More than 60 people tuned into folding origami paper cranes for the San Diego public libraries on Tuesday evening for happiness, happiness, and maybe even a wish that will come true in the New Year.

In a virtual event organized by the San Diego Public Library Foundation, members of the public learned how to fold paper cranes and help the nonprofit foundation achieve its goal of collecting 1,000 for the Cranes for Peace exhibit at the San Diego Central Library.

There was also a discussion about the library’s plans for 2021 and a call for donations to the library foundation.

“The library’s Cranes for Peace program was born out of a desire to set positive and hopeful intentions for the new year,” said Natalie Ganz, director of strategy and engagement at the San Diego Public Library Foundation. “It is a fun environment for the library lover community to learn something new, interact with library management and foundation, and look forward to the future.”

According to Japanese legend, anyone who folds 1,000 origami cranes is granted a wish, happiness and eternal happiness.

In Japanese lore, the crane – a type of large, long-legged, long-necked bird that lives in wetlands – was referred to as the “bird of happiness” and is said to carry souls to paradise on its wings. The birds believed to live 1000 years were highly valued.

The folding of origami cranes symbolizes healing and hope.

The library event attendees folded their own origami cranes with varying degrees of success. For some, the challenge was evident in the real-time chat comments, which included, “Will he do it again? We are lost. “” Mine is cool, but it doesn’t look like a crane … “and” I’ll just listen to his very calm voice and visualize the crane. “

Origami cranes, part of the “Cranes for Peace” project, hang in the central library on Tuesday. The San Diego Public Library Foundation is running a virtual origami workshop to teach people how to make the cranes with the aim of hanging 1,000 in the library for display.

(Sam Hodgson / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

One person, clearly impressed by the demonstrators’ ability to fold, said, “Librarians are talented in many ways.”

Anyone who would like to contribute origami cranes to the display can drop them off at library book deliveries. Ganz said the library looked at the performance of cranes in drop boxes that books could land on, and they found the cranes survived well.

The event also included a discussion on how the San Diego libraries were rotated with the help of the Library Foundation in response to the pandemic and what the community can expect from the libraries in 2021. The speakers also answered questions and took suggestions.

Attendees asked how the library is preparing to compete for money in the city’s upcoming budget when funds are tight due to the pandemic.

Patrick Stewart, CEO of the Library Foundation, said an advertising campaign was already underway and members of the foundation were in the process of educating city council members about the important role libraries will play in helping the community recover from the pandemic.

Another speaker, Misty Jones, director of the San Diego Public Library, described how the library is committed to helping the city recover. She said libraries are the great balance, an institution that makes information available to everyone.

“We want to make sure that when we deliver services and reopen, we focus on helping people recover, helping them get jobs, and continuing many of the services implemented during the shutdown,” she said. “We want to continue the online presence and the outdoor (computer) laboratories.”

During the event, commentators noted that anyone who makes a gift to the San Diego Public Library Foundation before December 31st can customize their contribution. More information can be found at