Libraries began as a deliberate accumulation of documents and evolved into more identifiably as a hub for literacy, knowledge and learning. As pioneers, the La Jolla/Riford Library has taken the definition of, “library” to a whole new level by putting in a fully equipped science lab. The La Jolla/Riford Library welcomes the public to a new space where they not only learn about science, but also conduct hands-on experiments to support their newly learned information.

On December 19th, students, parents and those simply interested in science came from all over San Diego to catch a glimpse of the steps involved in the progression of a Foodborne Outbreak Investigation case. Foodborne outbreaks are relevant events that continue to affect the lives and efficiency of Americans to this very day – The most recent case, a Listeria outbreak in Dole packaged Salad.

Dr. Callen Hyland did a great presentation using the MiniOne Electrophoresis Systems and the new Foodborne Outbreak Investigation MiniLab that will be coming out soon. Dr. Hyland compares a Foodborne Outbreak Investigation to something like a crime scene investigation, except much harder! In a crime scene investigation, your crime scene is quarantined and located in static area. In a foodborne outbreak investigation, bits of the crime scene are in each of the victims’ bodies. The scene of the crime has legs and the evidence is constantly being destroyed by the healing factor of the human body.

From workshops on Foodborne Outbreaks to DIY Microscopy to extracting phycocyanin from Spirulina, check out the plethora of workshops the La Jolla/Riford Library offers!