100 Years of Libraries in Solano County
Created by solanolibrary on Feb 6, 2014
Last updated: 04/02/14 at 02:43 PM
The community celebrates the 100 year anniversary of the establishment of the Solano County Library.
The JFK Library reopens after a renovation project locates all services on one floor. The renovation includes new furniture, new restrooms and a used book store operated by the Vallejo Friends of the Library.
An 80% majority of Solano County voters extend the 1/8th of a cent sales tax until 2030.
The Suisun City Library opens as a joint public and school library, funded by a 4-party agreement between the school district, the county, and Suisun’s redevelopment agency.
A program that encourages kids to engage with reading in new ways is established. Each year a book is selected, and the author is invited to meet with kids and discuss their book.
The new Vacaville Public Library-Town Square opens and the library on Ulatis Drive becomes the Vacaville Public-Cultural Center.
The Fairfield-Suisun Community Library reopens after extensive remodeling. The name is changed to the Fairfield Civic Center Library by the Board of Supervisors.
The Solano County Library offers an early version of electronic books that can be read on a home computer. The Library also introduces the first e-reading devices for checkout. They weigh 1 pound and hold up to 12 books at a time.
A 1/8th of a cent sales tax devoted exclusively to libraries is passed by 67% of Solano County voters. The tax is scheduled to expire in 2014 unless it is extended.
The Internet comes to Solano county Library. “By providing access to information through the Internet, we can cut across all socioeconomic lines. Part of our goal is to make sure we don’t have a population where some people are information –rich and some are information-poor.” – Ann Cousineau, Solano County Library Director.
A new Rio Vista Library opens (5288 square ft.) on the site of the former library. After the original burned down in a fire, the library was temporarily relocated to a storefront. A federally funded Library Services and Contruction Act grant, along with fire insurance proceeds and county facility fees, underwrote the cost of a replacement facility.
The Solano County Library Foundation is established to support literacy and lifelong learning.
Solano County Library’s volunteer program begins. Volunteers read to children as part of the Grandparents and Books program, bring materials to the homebound, and index local newspapers.
Solano County Library’s Adult Literacy Program begins, matching volunteer tutors with people who cannot read or have poor reading and writing skills.
A new public library opens at Ulatis Drive as part of a cultural center that includes a community center and theater. Because there is only enough money to operate one library, the Merchant Street location closes.
The Suisun City Library opens in a rented space.
A joint-automated catalog system is purchased by SNAP (Solano, Napa, and Partners). The system allows for the sharing of books and other materials between partners, as well as databases of magazine, health and homework resources.
The Board of Supervisors approves a library for Suisun City.
The Solano County Law Library Board of Trustees contracts with Solano County Library to operate the Law Library.
The Rio Vista and Springstowne libraries receive major remodeling, with completely new interiors and additional square footage for the Springstowne Library.
The Library offers coin-operated computers, video cassettes, and cameras for loan.
The county library begins providing limited library service to the county’s sentenced detention facility on Claybank Road under contract with the Sheriffs Department. With the opening of the new jail in 1989, inmate library services expand greatly.
A hastily negotiated temporary contract for operations enables the Vacaville library to reopen its doors under the auspices of the Solano County Library. On July 1, 1979, the Vacaville Unified School District formally contracts library services with the county library.
Following the passage of Proposition 13, which decreased property taxes by assessing property values at their 1975 value and restricted annual increases, the Vacaville Public Library closes its doors.
Friends groups follow in Vacaville (1981), Fairfield and Suisun (1986), and Rio Vista (1987).
Construction of the new Fairfield-Suisun Community Library and Solano County Library Headquarters on Kentucky Street in Fairfield is completed (40,000 sq. ft.) and a new automated circulation system is installed.
Vallejo Public Library merges with Solano County Library.
Looking for a way to improve the financial viability of the Vallejo and Solano County Libraries, Josephine Becker, librarian for the city of Vallejo, begins talks with other city and county officials about a possible merger. The talks begin unofficially at the Red Top Dairy, between Vallejo and Fairfield.
John F. Kennedy Library building (96,000 square feet) opens in Vallejo .
The Vacaville Public Library (8,000 square feet) opens on Merchant Street.
Fairfield branch moved to rented quarters on Empire Street and established as a separate outlet renamed Fairfield-Suisun Branch library
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The Fairfield, Suisun, and Solano County Library headquarters all move to rented quarters on Empire Street; a Reference Center remains in the 1931 building.
In 1968 the Solano County Library Advisory Council was formed, advise the Board of Supervisors and the Count Director of Library Services in all matters pertaining to library service. Members of the council are appointed to represent the five county supervisorial districts as well as the individual cities that the library system services.
A “telecopier,” or early fax machine, is installed to facilitate answering reference questions between libraries. “Photo-reproduction of such materials are made by electronic signals carried by private telephone circuits…The county library can receive those printed matters from the sending libraries in a matter of six minutes, while a signatures for verification may only take 30 seconds or less to transmit.”
Benicia Public Library, Dixon Public Library, and the Vacaville Public Library Withdraw from the county library system.
The Northbay Cooperative System was a group of libraries that shared the work of answering of complex or in-depth information requests.
The Springstowne Library opens in Vallejo.
The Vallejo Public Library celebrates its 50th anniversary in 1955; the brochure boasts of a main reading room, a children’s reading room, and a religious reading room, which holds donated magazines.
The Vallejo library begins microfilming old newspapers with a Recordak machine.
The Library's first bookmobile, an outfitted Airstream trailer, has a capacity of 1,500 books.
Solano County Library distributes 6,000 pamphlets entitled, “Survival Under Atomic Attack”
Vallejo's library expands to deal with population growth spurred by WWII. Four locations serve the community: The Solano Victory Apts. Branch, the South Vallejo Branch on Lemon Street, the Monte Vista Branch on Amador, and the main library on Virginia Street.
Esther Eldridge, daughter of George Sharpe, builder of Vacaville’s Carnegie Library, acts as Vacaville’s librarian for 21 years, 1945- 1966.