first city branch library to have a permanent used bookstore, Grace’s Book Nook. The Scripps Miramar Ranch Library has the largest and nicest community room of all branch libraries in San Diego. In addition, the Scripps Miramar Ranch Library offers an assortment of programs and activities.

The library displays several historic photos of the Scripps and Meanley families and their homes in early Scripps Ranch. Today, the library also looks to the future, with the upcoming addition of an IDEA Lab maker space, offering modern technology for public use.

The Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library (SRFOL) organization has been instrumental in fundraising and planning events for the library. 

Joan Reese, the SRFOL spokesperson, explained that when the library was being planned, members of the SRFOL and the Scripps Ranch Civic Association began fundraising efforts to add a few extras. The community fundraising helped ensure the library had a seminar room, an outdoor courtyard, a community room, a smaller meeting room and the used bookstore. Sales from the bookstore are used to raise funds for SRFOL projects.

While the library’s anniversary will be celebrated, there are repairs that need to be addressed, Reese said.

“I’ve always thought of it as our beautiful new library even though there have been issues for quite a few years related to a lack of attention due to deferred maintenance type of stuff,” she said.

The carpeting in the main part of the library is the original carpeting and needs to be replaced. But it cannot be replaced until the leaking fire suppression system is repaired. In addition, the roof began leaking in mid-January, Reese said. The parking lot is due to be expanded.

Reese said she hopes all the repairs can be done around the same time, and that the SRFOL will be pushing the City for a library maintenance budget during the upcoming budget cycle.  

Input wanted: A new Library Master Plan is in the process of being developed, and the public’s input is needed. Complete this online survey if you would like to provide views about the future of the library: bit.ly/3xmZbaC.

The SRFOL is also planning a community-wide celebratory event later this year. Learn more details about the library in the March edition of Scripps Ranch News.

Matt Beatty, Scripps Miramar Ranch Library branch manager, relaxes in the library’s outside courtyard. (photo by John Gregory)