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Rancho Santa Fe Library turns new page with Nan Werner commemorative patio

The Rancho Santa Fe Library’s new patio features new benches, tables and umbrellas. Photo by Karen Billing
The Rancho Santa Fe Library’s new patio features new benches, tables and umbrellas. Photo by Karen Billing
Nan Werner in November 2013 with RSF Library Guild Board President Art Yayanos. Courtesy photo
Nan Werner in November 2013 with RSF Library Guild Board President Art Yayanos. Courtesy photo

The Rancho Santa Fe Library unveiled the completed Nan Werner Patio and Garden last week, in memory of the longtime friend of the library who passed away in 2014.

Over the summer, through a gift from the Nan and Charles Werner Fund, the library was able to add five benches, two picnic tables and large green umbrellas. The added seating and shade should make the patio a perfect spot to read a book or enjoy a cup of coffee.

For more than 25 years, Werner was a dedicated library volunteer, serving terms as the Guild’s president and treasurer and lending her time to the Book Cellar.

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“Nan had a can-do attitude and just got things done,” said Susan Appleby of the Rancho Santa Fe Library Guild, who worked alongside her nearly every day. “She was very devoted to the library and the Guild as well as to the Garden Club and The Country Friends.”

Werner had let the Guild leadership know that she intended to make a gift to the library, and they worked with her about how funds could be used.

“The patio space wasn’t being used to the best advantage and didn’t enhance the look of the library, and Nan cared very much about that,” Appleby said. “I think she’d be really happy with the way it turned out.”

The steps in the patio all received new railings, and the hardscapes were cleaned and repaired. The rows of steps never had railings before, and now they guide pedestrians on a natural link from the library to the Book Cellar and R. Roger Rowe School.

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The project also included narrowing the sidewalk on Avenida de Acacias, picking up some additional planter space. Appleby said the library would work with the Rancho Santa Fe Association on the landscaping.

While the Werners’ donation provided for the furniture, a grant from the San Diego County Library provided for the hardscape and sidewalk work.

“It is a really great illustration of how the county and the Guild can work together to accomplish things for the community,” Appleby said.

A plaque for the Werners will be placed at the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the patio and garden on Oct. 1, the night before the half-price book sale in the Book Cellar, which was always one of Nan’s favorite events. The ceremony will be open to the entire community and will feature music and refreshments.


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