The Chetco Community Public Library:
Serving the Brookings-Harbor area Since 1924
1924 Brookings Chamber of Commerce appointed a committee to
establish a reading room and to raise money for a library.
1927 Harbor Community Club started a library in the Central
Building, open one hour a week, staffed by volunteers.
1954 A small library building was constructed by volunteer labor
with mostly donated material, on surplus land given by the
U.S. Forest Service. As required by the Service, it was then
given to the city, but to be funded jointly by the city and
county, since many users lived outside the city limits.
1964 An adult reading room was added to the original structure.
1966 Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award of $2,500 for “Outstanding
Small Library” was received from the Book of the Month Club.
This was one of only six libraries in the U.S. so honored.
1973 The will of Louis Eldon Morgan gave 1,882 shares of AT&T
stock to the library. This fund was placed in the Oregon State
Investment Pool and eventually grew to a sizable sum.
1974 A second addition, providing a children’s room and a
periodical/exhibit room, was financed by the county, as had
been done for other libraries in the county. This brought the
building to its final size: 4,950 sq. ft.
1982 Funding by the county was sharply reduced, by depletion of
1983 Loss of county funds caused the city to close the library
temporarily. It was later reopened with reduced hours and
staff, and a family fee of $15 per year. This fee was strongly
protested by Friends of the Library and was later dropped.
Formation of the first Library District in the State, from Pistol
River to the California border, was approved by the voters
and a five member Board of Directors elected. Voter
rejection of a tax levy for operation of the library caused the
city to continue operation.
1984 A minimal tax base was approved by the voters, providing
barely enough for the District to operate the library.
1987 A State Library survey requested by the Board showed an
urgent need for a larger facility.
1989 Another State Library survey of library services showed
definite inadequacies for the size of the population served.
1990 Election campaign resulted in voter approval for a greatly
increased tax base to provide for expanded services and
1992 After years of searching, land for a new building was
purchased with Morgan Estate Funds.
Many volunteers again donated time, labor and materials, and
over $100,000 was raised in a special fund drive.
Ground breaking for a new building of 17,500 sq. ft. held on
1993 The new Chetco Community Public Library building
celebrated the grand opening of its new location,
405 Alder Street, on August 28th.
1997 Automation of the card catalog is completed.
1998 Automation of the circulation and cataloging systems completed.
Money provided by the Chetco Community Public Library Endowment fund
allows for the purchase of two computer terminals for public
access to the Internet.
2001 The Endowment Fund provides money for the purchase of two additional
Internet access terminals for the public.
2002 The Library is awarded a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates
Foundation and adds four more Internet terminals, bringing
the library’s total to eight public access internet stations.
A donation of labor and materials by local provider, Northwest
Technical, allows for an upgrade from multiple telephone lines
and dial-up accounts to a single wireless broadband connection
for all staff and public PCs.
2004 The library makes its final payment on the 1992 loan for construction
of the library facility. The Library Improvement Fund is established
and funds which went annually for repayment of the loan are now set
aside for upgrading equipment, repairs, remodeling, and future expansion
2006 The Library begins outgrowing the existing facility and hires an
architect to develop project plans and cost estimates for an expansion.
Three scenarios are developed and it is decided that an expansion is not
feasible at this time.
2010 The library purchases the house across the street from the library.
The library launches its website, www.chetcolibrary.org, giving patrons
access to online databases, reference resources, and more.
2011 The library upgrades its integrated library system. The online
public access catalog now allows patrons to view the
“card catalog” from home.
The library begins offering access to Library2Go, providing patrons access
to downloadable audio books and eBooks.
2012 The main building undergoes a remodel, providing space for expanded
audiovisual collections and space for additional Internet access
terminals for the public.
The house purchased in 2010 is remodeled and named the “Library Annex.”
The small meeting room displaced by the main building remodel is moved
to the Annex.
2013 The Friends of the Library opens a bookstore in the Annex.
2017 The Chetco Library joins the Coastline Libraries Network, sharing a catalog
with 14 libraries in Coos and Curry Counties. The number of items patrons
can access expanded to more than 490,000 books, videos, periodicals and more.