La Mesa Friends of the Library

About the La Mesa Library

The La Mesa Library is part of the San Diego County Library system. The City of La Mesa owns the land and the building that the library occupies, while the County of San Diego operates the library. This cooperative relationship between the City and the County has served the community well over the years by drawing on resources from both public agencies.

The County of San Diego budgets for a basic level of staffing and service to all of the libraries in its system. In addition, the County often has matching funds that can match, dollar for dollar, any locally generated financial contributions for additional materials or supplies.

The La Mesa library is one of the most active branches in the 33 branch County library system. The funds raised by the Friends of the La Mesa Library go a long way toward providing the materials that patrons of the La Mesa library have long enjoyed.

Some of our Volunteers

Volunteers in Action

For Minutes and Statements see Friends Meetings page

For Rare and Collectible Books see our Vintage Books page

And for Older Books visit our Older Books page

Want to see our Bord members and President Message? Check out the Board Member Page


President's Message

May 1, 2016

Thank you for taking the time to visit our web site and to look for information about the Friends of the La Mesa Library. The first thing you should know is that the Friends of the La Mesa Library, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation (Tax ID # 33-0638967). All dues and donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

I am writing this in the midst of a heated general election season on the national level, but there is an important issue here in La Mesa that I want to bring to your attention: What should the central part of La Mesa look like in the years ahead? The City of La Mesa is putting the finishing touches on improvements to the downtown village streets and has begun looking at the options for changes to the Civic Center block bounded by Allison Avenue, Spring Street and University Avenue. Should the Kitzman property (at the corner of El Cajon Blvd. and Baltimore Dr.) come back with a new redevelopment proposal, the central part of La Mesa could look significantly different five to ten years from now.

The goal of the Friends of the La Mesa Library is to make sure that any plans for changes in Downtown La Mesa include more space for our community library. Some have asked: why do we need more space since the building is so new and spacious looking? To that I reply that it is because the current building was not designed as a library, it was designed as a big box that would serve temporarily as a library. The City’s original Civic Center Master Plan envisioned a much larger library building in this block with enough space for reading, research, educational programming and cultural events. The current building does not allow these events to occur simultaneously due to noise and congestion issues.

Since last summer, I have been attending City meetings and other La Mesa events to monitor discussions and remind everyone about the Friend’s concerns about the future of our library. Some residents have asked what they can do to show support for this position. I generally reply with two recommendations:

1) Join the Friends of the La Mesa Library - Having a large dues-paying membership lends credence to our position when any of the board members speak in a public setting. If you also wish to financially support future efforts to improve the library, our membership form allow you to donate additional money which can be earmarked for specific programs or needs.

2) Contact the La Mesa Mayor and City Council members to let them know of your concerns. La Mesa is small enough that your voice is heard and can help the Council make relevant decisions.

I would also like to thank our dedicated volunteers who operate the Bookstore every day that the library is open. This is our largest revenue source. Volunteers make it possible for the Friends to donate thousands of dollars each year for materials and programs that are focused on the needs of La Mesa. When it is time for you to clear out your home library collection, please consider donating your gently used books to us. You may give them to a library staff person at any time.

If you have any questions or comments about how the Friends are doing, please feel free to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

John Schmitz

Who are the Friends of the La Mesa Library?

The Friends of the La Mesa Library is a group of people from the La Mesa area who believes that a modern, effective library is essential to our community. Formed in February 1969, the Friends have since incorporated as a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization whose stated purpose is to promote, preserve, and support library services and patron needs through education of and communication with local libraries and the community

How Can I Become a Friend?

You may join the Friends of the La Mesa Library by paying an annual tax-deductible membership fee. Please see the membership form included on this site.

Friends of the Library Bookstore

The Friends of the La Mesa Library raises the majority of its money from used book sales. Our bookstore is conveniently located just inside the library's front entrance, and is open daily from 1 to 4 PM. Our continued success depends on two things: your donation of new or gently used books, and volunteers to staff and run the bookstore. lf you think you might like to help with our bookstore, please indicate so when you join or renew your membership. All volunteers working in the bookstore and/or the library are required to go through a formal background check by the County.