Photos of historic “Book Pass” in Mission Hills!

Community members line a sidewalk in Mission Hills, passing books from their old home to a brand new branch library!
Community members line a sidewalk in Mission Hills, passing books from old shelves to a brand new branch library!

A very exciting and historic event took place this morning in Mission Hills! Hundreds of people lined the West Washington Street sidewalk to pass books from the old, now closed Mission Hills Branch Library to the beautiful, larger, brand new Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Library!

The final 200 books from the old branch library were transferred along the sidewalk, hand-to-hand, by volunteer participants. Some were dressed as favorite book characters. All eyes glanced at the passing titles, and many smiles resulted!

Once every book had been transported to its new home, a Grand Opening ceremony was held in front of the new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Branch Library. When the speeches were complete, community members streamed into the new building!

The very last book to be passed was The Hobbit. It was selected in a poll to make the fantastic journey.

And onward into the future we go!

“Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!”

–Bilbo Baggins

Volunteers for the Book Pass gather in front of the new Mission Hills-Hillcrest-Harley & Bessie Knox Library.
Volunteers for the Book Pass gather in front of the new Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Library.
Those who will participate in the historic Book Pass, wearing yellow scarves, fan out along seven blocks of West Washington Street in Mission Hills.
Those who will participate in the historic Book Pass, wearing yellow scarves, fan out along seven blocks of West Washington Street in Mission Hills.
Members of the Book Brigade are getting ready on Block 3.
Members of the Book Brigade are getting ready on Block 3.
Someone reads while waiting for the Book Pass to begin.
Someone reads while waiting for the Book Pass to begin.
Look who I spotted! It's Balboa Park's Ranger Kim, with his cool new children's book!
Look! It’s Balboa Park’s Ranger Kim Duclo, with his cool new children’s book!
This persons favorite book is Peter Benchley's Jaws!
This person’s favorite book is Peter Benchley’s Jaws!
I spotted Cruella de Vil, Maleficent and Captain Hook!
I spotted Cruella de Vil, Maleficent and Captain Hook!
Here comes Professor Trelawney!
Here comes Professor Trelawney!
Near the old Mission Hills Branch Library, the Book Pass is almost ready to begin.
Near the brand new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Branch Library, the Book Pass is almost ready to begin.
Volunteers are lined up, awaiting the first book!
Volunteers are lined up by the old branch library, awaiting the first book!
Cameras ready!
Cameras ready!
A fun moment in history is about to begin...
A fun moment in history is about to begin…
The final 200 books in the now closed branch library will be passed from hand to hand to the new Mission Hills Library.
The final 200 books in the now closed branch library will be passed from hand to hand to the brand new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Library.
Here they are!
Here they are on a book cart!
Empty shelves are all that's left in the old Mission Hill Library.
Empty shelves are all that’s left in the old Mission Hills Branch Library.
Here comes the first book in the Book Pass!
And here comes the very first book in the Book Pass!
Doing the wave! Too much excitement!
Doing the wave! Too much excitement!
Library books are transported by the hands of those who love to read to their new home.
Library books are transported by the hands of those who love to read to their new home.
The books head east through Mission Hills.
The books head east through Mission Hills.
Here they come!
Here they come!
People pause to look at titles as the books are passed along.
People pause to look at titles as the books are passed along. Most of the books are classic works of World Literature.
The cart is almost halfway empty!
Very quickly the cart is almost half emptied!
The smiling Bike Brigade showed up to transport some books!
The smiling Bike Brigade showed up to transport a few books!
There it is! The final book of the Book Pass is waiting at the bottom of this stack. The Hobbit!
There it is! The final book of the Book Pass is waiting at the bottom of this stack. The Hobbit! (It happens to be one of my favorites!)
The final 25 books represent the 25 most checked-out books in the history of the Mission Hills Branch Library. I noticed several were by Dr. Seuss.
The final 25 books represent the 25 most checked-out books in the history of the old, now closed Mission Hills Branch Library. I noticed several were by Dr. Seuss.
Finally, it's J. R. R. Tolkien's beloved novel The Hobbit.
Finally, it’s J. R. R. Tolkien’s beloved fantasy novel The Hobbit.
Bilbo Baggins has embarked on another journey. The Hobbit makes it's way to the brand new Mission Hills Library.
It seems Bilbo Baggins has embarked on another journey. The Hobbit makes it’s way to the brand new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Branch Library.
Friends and neighbors are excited to be a part of history in San Diego.
Friends and neighbors are excited to be a part of history in San Diego.
A kid hurries across an intersection with The Hobbit!
A happy kid hurries across an intersection with The Hobbit!
Everyone holds up The Hobbit as many photographs are taken.
Everyone holds up The Hobbit as many photographs are taken.
One of many wonderful Book Pass memories for hundreds of volunteers.
One of many wonderful Book Pass memories for hundreds of participants.
A huge crowd accompanies The Hobbit across another intersection as the Book Pass approaches the new branch library.
A huge crowd accompanies The Hobbit across another intersection as the Book Pass approaches the new branch library.
The beautiful new Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Library is now in sight!
The beautiful new Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Library is now in sight!
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer poses with some kids for a photo.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer poses with some kids for a photo.
The Hobbit is approaching its new library home!
The Hobbit is approaching its new library home!
A favorite book held high for all to see!
A favorite book held high for all to see!
One last book and the historic Book Pass transfer will be complete.
One last book and the historic Book Pass transfer will be complete.
Many have gathered for the ceremony at the new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Branch Library.
Many have gathered for the Grand Opening ceremony at the new Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Harley & Bessie Knox Branch Library.
The Hobbit has reached its new home.
The Hobbit has reached its new home.
Speeches begin. The Mayor of San Diego addresses a large crowd. The new library is finally ready to open.
Speeches begin. The Mayor of San Diego addresses a large crowd. The beautiful new library, which was built in the Craftsman architectural style, is finally ready to open.
People eagerly head into the brand new Mission Hills Branch Library!
People eagerly head into the brand new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Branch Library!
On we go!
On we go!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

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