California State Library.

California library service : economical, equal, complete .. online

. (page 2 of 4)
Online LibraryCalifornia State LibraryCalifornia library service : economical, equal, complete .. → online text (page 2 of 4)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Another unifj^ing factor is the quarterly
publication of the State Library — "News
Notes of California Libraries." It in-
cludes statistical reports and news items
of all of the libraries of the state ; a direc-
tory of library supplies and other items
of general interest such as index to Cali-
fornia library current events ; a section
on the California Library Association ;
one on the Board of Library Examiners ;
full information about the work of the
State Library and State Library School,
including the accessions of the library for
that quarter ; and frequently biblio-
graphies on subjects of especial interest
to the state.




This publication keeps up the acquaint-
ance of library workers and keeps each
one informed of the work of the others,
and, being sent free to all libraries in the
slate, is sure of reaching everyone.


ICconomical, eciual and complete is the
goal of the plan for California library
s-.-rvice and as tried in the counties that
have put it into operation, it has proved
such a startling success that the eyes of
the world are directed toward California
as being the state that is rapidly solv-
ing all of the library problems that have
appeared since libraries began to want
to be free and to give service.




Tctals :

Free public libraries 132

Disti'ict libraries 5

County free libraries 26

Law libraries 66

County teachers' libraries 58

Libraries in educational institutions 334
Association and subscription librar-
ies 111

Miscellaneous institution libraries- 47

Total 779

Branches and deposit stations con-
nected with above listed librar-
ies :

Total 1263

Library buildings :

gifts 129

others 21

Total 150

Growth in one sort of library service :
(jalifornia —

Area, 158,297 square miles.

Second in size among the states.

Population, 2.377,549 (in 1910).

Assessed valuation, $3,134,81L2S4
(for 1914-15).

Number of counties, 58.
County Free Libi'ary Service-
Area covered, 95,950 square miles.

Population reached, 1,557,008.

Appropriation made, $280,362.58.

*For a graphic picture of California
Library Service see the map of Tlie Cali-
fornia County Free Library on tlie wall
above tlie American Library Association
Exliibit in Palace of Education, Panama-
Pacific International Exposition, San Fran-
cisco, Cal.

**For picture of California Library
Service, see moving picture film in Palace
of Education, Panama-Pacific International
Exposition, San Francisco, and in the
Cliamber of Commerce rooms, San Diego.

School districts
Counties active



Contra Costa








Los Angeles



that have joined, 299.
, 26, as follows :




San Bernardino

San Diego

San Joaquin

San Mateo

Santa Barbara

Santa Clara





Counties added since January, 1915 :

County free library service in Cali-
fornia means free and complete library
service to every resident of the county.
Schools can be included in the service.
The California State Library supnle-
nients the county service free.

The plan provides for complete library
service to every resident of every county
in the state — free.
It is growing.

The first county free library was estab-
lished in Sacramento County October 1,

In Jan., 1909, there were 8 branches.
In Jan., 1911, there were 90 branches.
First satisfactory county free library
law passed Feb. 25, 1911.

In Jan., 1913, there were 255 branches.
In Jan., 1915, there were 1,073 branches.

Alameda County.

Served under contract by the Oakland
Free Library.

Charles S. Greene, Librarian.

Miss Mary Barmby, Chief of Alameda
County Department.

Pictures :

In the children's room.

The book hospital

Splints for broken backs !

Story hour in Mo&swood Park


Alameda County Jail

showing a jail delivery.

Branch at

historic Mission San Jose.
Alameda Countv

County seat, Oakland.

Area. 840 square miles.

Population, 246,131 (in 1910).

Assessed valuation, $252,751,974 (tax-
able for county $228,979,504).

County library service established Sep-
tember 26, 1910, by contract between the



Board of Supervisors of Alameda County
and the Board of Library Directors of
tlie Oakland Free Library. Work started
November 1, 1910. Appropriation 1914-
15, $23,500. Branches (Jan. 1, 1915)
25 :16 with reading rooms ; 3 in other
libraries ; G in schools and elsewhere.

The population of Alameda County is
mostly the urban end, to the north and
west. Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda
comprise six-sevenths of the total, and
these cities had long had good libraries.
This was true also of the smaller cities
of Hayward, Livermore, Pleasanton and
San Leandro. Even the unincorporated
town of Niles had for some years a li-
brary owned by an association.

Oakland's collection of books was at
once by the terms of the contract made
open to all the inhabitants of the county,
and hundreds of persons have taken ad-
vantage of that extension, principally resi-
dents of Berkeley, Emeryville and Pied-
mont. The idea of regulation library ser-
vice was, in consequence of these facts,
well disseminated throughout the county,
and it has been the effort of the county
department to give to the rural population
as nearly a city service as possible. For
this reason branches in separate quarters
with reading rooms, with paid attendants,
with a permanent collection of books and
with the service of periodicals, pictures,
stereographic views, and frequent deliv-
ery from the main library, have made up
the major part of its work. Schools have
had less attention, but are gradually be-
ing shown the advantage of collective use
of their funds. County instituiions, the
jail, the almshouse and infirmary, are regu-
larly served. The department co-operates
with the county farm adviser, buying
books that he suggests, which he helps to

The libraries of Alameda are :

Oakland Free Library (11 branches and
Public Museum) volumes 101,016.

County Department (25 branches) 20,-

Alameda Library (1 branch) 47,303.

Alameda County Law Library, 12,000.

Berkeley Library (5 branches) 55,633.

Hayward Library, 4,088.

San Leandro Library, 3,423.

Livermore Library, 3,722.

The University of California Library
at Berkeley (including the valuable Ban-

croft library of Pacific Coast History)

Grand total of volumes, 603,909.

Butte County Free Library.

Miss Gladys Brownson, County Libra-

Butte County

County seat, Oroville.

Area, 1,764 square miles.

Population, 27,301 (in 1910).

Assessed valuation, .$25,247,155 (tax-
able for county $20,125,743).

County Free Library established Sept.
3. 1913. Work started Nov. 1, 1913. Ap-
propriation, 1915-16, $5,800. Branches
(Jan. 1, 1915), 67.

During the thirteen months that the
Butte County Free Library has been in
operation, books have been distributed
to every corner of the county.

In the larger communities the school
and community are served separately but
the widely .scattered population of the
.smaller districts is served through the
school. In this way the school furnishes
the reading for both adults and children.
When summer schools close for the winter
mouths some resident cares for the books
so the readers are not deprived of books
although the school has closed.

The most remote branch, where the peo-
ple are snow-bound for three months, is
served early in the fall with sufficient
reading matter for that time.

The library is already circulating about
3,000 books each month.

Contra Costa County Free Library.
Mrs Alice G. Whitbeck, County Li-

Pictures :

The headquarters.

100 shipments

by express each month.

The properties

of a lumber company

as a center for

branch library service.

The Swedish books

have come.

Through the branch
at the sugar refinery
and that of the town
books reach everyone.



Contra Costa County

County seat, Martinez.

Area. 750 square miles.

Population, 31,674 (in 1910).

Assessed valuation. $52,204,930 (tax-
able for county $45,808,455).

County free Library established July
21, 1913, work started Oct. 1, 1913. Ap-
propriation, 1914-15, $10,726.63. Branches
(Jan. 1, 1915), 50.

The library facilities of Contra Costa
County had been but very little devel-
oped before the establishment of the
county free library. Martinez had a small
subscription library, tn'o other towns were
trying to make a start and only Rich-
mond had a flourishing public library.

Martinez, the county seat, though not
the geographic center is very easy of ac-
cess to the many manufacturing towns
along the water front and with express
to all the farming centers makes a very
central town from which to work.

So rapidly did the idea of having local
branches appeal to all communities, there
are now 50 different collections of books
in constant use. These collections vary
according to the needs of the community
and are housed as eacn place finds most,
convenient. Some are in reading rooms,
club rooms, schoolhouses, post oflSces,
grocery stores, private homes, lodge rooms,
in all cases the rooms being furnished by
the community.

A branch is located wherever the inter-
est is great enough to make the demand.
Books are exchanged as often as desired,
and requests are answered by parcel post
or express as promptly as possible. There
i.^ no time limit on any of the collections.
Magazines are taken for all the schools
and branches.

The seventy miles of water frontage
are dotted with factories of every kind,
and each town along the bay has its
branch. The large farming interior is
well supplied by branches in all the town

During the first month of the library
four branches were formed, and the cir-
culation was 177 volumes. During Jan-
uary, 1915, the fifty branches circulated
6,148 volumes. These figures tell the
story of the appreciation of the county
free library.

Fresno County Free Library.

Miss Sarah E. McCardle, County Li-
Pictures :

Branch in hotel building

Branch in business building

Branch in Carnegie building

Branch in tank house

No dry books

Children enjoy

story hour

Scenes at


Note the

Chinese borrowers
Fresno County

County seat, Fresno.

Area, 6,035 square miles.

Population, 75,657 (in 1910).

Assessed valuation, $96,567,818 (tax-
able for county $82,678,446).

County Free Library established March
12, 1910. Appropriation, 1914-15, $25,-
290. Branches (Jan. 1, 1915), 40.

In this county there were only two
public libraries, at Fresno and Selma,
and a few very inadequate subscription
libraries, previous to the opening of the
county free library in 1910. Now every
town, village and community has its
county branch and has every privilege of
a library.

The county free library has certainly
been a great blessing to the people of the
county — it has helped the schools, opened
up opportunities for education the country
schools have never had before. It is help-
ing to educate, not only our young people,
but the older ones as well, giving them a
broader, better outlook on life. It has
helped to make life worth living in the
most remote parts of the county at the
lumber camps in the mountains, and on
the lonely farms.

Glenn County Free Library.

Miss Essae M. Culver, County Libra-
Pictures :

Branch in country store
Branch in bank building
Old hotej bar room
turned into library branch
Books always on tap



Glenn County

County seat. Willows.

Area, 1,460 square miles.

Population, 7,172 (in 1910).

Assessed valuation, $17,570,399 (tax
able for county, $1.5,678,263).

County Free Library established April
8, 1914. AVork started Au^. 1, 1914. Ap-
propriation, 1914-15, $4,335.64. Branches
(Jan. 1, 1915), 20.

Glenn County is part of that great
agricultural region known as the Sacra-
mento Valley and in its pursuits offers
no diversity, for agriculture is its "raison
d'etat" and the only vai-iation in activity
comes in the great diversity of products
possible in this region.

The county free library has come to
fill a long felt need for most of the popu-
lation, in colonies and scattered on the
large ranches, has had no access to books
either for information or recreational
reading and this lack was most keenly
felt during the long rainy season when
outdoor activity was impossible.

The avidity with which the county free
library idea was taken up testifies to the
eagerness of the people for books, and in
the first six months of operation 19
branches were established, the details of
location and custodian having been worked
out, in almost every case, before the com-
ing of the county librarian.

The branch at Ord is in the general
store of Mr Stull. There is no settlement
immediately surrounding this store but
the farmers of the neighborhood come
here for their provisions and Mrs Stull,
the custodian, supplies them with books.
The demands at this branch are for ma-
terial for club programs for the farmers'
wives, information for the fanner, and
recreational reading lor all.

At Hamilton, a city built up around
a .sugar factory at present not in opera-
tion, the library is in the bank building,
donated by the sugar company. The li-
brary is open a part of every week day
and a good . supply of magazines supple-
ments the book material. The children
are the most eager patrons of this branch,
but they arc gradually inducing the par-
onls to make use of this opportunity also.

Orland is a wide awake, bustling com-
munity of 1,200 inhabitants, eager to
take advantage of every opportunity, edu-
cational or social, oECcred, so that the

library, from the beginning, has been a
busy institution. It is located in what
was formerly the bar i-oom of the hotel,
the bar still serving the public with stimu-
lants and the new use makes the building
more popular than the old, for over 520
books, a number larger than the total col-
lection, were issued in the third month
of its operation and each month the pat-
ronage is rapidly increasing.

The branch in the Willows Public Li-
brary has been established but a few
weeks but already a great many requests
have been received for material for club
program.s, debates, agricultural informa-
tion and for school work which could not
have been supplied from the resources
of the public library alone.

Humboldt County Free Library.

Miss Ida M. Reagan, County Librarian.
Humboldt County

County seat. Eureka.

Area, 3.;j07 square miles.

Population, 33,857 (in 1910).

Assessed valuation, $33,793,967 (tax-
iil)le for county, $32,189,821).

County Free Library established May
12, 1914. Work to be started April 12,
1915. Appropriation 1914-15. about

Imperial County Free Library.

Mrs Thomas B. Beeman, County Li-

Pictures :

Box car branch

at desert station

Books and other food supplies

travel to one branch

by way of Arizona and

Colorado River ferry

The C M Ranch (million acres)
mostly in Mexico h.ns
a branch for employees
nearly all foreigners

Imperial County

County seat, El Centro.

Area, 4,.316 square miles.

Population, 13,591 (in 1910).

Assessed valuation, $25,757,829 ((ax-
able for county, $21..550,I57) .

County Free Lilirary established Fob.
6, ]912. Ajipropriation, 1914-15, $2,-
155.02. Branches (Jan. 1, 1915), 38.



The circulation of the Imperial County
Free Library in its three years of exist-
ence gives an idea of its growth and
popularity :

The first year 7,G36 books were cir-

The second year 32,792 books were cir-

The third year 55,401 books were cir-

Some of the locations in this county
that are receiving library service are
unique. Imperial Junction (now Niland)
was the junction where people change
to go to Yuma and to Imperial Valley.
The population — not more than 75 at the
time the branch was established consisted
of railroad employees. With no stores,
everything was brought to the people by
train. The post office was located in a
box car and this was the only place that
seemed available for the library quarters.
The postmaster finally agreed to take upon
himself another duty so he moved his
post oflSce to one-half of the car and gave
us the other half for the use of the branch.
The post office and county free library
branch did the biggest business in the
whole place.

Bard is nearly on the border line be-
tween California and Arizona, and to get
books to the people at the branch there,
they are sent first to Yuma, Arizona.
Then they are ferried across the Colorado
River — the horse and wagon with books
and daily supplies, driving on the feri-y
boat and riding across.

Another unusual example of location
is the C M Ranch — -a million acre ranch
known as the California Mexico Ranch,
most of the land being in Mexico. The
borrowers — employees of the ranch — are
largely foreigners and many of them
are learning the English language and
asking for easy reading books.

The library service to the schools is a
big part of the rapid growth. In one
school district, the branch library was
so popular and the demand for books so
great that it outgrew its quarters in the
schoolhouse and needed more room. En-
tertainments were given, box suppers and
many other festivities, and as the result
there stands in the school yard a little
portable bungalow building; with built-in
shelves and attractive interior. The peo-
ple purchased Ihe portable house, hauled

it on a wagon from the depot for 9 miles
and put it up themselves. It is one of
the thriving branches. The circulation
the first year was 827 and for its second
year 3,985 books.

Inyo County Free Library.

Miss Jennie May Brown, County Li-

Inyo County

County seat. Independence.

Area, 10,224 square miles.

Population, 6,974 (in 1910).

Assessed valuation, $12,2o3,4(>4 (tax-
able for county, $7,866,885).

County Free Library established Sept.
15, 1913. Work started Oct. 1, 1913.
Appropriation, 1914-15, $4,200. Branches
(Jan. 1, 1915), 7.

Inyo County is the second largest
county in the state — as large as all the
New England states, except Maine, com-
bined. But in this territory is only a
small population, and the increase, if any,
has been very slight in the last five years
owing to inadequate transportation facil-
ities and its isolation from the rest of the
state, and from the world in fact. The
population is scattered the length of the
county, the majority being in Owens Val-
ley ; however, there are many minors in
the mountains.

T'"licre is only one incorporated town
ii! the county, with a population of about
1,200 within its limits and about 1,300
more in its neighborhood. The other
towns vary from about 150 to 500, the
county being distinctly a rural people.
The county seat, the headquarters of the
library, is one' of the smaller towns, thus
making the work rather more difficult,
necessitating a large amount of traveling.

The population of the county consists of
miners, cattlemen and ranchers, besides
the usual storekeepers, professional men,
etc., and the Indians, the original inhab-

In 1013 when the county free library
was established there were no libraries
in Ihc county, except two small club li-
lirarics, bolh of which were turned over
lo Ihe county free library almost imme-
diately. From !he start the people werii
nuxious for the books and it has been a
question, not of getting people to read
the books but of getting books for the



people to read. After a year and a half
of work there are 1,205 borrowers, 4
reading rooms, 3 deposit stations, 1 com-
bination deposit and school branch, and
two schools receiving just school service,
with two more schools which have con-
tracted for service for the coming year.

There are 2,126 volumes belonging to
the county besides a state loan which en-
ables the library to do greater work. The
circulation for the fiscal year ending
June 30, 1914 (for nine months' time,
the library being established Oct. 1, 1913),
was 6,623 while the circulation for the
quarter January-March, 1915, was 6,247.
The circulation for the nine months of
this year, July-March 1915, is 13,406 or
over twice that of the first nine months
of establishment.

The ranchers are now beginning to feel
the practical need of the library, coming
in to ask why their grapevines "bleed,"
what should be done for black rot, how
to trim their berry vines, etc. Several
agricultural debates have been decided by
the books at the Library.

One club last year asked for service,
while three clubs, one divided into two
study sections, thus making four subjects,
have been served this year.

When a bridge was washed out
year books were promptly requested from
the State Library, and served so valuable
a purpose that they were requested again
this year, when other bridges were to be

Kern County Free Library.

Miss Harriet C. Long, County Libra-
Pictures :

Headquarters lu

county court house

Power plant library branch

Librarj' branch

in an oil center

A library oasis

in the desert
Kern county

County seat, Bnkersfield.

Area, S,l.">9 square miles.

Population, 37,71.". (in 1910).

AssosKcd vahiotion. $.S5.''47,r»(>0 (tax-
able for county. .luO.1 95.213).

County Free Library established Nov.
16, 1910. Work started Nov. 1, 1911. Ap-

propriation, 1914-15, $17,300. Branches
(Jan. 1, 1915), 38.

Prior to the opening of the Kern
County Free Library, the city of Bakers-
field was the only community in the en-
tire county to maintain a free library.
Opportunities for library service were
therefore very great, for the immense
oil fields, the mines, the ranches, the
desert claims and the power plants had at-
tracted to the county a thoroughly wide-
awake and intelligent people of varied

Bakersfield, the county seat of Kern
County, is fortunately located near the
center of the county, and the County
Free Library headquarters are in the
court house at that place.

Fixed collections of books are unknown
in the system of library service as op-
erated in Kern County, for the books sent
to each branch ai"e carefully selected with
the needs of that particular community
in mind. Nor is there any limit to the
length of time for which the books may
be retained at any branch. The collec-
tion is constantly shifting. Each mouth
on the receipt of some new books, the
custodian returns to the business head-
quarters any books no longer needed by
her patrons. At all times the people of
(he county are urged to make their book
wants known, and every effort is made
to supply individual books. The number
of volumes in any branch varies also ac-
cording to the community, some of the
smaller branches having but forty vol-
umes, while other collections embrace
more than 700. In some of the larger
towns the people have furnished a nnnu —
or even erected a building (one lins a
portable building) in which to house tly
branch library and provide reading room
facilities. But the branch may also bo
in the village post oflice, in the school-
house, in the church at the cross roads,
in the warehouse of an oil company, or
in the home of some good woman who
has volunteered to share her parlor with
the people of her neighborhood in order
that they may have library service. But
whei-ever the branch may be located,
whether it be in some little mountain
village forty miles from the railroad, or
in the heart of the oil fields. gu;irdod by
the multitude of derricks which are every-
where silhouetted against the horizon, or



even in the midst of the great Mojave
desert, the books are heartily welcomed
by the people.

Kings County Free Library.
INIiss Bessie B. Silverthorn, County
IMctures :


School boys carry books

to city schools

Braiich in restaurant

Proprietor is custodian

Books served free

Library service

to harvester camps

too far from regular branch

to get books there

Kings County

County seat, Hanford.

Area. 1,375 square miles.

2 4

Online LibraryCalifornia State LibraryCalifornia library service : economical, equal, complete .. → online text (page 2 of 4)