Libraries in San Diego have been around since the late 1800s, but it’s safe to say they’ve evolved quite a bit since then. Nowadays, these brilliant libraries offer much more than just an impressive collection of good books to read. Visitors can rent DVDs, surf the web on a computer or tablet and even enjoy a host of fun-filled community events including intimate concerts inside their local library. Needless to say, just like the captivating books they house, there’s much more to these libraries than what’s on the cover.
Looking to bring the reading experience up to the 21st century? Many of the city’s best libraries have all sorts of ultramodern gadgets and state-of-the-art devices on hand. From e-books to audio books, there’s seemingly nothing these peaceful hideouts don’t have. So, whether you’re looking to curl up with a good book or take advantage of their many facilities, these brilliant libraries in San Diego are definitely worth a visit.
1. Rancho Bernardo Library, Rancho Bernardo
Not only does Rancho Bernardo Library have a whole host of fictional novels, history books and biographies to read, but it also hosts its fair share of conferences and even live music concerts, too. The original building was constructed in 1978, but to meet the demand of the ever-growing population, the library was renovated and later reopened in 1996.
The library we know and love today is now home to high-tech gadgets including computers and tablets for the public to use free of charge. Looking for a quick flick to enjoy that isn’t on Netflix? Rancho Bernardo Library also boasts an impressive catalog of DVDs to borrow, so you can get lost in the magic of a movie if you’re a little tired from all the reading.
📍 17110 Bernardo Center Dr, San Diego, CA 92128
2. Oak Park Library, Redwood Village
Founded as a popular bookmobile stop in the 1950s, Oak Park Library was transformed in 1969 into the library that stands proud on 54th Street today. One of the most impressive features of this library is its vast language collection. Located in the Main Library Children’s Services area, the collection includes movies, study guides and grammar books in almost every language you can think of. Aside from topping up on the vocab of your foreign tongue, you can enjoy a range of entertaining events here, too. Why not watch one of their excellent fashion shows where locals show off their outlandish outfits and somewhat questionable fashion statements?
📍2802 54th St, San Diego, CA 92105
3. Carmel Mountain Ranch Library, Carmel Mountain Ranch
Opened in 1997, Carmel Mountain Ranch Library is a great destination for the studyholics who are looking for a bit of peace and quiet. With large glass windows encasing the facility, the library lets in loads of natural light, so students can prepare for an important exam without feeling like they’re trapped inside a gloomy dungeon. From spooky mystery novels to a brilliant collection of short stories, their catalog contains over 5.3 million books, and the tech savvy readers among us are welcome to make use of the e-books and audio-visual materials available here.
📍12095 World Trade Dr, San Diego, CA 92128
4. University Heights Library, University Heights
Looking for a bit of history while foraging for a book to immerse yourself in? Built in 1916, University Heights Library is one of the oldest libraries in San Diego. The building is pretty small, but don’t be fooled by its size. The library is actually a major advocate for diversity and equality for residents in the local community. Expect to find books on all things queer including biographies and memoirs by LGBTQ+ activists such as Harvey Milk and Marsha P Johnson. The library also hosts a monthly Gay Men’s Book Club where readers get the chance to discuss a host of topics including gay culture in the US and the history of the queer movement.
📍4193 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92103
5. University Community Library, University City
Aptly named, University Community Library was opened in 1978 fueled with the mission to serve the local community. With a huge range of novels aimed at young adults, it goes without saying that teens will probably feel right at home here. Comics, fantasy novels, adventure books and more are all just waiting to be read. There’s also a video game club where gamers in the community come together to enjoy a bit of healthy competition while playing their favorite video games. Looking for a functional space to host a conference or large meeting? This place has one that can hold up to 66 people, so its a great option for any big event.
📍4155 Governor Dr, San Diego, CA 92122
6. Skyline Hills Library, Skyline Hills
With first-class facilities and a contemporary interior, Skyline Hills Library is bringing San Diego’s library scene right into the 21st century. Cutting-edge gadgets and impressive amenities including a snazzy computer lab are available to be used completely free of charge. What’s more, the large events space that sits inside the library makes for the perfect setting for community events including book readings and live music performances. In terms of books, this reader’s haven has it all. Fiction, non-fiction, thrillers, romantic novels, autobiographies and much more can be found packed on the bookshelves here.
📍7900 Paradise Valley Rd, San Diego, CA 92139