What is now Multnomah County Library dates its existence from 1864, a time when Portland was a frontier town with frame buildings, muddy streets and few sidewalks. Join the Library in 2014 as it celebrates 150 years!
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Related Portland Events and Info
- Win 250 Business Cards: Jump-start Your Business With Perfection Custom Print Solutions! | From Wide Format to Business Cards & Direct Mail
- Win Quest ($49): Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure w/ Urban Adventure Quest | Save w/ Promo Code, City Tour (All Month)
- Win Tickets ($190): Spark Weekend Portland 2014 @ Eliot Center | Promo / Discount Code, Look better, Get More Dates, And Get Paid! (February 15-16)
- Win Tickets ($30): Overlook Village Street Fair Silent Auction Fundraiser @ Hatfield Warehouse | Food & Drinks, Music By Abigail, Dusty Grimm, Joy Pearson (February 19)
Multnomah County Library has been serving this community since February 15, 1864. In 2014, we honor 150 years of rich library history and envision what our library will look like 150 years from now.
We hope you’ll join us in this year-long celebration of both past and future. Keep watch for upcoming events and projects.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Our new Portland Events App for PDX Pipeline is now available for iPhones, Android phones and iPads!
Now, you can have all of the great Portland events from our website in the palm of your hand when you’re out on the town.
Download the App for iPhone here
Download the App for Android here
What is now Multnomah County Library dates its existence from 1864, a time when Portland was a frontier town with frame buildings, muddy streets and few sidewalks. A small group of Portland citizens met to establish a subscription library and reading room, organizing under the name “Library Association of Portland.”
On March 10, 1902, the library became a tax-supported free public library, open to all residents of Portland. In 1903, services were extended to all residents of Multnomah County and the Multnomah County commissioners became ex officio members of the library board.
Mary Frances Isom
Under the leadership of Mary Frances Isom (PDF, 5.4MB) from 1902 to 1920, the library experienced a period of unprecedented growth. Central Library, located at 801 S.W. 10th in downtown Portland, opened in September 1913. Designed by architect A.E. Doyle, the building took two years to build at a cost of $480,000. The Central Library building, now on the National Register of Historic Places, continues to be the heart of what has become a system of branch libraries that serves library users all over Multnomah County.
On July 1, 1990, after 126 years of guiding the library to the respected community position it currently enjoys, the Library Association of Portland transferred ownership of the library’s buildings, books and other holdings to the people of Multnomah County, to be governed by the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners.
Histories of neighborhood libraries
- Albina Library
- Belmont Library
- Capitol Hill Library
- Central Library
- Fairview-Columbia Library
- Gregory Heights Library
- Gresham Library
- Hillsdale Library
- Holgate Library
- Hollywood Library
- Kenton Library
- Midland Library
- North Portland Library
- Northwest Library
- Rockwood Library
- St. Johns Library
- Sellwood-Moreland Library
- Troutdale Library
- Woodstock Library