The year was 1912. The scientific community was heralding a recommendation to include vitamins “A” and “B” in the American diet, headlines recounting the grisly details of the “unsinkable” ship Titanic’s demise were splashed across newspapers nationwide, and in the growing Washington town of Goldendale – which just the year before had become one of the state’s first communities with paved sidewalks and roads – residents were celebrating the opening of their first community library.
Library staff in Goldendale began providing services to the community in 1912 before they even had a building. The ladies who ran the library would hand-deliver crates of books to nearby ranches and schools.
Approximately 80 percent of Goldendale-area residents have a library card and on average, 50 new cards are issued each month. The library also offers a free adult literacy program run by volunteers, free use of the Camplan room to display works by local artists, and free computer and wi-fi access to the public. The library also offers free one-on-one classes for senior citizens on computer and internet usage, and offers over 210 different programs throughout the year.
The Goldendale Library also had more than 78,000 visitors in 2011, and in the tradition of the library’s founding staff its “bookmobile” continues to deliver books to 26 different communities around Goldendale three times a week.
I hope the Goldendale Library’s proud 100-year history will continue for at least another century.