Tuesday, April 2, 2013

First free public library founded on April 9, 1833 - Santa Monica in 1893

The Peterborough Town Library in New Hampshire is the oldest tax supported library in the world.

Santa Monica formed its first Library Association in 1976 for a $2.00 annual fee. The Reading Room was turned over to the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WTCU) in 1888. The WTCU turned the collection of 800 books over to the City of Santa Monica in 1890. Santa Monica's first City Librarian, Miss Elfie A. Mosse, was appointed in December that same year. Two rooms in the Bank of Santa Monica building on Oregon Avenue (now Santa Monica Blvd.) and Third Street were used for the library. Use of the materials in the reading rooms was free. Borrowing priveleges cost 25 cents a month, which would have been $75.00 in 2012. The Santa Monica Public Library was determined free to the public in March, 1893 with 1,800 volumes, including books, newspapers, and magazines.

Elfie A. Mosse, City Librarian when appointed in 1890