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A Brief Look at the Past and Work in Progress

Fresno County's has a mixture of owned and leased facilities. See Appendix E for details. Owned facilities are in rural towns and in the metropolitan area limited to the Clovis Library.

Over 44 years ago the Central Library facility was completed, and in 1967 the Sanger Branch was built.

Later, two documents, Fresno County Public Library Improvement Plan (1971), and Fresno-Clovis Metropolitan Area: Library Services Needs in the 70's (1973), outlined facility needs and plans.

  • These plans were implemented, and between 1973 and 1976 seven of nine branches in the Fresno-Clovis Metropolitan area were moved. Clovis was designed and built as a library. The other facilities were leased.
  • Plans called for the remaining two to be moved to larger quarters, but these plans were never implemented.
  • In other areas of the County, Reedley, Kingsburg, Orange Cove, Selma were moved in accordance with the plan. Selma was designed and built as a library. The other facilities were leased.

During the late 70's and through the 80's new libraries were designed and built in San Joaquin, Easton, and Parlier, and new leased facilities were opened in Auberry, Shaver Lake, Helms Creek, Piedra and Bear Mountain (serving Squaw Valley and Dunlap). During this period the following locations were closed: Navelencia, Big Creek #2, Giant Club, Helms Creek, and Raisin City.

Capital Facilities Assessment, Fresno County Public Library, Meeting Library Needs for the Fresno County Residents: 1990 – 2005, outlined Phase I and Phase II projects.

Prior to the passage of the sales tax Measure B, the library had no funds for capital development. Andrew Carnegie funded early libraries in Clovis, Fresno, Sanger and Selma. The current Central Library, occupied in 1959, was funded with special property tax money raised within the library district. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, Federal funds paid for new libraries in Clovis, Sanger, and Selma. In the 1980’s Community Development Block Grant funds were used to build Easton and San Joaquin and developer funds paid for Parlier. State Bond Act funds were used as a two-thirds match in the 1990’s for the Bear Mountain Library in Squaw Valley.

The Library has maintained a program of limited renovation that generally includes fresh paint and new carpet. Staff has been able to accelerate this program using Measure B funds.

  • Renovation was completed at Gillis (1995), Reedley (1997), Cedar Clinton (1998), Mendota (1999) Sanger (1999), Clovis – partial (2002), Fig Garden (2002), Riverdale (2002). Projects scheduled for 2002-2003 include Mosqueda, Pinedale, the Children's Room in the Central Library, and the installation of a quiet room at Cedar Clinton.

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