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Source: Friends of the El Cajon Library

November 19, 2019 (El Cajon) -- The small Book Shoppe operated by the Friends of the El Cajon Library is going to get bigger.

President Connie Smith of the Friends said on Nov. 16 that she is thrilled that the County of San Diego has approved the project to expand the Book Shoppe by using an adjoining conference room. The work is expected to start and end in early 2020.  

 “Bringing this project to fruition has been a two-year journey,” said Smith. “The mission of the Friends of the El Cajon Library is to support the many programs the library offers to the community.”

Members of the Friends’ organization volunteer their time to operate the bookstore in the library lobby at 201 E. Douglas Avenue. Smith said the Friends’ 2019-2020 budget for library programs and needs is $21,300.

The El Cajon library is one of 33 in the county’s library system. County Library Director Migell Acosta said the system has a fund dedicated to major repairs.

The preliminary cost estimate for the El Cajon Book Shoppe expansion, which includes a special children’s section, is a little more than $60,000, Acosta said. The shop will expand from 293 to 476 square feet.

 “The Book Shoppe is really an important supplement to our budget,” said the director. “It (expansion) will make it easier for the bookstore to provide more books to people, books that they can buy at a really good price.”

El Cajon Friends’ First Vice President Sue Gauss has managed the Book Shoppe for the past two years. Donated items sold in the store also include audio books, magazines, CDs, DVDs and jigsaw puzzles, Gauss said.

Local Friends’ board members praised East San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, Acosta and county library staff for pursuing the expansion.

“The El Cajon Friends of the Library, like Friends’ groups at other county branches, play a huge role in the life of the library,” said Jacob. “I’m so grateful for the group’s hard work and dedicated volunteers. Anything we can do to support their fund-raising efforts is good for the library and good for the community.”

The busy library in downtown El Cajon serves a richly diverse city of more than 100,000 residents. They include descendants from pioneer days and newcomers from around the world.   

“This Book Shoppe expansion will allow the Friends to create the much-needed funding for the many library activities that involve the entire spectrum of the community,” Smith said. “As a life-long learner I understand the importance of having books in the home to foster family literacy.”