Casa de Oro Library Celebrates 50 Years

The headline in the Valley News back in 1962 was simple and to the point: “Casa De Oro’s Library Opens.”

Now, after 50 years, the library has undergone several improvements and even moved locations twice but remains a vital part of the community it serves.

“Public libraries are in a constant state of change as they grow to reflect the diverse needs of the communities they serve,” said Jose Aponte, San Diego County library director. “The Casa de Oro Library has changed over the past fifty years, but it continues to be a foundation for this community and never wavers in its commitment to provide access to information and programs that give customers of all ages the resources to build the best lives possible.

 “Whether it’s a book club for adults, toddler story time, multiplication league for elementary students or bilingual activities, this library has something for everyone.”

The library opened as a storefront facility at 9628 Campo Road on December 10, 1962. Betty Montoney was the branch’s first librarian. Circulation at the time was about 20,000 items a year.

The community embraced having a library right from the start and by 1964, the library increase the hours it was open to 32 hours a week. In 1966 the branch was expanded to more than 2,600 sq ft.

Usage of the library continued to grow through the years and by 2001 an even larger facility was needed. The San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved a location and the new library opened its doors on January 2, 2002 at 9805 Campo Road in a nearly 4,000 sq. ft. facility.

It wasn’t long before usage of the library outgrew that location as well and it moved to its current spot in the same facility (Suite 180, next to the Post Office) in June 2007. The new library is more than 6,300 sq. ft. with a circulation of 180,000 items.

The 50th anniversary celebration is tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 1 from 12:15 to 3:30 p.m. featuring live music and remarks from Aponte to start the festivities.

The award-winning Monte Vista High School Sound Odyssey Choir, led by Sarah LeClair Klacka, will perform at 12:30 p.m. Joe Rathburn, a regular in the Library’s free acoustic showcase series, will perform Christmas music at 2 p.m. followed by a Nutcracker-themed puppet and marionette show at 3 p.m.

“This celebration is a testament to the support from the Casa de Oro community over the years,” says Branch Manager Amanda Heller, “We’re excited to provide this family friendly event for the community.”

Cake will be served throughout the event and balloon animals and crafts for the children will be available. The program is supported in part by the Friends of the Casa de Oro Library.

For more information, contact the library at 619-463-3236.

Tom Christensen is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact