February 16, 2018

Southern California Libraries Reopen, but One Town (and Library) Under Siege

By Norman Oder

Many libraries in Southern California seem to have been relatively unscathed by the wildfires that ravaged the area last week, according to reports on the California State Library blog, though many local residents, including some library staffers, had to evacuate. Paula Brown Peeling of the Chula Vista Public Library reported that about one in four library staff members experienced “a voluntary or mandatory evacuation of their homes.”
As of today, the San Diego County Library states that all branches but one have reopened, though “Potrero will remain closed until further notice.” And what’s happened in that community? A report from last week describes one area as a wasteland, with looting having begun, although the town’s store, library, and Post Office remained standing. José Aponte, the library director, reported that “we have lost a monument sign in Portrero, the fence, and the xeriscape garden…all staff is as well as can be expected.”

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