Yuma Public Library opens windows to the world
Our mission is to collect, share, promote, learn and grow. Our users are foremost.
In January of 1924 twelve women of the Methodist church met and organized the Yuma Woman’s Club. The purpose of this group was to establish a public library. The Library collection was housed in closed cases at the town hall and began with just 40 books. This collection soon grew to 1200 and on January 31, 1925 the library was opened to the public. Mrs. Door Rising was the first librarian. The Library was open four hours per week.
In 1926 the first library board was founded with Mrs. Webb Martin as chairman. In 1930 blueprints for a library facility were submitted by the American Library Association upon request by the town council. $6000 was allocated for construction. In 1949 a mill levy of ½% was assessed for the Library. A portion of the money generated from this tax was used to catalog the collection under the leadership of Dorothy Chilcoat Lash. By 1951 the Library housed 8800 books.
In 1956 a new planning group known as the Library Council was established. A member of each service organization was invited to supply a delegate to the monthly meetings. At this time the Library was open to the public five afternoons per week and 2 hours each Saturday evening. As the Library collection grew it became necessary to build a larger facility. On May 12, 1966 the construction of a new library facility began. The cost was $50,540. The library remained in this new facility until March 2009 when it was moved to a newly remodeled area in the City of Yuma building at 910 S. Main Street.
As Librarians prepare to assume a new and expanded role in our community we must continue to provide opportunities for lifelong learning.