About Us :
The Pendleton Public Library has it's roots in the original Umatilla County Library, signed into being on January 6, 1914. The first report of the County Librarian submitted in 1917 includes this information:
"On January 12, 1914, the county librarian arrived and began her duties. The library was at that time thrown open for the free use of all county residents and plans started for opening branch libraries in the eleven incorporated towns of the county. A tour was made of these towns and by personal visits, letters to mayors, and newspaper announcement was made that the first town to notify the librarian that a suitable room was ready, with proper light and heat and attendant, would be the first to receive branch library service. Other towns would be served in the order of their preparation of library quarters."
The effort to ramp up suitable facilities for public libraries was spearheaded by city councils, women's clubs and commercial clubs.
Exactly one year from the date the library was established, a letter was received from the Carnegie Foundation offering $25,000 to assist in the construction of a main library. The county court added an additional $10,000 to the budget and in August 1916 the new facility was occupied.
In 1917 the circulation of books from Pendleton's Carnegie library ranked third in the state of Oregon, with only Salem and Portland using their libraries more.
The City of Pendleton assumed administrative responsibility for the public library in 19... and in 1994 moved library operations into the present facility.
In the 1980's the public voted to form the Umatilla County Special Library District (UCSLD). Most of the financial support for the Pendleton Public Library now comes from taxes collected for member libraries through the UCSLD. To provide expanded service to library users, the Pendleton Public Library has a collaborative relationship with the 12 other libraries in the UCSLD. Additionally, the Pendleton Public Library participates in other regional and statewide consortia to obtain enhanced services as economically as possible.
The library values it's heritage as a grassroots community effort and welcomes new voices to the planning and development of it's services.
Please don't hesitate to let us hear from you as we continue to grow into the 21st century.