A Brief History of the Fair Oaks Library - 2005

Courtesy of the Fair Oaks Library staff

Prior to 1909 there were privately owned collections of books, reading clubs which shared books among members, and the Fair Oaks Library Association. The Association met in the basement of the Old Methodist Church. A group of concerned citizens felt the need for a place where the community as a whole could use reading matter. A room on the second floor of the school was offered and plans set forth for the first public library in Fair Oaks. A reading club offered their books and an application was made to the "Main Library" in downtown Sacramento for status as a library station. Miss Alice C. Stewart was appointed the first librarian.

In 1912 the school needed their space back, so the library was moved across the street until a permanent building could be constructed. The Association raised $800 for the building at 4200 Temescal Street. The Sacramento Free Library rented the building and operated the Fair Oaks Branch. In 1934 Miss Stewart resigned and Mrs. Harris took over until 1958.

In 1961 the usage and collection had grown. Another move was made to 8000 California Avenue, just across the street. Six years later the library had outgrown this space and moved to a 3200 square foot building at 4059 Bridge Street with 18,000 books. The librarian at this time was Mrs. Mary Seamands. In 1971 Mrs. Seamands transferred to the Orangevale library and Elenor Ernst was brought over from Carmichael to the Fair Oaks Branch.

By 1974 the lack of space was once again being felt and plans were made for a new, larger library building. Mrs. Ernst retired in 1975 after witnessing the groundbreaking for a 12,000 square foot facility at 11601 Fair Oaks Boulevard. Marcia Kirkpatrick became branch supervisor in 1976 and the new library held its grand opening in October of that year. Kathy Button was next to supervise this ever growing service when Marcia moved to Chico. Barbara Kerhoulas was next to be in charge. In 1994 Frances Atkins was appointed to the task. Katy Curl took over the manager responsibilities who then moved to the Arden Library leaving Brendle Wells as interim manager at Fair Oaks. The library remains at 11601 fair Oaks Boulevard in 2005.