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Avondale Library History Timeline

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1930’s

July 10, 1930: A library was founded by the Avondale Women’s Club on the stage of the Avondale School No. 1 auditorium.  Mrs. J.N. Brooke was the President of the Avondale Women’s Club and the First Librarian. The collection consisted of fifty books, and the library was open from 7-9pm on Tuesday evenings.

June 1931: 7,367 books have been circulated by the library, which also served the school.

1937: Mary Ludlow, member of Avondale women’s Club and Avondale elementary School Teacher became librarian. The library was open from 2:30-4pm daily.

1938: Mary Ludlow and two girls from the Works Progress Administration introduce the Dewey Decimal System. They complete the project in 1940.

1940’s  

1941: Use of the library was restricted to students.

1943: In October, a Free Lending Library was established in Goodyear Community Hall.

1947: Mrs. Eleanor Stanton goes to the library and finds it closed. She chairs a volunteer committee and reopens the library.

1950's

1959: The library moves from Goodyear Community Hall to space provided by the City of Avondale in the Circle Housing Project.  Avondale provides the library with desks, chairs, tables and shelves.  For the first time, the librarian is provided a salary.

1960’s

1963: The library’s collection consists of 500 donated books, and 2,260 items from the Maricopa County Free Library.  The library has a Book of the Month Club and a Detective Book Club.  Club books were loaned for one week at a time for a ten-cent fee that was used to purchase future club books.

1970’s

1972: The need for a new facility was recognized. 

1973: The Library Board of Trustees and the Library Fund Committee raise a total of $36,651.28.   
Land for the new library was donated by Thomas E. and Margaret Ellison. The land was valued at $41,750. 

1974: On December 5th, construction of the new library was complete.

1975: The new library opened to the public on January 27th. 
Of the 17,000 books in the collection 95% were on loan from Maricopa County of the Arizona State Library Extension. The book budget for 1975 was $12,892.

1980's

1980: The total library budget was $40, 118. 

1981: The library had 9,312 titles. Patron could check out 4 items at a time for two weeks. Late fees were 5¢ per day. Patron privileges were revoked when fines totaled $10. 

1984: Santa Claus arrives at the library on a Sky 12 News helicopter. 1,000 people were there to greet him. 

1985: The city awards a $285,000 contract to expand the library to 6600 square feet. 

1986: The expanded library was dedicated on January 28th.

1990’s

1990: Private donations and matching grant funds allowed the purchase of a 60 volume set of classics.

1993: The library gets its first OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog).

2000’s

2003: The library on Western Avenue had 37,461 books. Hours of operation were Monday, Tuesday, and Thursdays 9-6; Wednesdays 9-8, Fridays 9-5, and Saturdays 9-1.

2007: On October 10th, ground was broken for a new 12,000 square foot library on Western Avenue. This is the Sam Garcia Western Avenue Library currently in use today.

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