Only a year old, the Lemon Grove Library has a long history

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School Lane sounds like a fictitious place in a children’s book or daytime television show for young viewers. They have historic buildings with bells and a steeple, and peaceful, productive learning happens there under the magic spell of good will.

School Lane sounds like a fictitious place in a children’s book or daytime television show for young viewers. They have historic buildings with bells and a steeple, and peaceful, productive learning happens there under the magic spell of good will.

Does School Lane exist apart from imagination or fiction? It does in Lemon Grove, as that is where the first Lemon Grove pioneers built a schoolhouse (with a bell, now referred to as Mrs. Bell, preserved by the LGHS) and where the Lemon Grove Library now shares its site with a school. It is a place where history meets the future in a cutting edge facility that just had its first anniversary, with no shortage of magic or good will.

 The first anniversary of the Lemon Grove Library was a very big deal in the city it is named for, and a long time coming. A grand vision of passed on master planners and philanthropists, many forces in the city of Lemon Grove came together to make the library materialize and make it the cultural, social and academic center that it is. 

Those forces and their representatives were present at the celebration on June 14. Speakers included Lemon Grove School Superintendent Ernest Anastos, San Diego County Library Director Jose Aponte, and Lemon Grove Historical Society President Helen Ofield.

“There are only two county libraries in the county on the same campus with middle schools. We’ve developed an amazing partnership with teachers and nutrition services. The sky is the limit,” said Branch Manager Amanda Heller.

“It was a master stroke to build this library on a school campus,” said Ofield, in reference to the Lemon Grove Academy for the Sciences and Humanities that shares it’s site with the library. Voters approved Prop W in 2008, making the joint venture between school and library possible.

The library may be linked to a school, but it’s 14,000 square feet accommodate people of all ages from the time the doors open at 9:30 a.m. until close, Monday through Saturday.

This place is comfortable for anyone who enters it. There are 1,175 kids on this block between two schools.

“They drift in because that’s the way things should be. It’s such a beautiful network, thanks to the city,” said Anastos.

He credited multiple organizations and entities working together to make the library far-reaching and meaningful to its community—the school district, the city, the County Library and the community.

Aponte was particularly proud of the branch, “I’m a father, and this is my child’s first birthday,” he said. 

Families made crafts, birthday cake was enjoyed, and music was played — all the makings of a happy anniversary. But an anniversary is just one day. With all of the perks and benefits offered by the Lemon Grove Library, there are gifts waiting to be unwrapped and enjoyed every day of the year.

Among these are films, crafts, art exhibits and classes, book clubs, lectures, programs for young people, public use computer and meeting rooms, a Teen Lounge, citizenship classes and even genealogy courses. Story time for children is one of the major draws of the library, and the young adult book section could keep the most knowledgeable fandom busy.

 “San Diego County Library is the fourth busiest library in the country in terms of programming,” said Aponte.

An average of 130 programs are offered at the Lemon Grove branch per month.

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