(March, 2003 These notes were taken from review of historical material and old minutes by Elaine Shreve & Polly Herman. 2010 updated information by Elaine Shreve follows.)
Briefly: The Garden Home Elementary School, Beaverton School District, closed in 1982 and the volunteer library began in 1983. It became a developing library in 1994, incorporated as the Garden Home Community Library Association in 1994 and also became an official non-profit organization. It became a participating Washington County Cooperative Library Services library in 1996.
The Garden Home Elementary School closed in June of 1982 due to reduced enrollment. Some books that had been in the library were left at the school. A number of volunteers and one of the teachers, Carol Waley, decided to begin a little community library for the children in 1983. Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District (THPRD) began classes in the building in 1983 and passed a successful levy to purchase the building after 1986.
Early volunteers included: Trinette Torson, Esta Mapes, Jan Pinniger, Marie Pacella, Jerrie Thomas, Patsy VandeVenter, Genevra Brines, Julie Hulbert, Judy Freck, Patty Bonney, Jeanette Neuburger, Carol Williams, Judy Herborn, Sue Miner and Fabian Mayer from THPRD. Memories differ on which room the library was originally located. The school library was in the current room 4.
The library proceeded with limited hours, a card catalogue, stamps and cards in the pocket in the back of the books, donated books and a minimal budget. Through THPRD, the Garden Home Community Center was the major supporter of this endeavor. They contributed some funds for new books, all utilities and management expertise.
The budget for 1991-92 was $1,900. It increased in the 1992-93 year to $2,800.
The library celebrated 10 years of service in 1993. At that time, it was open 26 hours a week and had both adult and children’s books. Very limited printed historical material is available from these first 10 years.
The Garden Home Community Library Association incorporated in March of 1994. These original papers are housed at Carl Dyess’ law office. Circulation for January of 1994 was 700 books and increased to 1500 items a year later. We were accepted into a mentor relationship with Cedar Mill Community Library through Washington County Cooperative Library Services (WCCLS) in January of 1994 and received $5000 from WCCLS. Weekly courier service began and records indicate that Stuart Director and Carl Dyess each contributed $500 which made up most of the budget.
The library became an official non-profit, 501 (c) (3) organization in 1994.
In April of 1994 the circulation was 1,176 books, the patron count 840. THPRD paid for the weekly storytime person. The Follett software system, Dynix, began in Sept. 1994. Summer Reading program brought in 108 children. Average daily circulation was 45 books. Total circulation for November 1994 was 1,169. The December Used Book Sale brought in $300. Fifty people joined the Association.
In the fiscal year 1994-95, THPRD funded the library $4,645 for library materials, weekly courier services, a summer storytime teacher and $1,695 for Follett software. Volunteers during this period included: Wilma Evans, president, Claire Sheldon, Esta Mapes, Carol Williams, Marvel Holman, Jan Pinniger, Jacquie Bothman, Julie Hulbert, Toni Lee Curry, Marge Trotter, Mary Sempert, Margie Spring, Ethel Smith, Marian Bowen, Shary Clark, Elaine Shreve, Polly Herman, Alice Bennett, Judy and Bill Freck, Rita Rivera and Barbara Gifford.
January 1995 reported 1,534 library items checked out. Wilma Evans was the President for the Association and Judy Freck was the Library Director. Carol Williams was Treasurer. Julie Hulbert was the acting Director when Judy was gone. The library became an official WCCLS participating library in 1996. Mary Sempert was in charge of the Summer Reading Program in the 1990s and Polly Herman was the volunteer coordinator.
Carl Dyess became the president in the 1995-96 years, Elaine Shreve vice-president, treasurer Sharon Cram and secretary Julie Hulbert. Carole Hickman was appointed Library Director this year with about 5 paid hours. She resigned in Feb. 1996.
Carl Dyess continued as president in 1996, Bill Freck vice-president, Julie Hulbert secretary and Sharon Cram treasurer. Bruce Flath was the Library Director.
Judy and Bill Freck resigned from their responsibilities in Feb. 1997. In April they were honored for their many contributions.
In 1998 we had 56 Association members. Karen McClendon became the Library Director. The Gaylord information Systems Polaris Library information System was installed as software through WCCLS.
Carl Dyess continued as president in 1999 with Bob Cram as vice-president, Sharon Cram as treasurer and Julie Hulbert as secretary.
Through the year-long efforts of the Garden Home Community Library Association Board of Directors, the Library staff, many volunteers and community contributions, the Library expanded into the next classroom, doubling the library space in 2004. Linda Malone was Library Director, Jack Bertell the Board President, Bob Cram the Chair of the Expansion Committee, Elaine Shreve, Chair of the Fundraising Committee, Sharon Cram the Treasurer, and Patsy Vandeventer, Funds Secretary. Other Board members were Carl Dyess, Polly Herman, Julie Hulbert, Carol Johnston, Kirk Kanitz, Esta Mapes and Sharon Vedder.
The Library also received generous funds from the Meyer Memorial Trust, Juan Young Trust, Collins Foundation, the Oregon Community Foundation, Autzen Foundation, and the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation.
The Library had a Grand Opening on April 13, 2004 to celebrate the enlarged library. Many of the early pioneers who volunteered and established the library in 1983 attended. This unique library is one of only two in Washington County who are not funded by city budgets. Cedar Mill Library is similar and provided mentoring during the early years.
The Library continues as a member of the Washington County Cooperative Library Services. It is a very busy full service library with programs beginning with babies into adult services. The current statistics in 2009 average almost 17,000 books and materials checked out each month by some 7,500 patrons.
The Garden Home Library Association Board today is composed of: Bob Cram, President, Esta Mapes Vice-president, Sharon Vedder Secretary, and Sharon Cram Treasurer. Other members include Biff Dorsey, Lora Keenan, Karen Moffatt, Florence Obstfeld, Lorah Sebastian, Ann Skaugset and Barb Zahler, all with specific responsibilities such as personnel or the book sales. Special recognition of generous and long-time leadership goes to Carl Dyess in addition to all those persons who have volunteered on the Board for years.
The current staff includes: Cooky Abrams Director, Kendra Jones Youth Librarian, Heather Waisanen Library Programmer, Jackie Wisher Library Assistant, and circulation assistants Catherine Miller, Sarah June Donohue, Julie Kidoguchi and Zenny Waite. Library Pages are Portia Considine and Stephanie Jones. A number of volunteers continue to work in the library under the direction of Cooky Abrams.
(1) Further historical information is contained in the white Garden Home Community Library scrapbook on reserve at the library and copies of library documents courtesy of Elaine Shreve.