Your Generosity Will Help Minds Grow


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Donors, volunteers, Carnegie Society members

Childhood experiences with reading often are cornerstones of a lifelong passion for literacy and learning.

Such was the case for both Paula Taylor and Bernie Kulchin. Like many young girls, Paula loved to read the Nancy Drew mystery series. She and her friends in Western New York enjoyed competing with each other to see who could read the most books. The town library was small, but still awe-inspiring, as Paula could not imagine being able to read all the books.

Bernie’s first 13 years were in Brooklyn, where his parents, immigrants from Russia and Austria, settled before the family moved to Florida. The importance of a good education was stressed in the home. His mother was a voracious reader and Bernie now loves to read just about everything. Bernie’s human resource management career has spanned half a century, working for General Dynamics and then Cubic Corporation. Known fondly as “Mister HR,” Bernie received the Society of Human Resource Management’s 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award. He has even served as a San Diego Public Library Foundation trustee.

Like her husband, Paula believes in civic responsibility, helping make their community better. She also boasts a broad involvement in community service, and was recognized as a Woman of Dedication in 1997. When they discussed San Diego organizations they wished to support, Paula and Bernie said the Library emerged as a priority. They have been generous library donors for more than 15 years.

“Books and reading give us so much pleasure. We want everyone to experience the joy of a good read,” Bernie said.  “We believe that people can live more fulfilling and rewarding lives when they can read and have  access to information that can change their lives.”

Both Paula and Bernie were active supporters of the campaign to build the Central Library @ Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common.

“When I came to San Diego in the 1960s, it was a small town,” Bernie said. “Now, more than forty years later, it is a major city, with many significant resources: four universities, cultural entities like opera and symphony, museums and theaters. But there was still a big gap in that we did not have an adequate central library.”

When it came time for estate planning, their desire to provide benefits to future generations led Bernie and Paula to include the San Diego Public Library Foundation. By informing the Library Foundation of their intentions and participating as members of the Carnegie Society, their actions inspire others to consider leaving a legacy for the future as well.

With contributions as donors and volunteers, support for literacy and learning, and a vision of libraries for the future, Paula Taylor and Bernie Kulchin are making an impact that will benefit lovers of books and learning for generations to come. And when they see their grandchildren choose reading over TV or video games, they feel good that more library supporters are being nurtured.

Learn more about how a planned gift can have a lasting impact.