Kelso Public Library

351 Three Rivers Drive, Suite 1263
Kelso, WA 98626

A Little History About The Kelso Public Library :

Of all the stories about the early beginnings of cultural things in Kelso, the struggle to start and maintain a public library for the community holds a high and unique place in the growth of the city. The women of the city, who had small private libraries, exchanged reading materials amongst themselves. Newspapers, periodicals, magazines and even Sunday School papers were circulated in a casual, irregular manner.

From this pleasant, neighborly exchange grew the idea of sharing their reading material with others who did not have many books at home. Thus is was that several women in 1916 collected together books and magazines and began to loan them to the general public..

The first collection of books was housed in a small room at the Down Paint Store on First Avenue, or Front Street as it was called then. In 1926, a small room at the Columbia Hotel housed the book collection. Later, the library moved to a large main floor room in the Yale Hotel on Pine (now Baker Lumber Company). The library moved again in 1936 to the "Club House" on Fourth Avenue South and Oak. In the summer of 1958, the library moved to its current location on the corner of Academy and South Fourth, across from the County Courthouse.

In March 1977, an organization called the Friends of the Library was initiated to aid the library with funds and volunteer work. Today, the Kelso library is a comfortable, inviting place in which to browse, read research and select books to take home.
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