Our History

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
           O&C monies.

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
           larger quarters.

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
           October 8th.

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.