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Feature Central Library


The opening of the San Diego Central Library at Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common in September 2013 fulfilled a community dream more than 30 years in the making. San Diegans are filling the iconic nine-story library in the East Village, taking advantage of the world-class resources, collections, technology, meeting and collaborations spaces, arts and cultural offerings and the stunning views. The project’s effective mix of public and private financing, with private donors contributing more than 35 percent of construction costs, shows San Diegan’s commitment to and belief in their libraries. Learn more about the generous individuals and corporations who made the Central Library possible.

Additional naming opportunities exist to support the Central Library—from engraved bricks to more major space naming opportunities. Contact Foundation CEO Jay Hill by email or call (619) 236-5861 for more information.

San Diego Central Library Major Donors


Joan and Irwin Jacobs – San Diego Central Library @ Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common
Qualcomm Founder Dr. Irwin Jacobs and his wife Joan are San Diego’s most generous philanthropists. The naming of the facility in their honor recognizes that generosity, merges the old and new and provides a welcoming invitation. The @ symbol is a connector and the inverted V, or “Λ,” is a propositional logic symbol best translated as “and.” The word “Common” is an old term used to describe a place where ideas are shared and connections made.

First Floor

Frances Hamilton White – Frances Hamilton White Garden Grove
Frances Hamilton White is a dedicated supporter of education and libraries in addition to environmental sustainability and horticulture. This beautiful entrance garden to the library fits her interests and serves as a relaxing transition into the library.

Donald C. & Elizabeth M. Dickinson Popular Library – Donald C. & Elizabeth M. Dickinson Popular Library
Early San Diegans, Donald and Elizabeth Dickinson shared a passion for education, community and wellness. The Dickinson Popular Library continues that legacy by being the community’s “check first” library within the library with access to the most popular items.

Denny Sanford – Denny Sanford Children’s Library
Mr. Sanford’s transformative philanthropy has changed countless lives nationwide. The fun, engaging, space with its Dr. Seuss images was named in Mr. Sanford’s honor and will be where many San Diego children will be introduced to the joys of reading.

David C. Copley – David C. Copley Stage
As a steadfast supporter, Mr. Copley was a hero to arts groups throughout San Diego. The Copley family promoted and supported arts and literacy and on the stage named in his honor, the fine arts will touch many.

Dene & Elizabeth Oliver – Dene & Elizabeth Oliver ICAN Center
The Olivers are long-time supporters of providing access for the underserved. This Center, with its highly specialized resources and expert Librarians, will greatly expand access to learning for adults with disabilities.

Thomas C. Ackerman Foundation – Ackerman Foundation Children’s Reference Area
Mr. Ackerman was always interested in education and the continuing economic development of San Diego.

Mary Hollis Clark – Mary Hollis Clark Conference Center
A premier public meeting space, available for use by local non-profits and community groups, is in keeping with Mary Hollis Clark’s service and leadership in many community organizations.

Second Floor

Joy & Ed Frieman – Joy & Ed Frieman Floor
Ed Frieman was a noted scientist and prominent national advisor. This floor honors him and his wife Joy and is home to the library’s health and science collection and prime areas for educating and inspiring teen learners.

Roben & Fred Gerson – Roben & Fred Gerson Reference Desk
Roben was a long-time librarian, including working in social sciences area for the San Diego Public Library. Her husband, Fred was the former CFO of the Padres and was instrumental in the development of Petco Park, and surrounding East Village. They are thrilled to have their gift recognized in an area Roben worked in for so many years.

Pauline Foster – Pauline Foster Teen Center in Memory of Stanley
The Pauline Foster Teen Center, in memory of Stanley, was designed by students at the Stanley E. Foster Construction Tech Academy at Kearny High. The Foster family is ardent supporters of access to education.

Sarah White and David Gray — Gray White Family Teen Reference Desk
Sarah White founded Qualcomm’s corporate library and has served as a Library Commissioner and San Diego Public Library Foundation Trustee. She and husband, David Gray, have two teenage sons.

Union Bank – Union Bank Homework Center
Union Bank supports education and community involvement and continues that mission in this Center with after school, volunteer-based tutoring to help students with homework and project needs.

Fourth Floor

Irving and Eleanor Jafe Mountain View Reading Area
In honor of the Jaffe family, this spacious reading area offers dramatic views of downtown with ample space for quiet reading and contemplation.

Qualcomm – Qualcomm Technology Floor
Qualcomm is San Diego’s preeminent technology company and it is fitting that the library floor housing the computer lab, training center, and the onsite multi-media TV studio bears this business leader’s name.

Wells Fargo – Wells Fargo Technology Learning Center
Wells Fargo will be able to teach San Diegans financial literacy in this space. It will be the hub for technology training in the library and where patrons will learn the skills they need to succeed in a technologically advanced workplace.

Walter J. & Betty C. Zable Foundation Computer Lab
As the founder of Cubic Corporation, Mr. Zable was a technology innovator. This Lab named in his honor will be an incubator for the next generation of innovators.

Fifth Floor

Estate of Armando de Peralta – Armando de Peralta Jr World Affairs Floor
The fifth floor, home to the library’s travel and geography collection is named in honor of Armando de Peralta, Jr., who loved reading, writing, world affairs and travel.

Bank of America-Merrill Lynch – Bank of America-Merrill Lynch Career Center
In keeping with their belief that strong career training supports a strong economy, the Career Center, operated in partnership with the San Diego Workforce Partnership, will provide personalized resume writing, job interviewing and other job readiness training.

Irving & Eleanor Jaffe – Irving & Eleanor Jaffe Mountain View Reading Area
Irving and Eleanor Jaffe are strong supporters of education, literacy and reading allowing everyone the opportunity to learn. Together their community minded efforts have provided opportunities for many and are excited to provide this inspiring reading space for the San Diego community.

Eighth Floor

Manpower – Manpower Innovation Floor
A leading employer in San Diego’s innovation economy, Manpower is recognized on the floor containing the library’s art and music collection and the I.D.E.A. Lab where customers will help forge San Diego’s future innovations, using technology like the 3D printer.

Price Family – Helen Price Reading Room
Helen Price, born and raised in San Diego, was the first in her family to attend university graduating from the University of Southern California. She and Sol Price were married for 70 years. She was an avid reader throughout her life and this awe-inspiring space where San Diegans will gather to read for generations to come is a fitting honor.

Hervey Family — Mae Bell Page Literacy Services Area – READ/San Diego
Mae Bell Page was raised in the rural Deep South with no access to education. She worked with the Hervey family, who wanted to honor her desire to ensure everyone had access to educational opportunities.

Sullivan Family – Sullivan Family Baseball Research Center
This space combines the Sullivan Family’s love of two great American traditions …libraries and baseball.

Ninth Floor

Qualcomm – Qualcomm Dome View Terrace
In addition to being one of San Diego’s largest companies, Qualcomm is among the most philanthropic. Their sponsorship of this centerpiece of the “people’s penthouse” is another contribution to San Diego.

Hervey Family –  Hervey Family Rare Books Room
Jean Hervey used to take her five children to the library in Point Loma every week. She wanted to teach them the value of education and the importance of reading great books. The family is excited to be involved with this special place devoted to chronicling the history of the printed word.

Katie & Dan Sullivan – Katie & Dan Sullivan Library Commission Room
Katie Sullivan has served San Diego’s Public Library system for over 25 years, including 11 on the Library Commission, which she chaired from 2009 to 2011.

Marilyn and Gene Marx – Marilyn and Gene Marx Special Collections Room
The Marxes are long-time San Diego residents instrumental in downtown development, starting with the Gaslamp District in the 1970s. They strongly believe in the value of understanding our region’s heritage and history, which this Center will help achieve.

Amy and Horacio Valeiras – Valeiras Sculpture Garden
Amy and Horacio Valeiras are ardent believers in the importance of education. Amy is a San Diego Public Library Foundation Trustee and a member of the La Jolla Friends of the Library Board. She also is a professional ceramist.

Darlene Marcos Shiley – Darlene Marcos Shiley in Memory of Donald Shiley Special Events Suite
Darlene and her late husband, Donald, are recognized supporters of many educational, health and cultural institutions. This inspiring space fits Darlene’s radiant personality.

Phyllis and Dan Epstein – Phyllis Epstein Bay View Terrace
Phyllis Epstein is an avid reader making a donation to the library from husband Dan an ideal gift. Phyllis chose to name the Bay View Terrace with its striking views in honor of Dan’s first apartment management project, the Bayview Apartments.