Monday, 27 June 2022

Local libraries celebrate their history during National Library Week

LAKE COUNTY – In recognition of National Library Week, April 13 to 19, the Lake County Library invites everyone to visit a local branch and experience the changes as library service in Lake County enters its second century.

Since the early 20th century, readers in Lake County have had library service, growing from local grass-roots efforts into the county-run system we have today.

Networks of several kinds have been important to libraries in Lake County for more than 100 years. Some of these networks formed in various communities to start libraries, while other networks included people and institutions far from Lake County. Computer networks now connect the library to the rest of the world.

The individual libraries had their own networks as interested citizens and civic organizations such as women's clubs, town improvement clubs and library committees banded together to bring library service to their towns.

Library supporters borrowed space in a number of buildings, donated books and labor, and raised money for the town libraries.

Benefactors with connections outside of Lake County, and even beyond California, provided major support to local libraries. Harriett Lee Hammond, a native of Massachusetts who lived near Upper Lake, donated money to construct the library in Upper Lake and hired a Boston architect to design it. Chauncey Gibson of Oakland and Middletown donated Middletown's Gibson Library. The Carnegie Corporation of New York granted money to Lakeport for the Carnegie Library on Park Street.

As early as 1906, The California State Library sent crates of books to Lake County as part of the Traveling Libraries program and local organizations distributed the books to readers. In 1918 and from 1921 to 1922, county library organizers from the State Library visited Lake County, urging local officials to form a county library, but their efforts did not succeed. Efforts to form a county library in 1946 and 1956 also failed.

When Lake County finally committed to starting a county library system in the 1970s, the State Library organized and managed the federally-funded Lake County Library Project, from which the current county system developed. The Project's bookmobile delivered books to many Lake County communities.

Voters elected to form the Lake County Library system in the mid-1970s, bringing Lakeport, Clearlake (Redbud Library) Upper Lake, and Middletown Libraries into one system. The Kelseyville Library, which the Kelseyville Women's Club had operated since 1914, reportedly ceased operations around this time.

The most significant change for the Lake County Library since the 1970s occurred in 2001, when the library system automated and joined a catalog/circulation network with the Sonoma and Mendocino County Libraries.

Library patrons in Lake County now have access to the collections of the three counties, approximately one million books, through the automated catalogs in the libraries and the online catalog. See the library Web site at, and choose “Catalog” to locate and request books from home. A library card issued at any branch library in the tri-county network is good anywhere in the system.

Lakeport Library, located at 1425 N. High St., is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesday, noon to 8 p.m.; telephone 263-8817.

Redbud Library, 14785 Burns Valley Road, Clearlake, is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesday, noon to 8 p.m.; telephone 994-5115.

Middletown Library, 21267 Calistoga Road, is open Tuesday through Friday, 1 p.m to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; telephone 987-3674.

Upper Lake Library, 310 Second St., is open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Wednesday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; telephone 275-2049.


Upcoming Calendar

06.27.2022 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Scotts Valley Advisory Council
06.28.2022 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Board of Supervisors
06.28.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
06.28.2022 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Rotary Club of Clear Lake
06.30.2022 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
07.02.2022 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Junior Ranger Program: Lake ecology
07.02.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
07.02.2022 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Weekly writing workshop
07.02.2022 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
64th annual Redbud Parade and Festival

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