Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Sierra Madre Public Library
We are looking at part of the reading/study area in the Friends Library Garden, located at the front of one of my very favorite places in town, the Sierra Madre Public Library. The library is the 4th oldest library in Los Angeles County, and the 10th oldest in the state.
The Sierra Madre Public Library was established in 1886, through the generosity of Mrs. R.E. Ross, who donated the land for the site as well as $2,000, as a memorial to her husband. In addition to this generous gift, the commuty raised an additional $1,041, and the Sierra Madre Public Library Project was underway. Many of the citizens of the town donated books from their own libraries, and the library opened in 1887.
In order to purchase periodicals and books, library patrons paid a $2.00 per year subscription. The chairman of the Library Board was J.G. Blumer, and he supervised the operation of the library, including covering all of the books himself, for safety and cleanliness. In order to staff the library, young women of the community volunteered at the library for one month per year, and the men were responsible for stocking the furnace, as well as other janitorial duties.
The original library building was used until 1955, at which time it was determined that a larger and more modern space was needed, and the present building (currently 8,762 square feet) replaced the original, while maintaining much of the landscaping. The new Rotary Children's Library room opened on June 7 of this year with, among other things, new furniture, bookshelves, carpet and paint.
The Friends of the Sierra Madre Public Library, established in 1953, is the organization that provides support, both financially and in volunteer hours, to our library. The "Friends" holds several major fundraisers each year. These include the Annual Art Fair in May and the Wine and Cuisine Tasting (held in February this last year). Coming up next is the Best Used Books Sale on Friday, August 3rd, from 3:00 til 7:00, and Saturday, August 4th, from 10:00 til 2:00.
Source: Sierra Madre Vistas, Published in 1976 by the Sierra Madre Historical Society