On December 11, 2012, the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution that recognized the 100th anniversary of the County’s library system and declared 2013 the “Year of the Library.” The Library system has organized about a dozen events to highlight its long history.
The 33 branches that compose the Contra Costa Library system can all trace their roots back to August 13, 1913, when the County hired its first librarian, Alice Whitbeck and to October 9, 1913 when the first library opened.
Since then, the library has grown not only in size but also in its prominence, winning awards and recognition from the County and national associations. In 2009, the Library Department was named the County’s Department of the Year. The American Library Association has also bestowed numerous honors on the system. Most recently, the Libraries won the Institute of Museum and Library Services National Medal – effectively the gold medal for American libraries.
Driven by and supporting the community, residents volunteered more than 55,000 hours in 2011 and borrowed more than seven million items.
The Library posted a YouTube video in recognition of their history. It can be seen here.