A Place for All

“When in doubt, go to the library.” – J.K. Rowling

volunteer_reese3When Joan Reese was recruited to volunteer by the first branch manager at the Scripps Ranch Library 16 years ago, her youngest child was a high school senior and set to leave the nest for college. “I guess I was looking for something to fill the void,” Joan said. Today, she continues to feed her love of books as a member of the Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library (SRFOL). Originally she was the publicity chair – she’s continued in that role – but has also served as VP and president. “A number of years ago, there was an urgent need for someone to take over coordination of Grace’s Book Nook, which is SRFOL’s largest ongoing fundraiser and essential to our efforts to raise funds to support our library here in Scripps Ranch,” she said. Almost nine years later, Joan’s still running it, but they’ve been able to assemble a loyal team of core volunteers to handle the day-to-day management, “in addition to the group of dedicated volunteers who cover two-and-a-half-hour shifts weekly or on alternate weeks,” Joan explained.

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Name: Joan Reese
Community: Scripps Ranch
Volunteer Affiliation: Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library
Occupation: Pediatrician (mainly – but not completely – retired)
Family: Husband – Robert (Bob); 3 adult children
Hobbies & Interests: Chamber music, theater, swimming, and reading
Favorite Local Spot: The library, of course!


volunteer_reese2Joan has become increasingly involved with library advocacy over the past few years, and truly believes that the mission of the Friends and of the library, along with public education, are the pillars of democracy. “Our public libraries help to level the playing field, bringing books, music, movies, computer/internet access, including a host of online databases and resources, as well as quality programs to everybody, regardless of age or socioeconomic status.” Since its inception, the all-volunteer Friends organization has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of the library. “It’s a fact that literally half of the new books and media acquired by our library each and every year have been made possible by SRFOL,” Joan confirmed. If she was granted a wish, it would be for every library user to join the Friends.

By occupation, Joan is a pediatrician specializing in neurodevelopmental disabilities. Educated on the East Coast – she has a Bachelor’s from Brown University, M.D. from Yale, and a Master’s of Public Health from Johns Hopkins – Joan is now retired from full-time employment. She continues her service both ‘doctoring’ on a limited basis and through volunteerism as a Friend. In addition to her involvement with SRFOL, Joan is also the President of the Friends of the San Diego Public Library. “I try to participate in the community as my schedule permits with Sustainable Scripps Ranch and the Welcome Club,” she said. Above all, Joan is very proud of her three children, who grew up in Scripps Ranch and are all Ph.D.s in various fields of science. They are also readers and library users.


Name: Scripps Ranch Friends of the Library (SRFOL)
Website: www.srfol.org
Mission: To assist in the development of the San Diego Public Library Branch and System so that it may fulfill its literary, social, and educational purposes; to encourage and arrange for gifts of books, materials, and other property to the libraries; to support library volunteers, children and teen programs, and a music series; to promote public use and support of the library, and appreciation of its value to the community; and to advocate for the library in order to further the aforementioned objectives.

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