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Morris Pike, who doubles as Captain Book (center), was on deck at Cardiff Library’s birthday to promote literacy. Working with the Encinitas Kiwanis Club, he regularly donates books to schools and libraries ( He’s aided by pirates Wanda Robison (left) and Barbara Sumner.
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Cardiff Library marks 100th anniversary

ENCINITAS — More than 100 years ago at S.M. Holbrooks grocery store, 38 residents signed a petition to start a library in Cardiff.

Not long after, county officials granted the request. On March 18, 1914, a library opened at Cardiff’s oldest building, where Patagonia stands today.

Since then, the library has hopscotched around the community.

When a building wasn’t available from 1950 to 1960, a bookmobile served Cardiff. Finally in 1961, the library moved to a space at 2139 Newcastle Avenue.

Years later, its future there looked in doubt. In 1984 Friends of the Cardiff Library formed, and the organization helped find a new spot at Cardiff Town Center. Later, due to uncertain rental conditions, the threat of closure again hung over the library.

Through fundraising, the new library was built and opened in 2003 at 2081 Newcastle Avenue.

On March 22, the library celebrated 100 years of service with a half-price book sale, speakers and entertainment. Photos by Jared Whitlock

Helen Holbrook Stockton (center) with daughter Catherine Stockton (right) and niece Kathleen Holbrook. Kathleen holds a copy of the petition that her great-grandfather, along with others, signed in 1913 asking for a library.Officials pose with a county proclamation for Cardiff Library. From left to right: Mayor Teresa Barth, San Diego County Library Deputy Director Donna Ohr, Cardiff Library Branch Director Gabriel Aguirre, Friends of Cardiff Library member and past president Irene Kratzer, Supervisor Dave Roberts and his daughter, Natalee. Residents check out half-price books March 22 as part of the library’s birthday.Becky Colvin helps her 4-year-old granddaughter, Josslyn Brownell, draw a birthday card celebrating Cardiff Library’s 100th birthday.