Celebrate the Century
Happy Birthday, Burbank Public Library!
--From Sharon Cohen, Library Services Director
Burbank’s first library came into being in the year 1913. The only mode of public transportation in this newly incorporated city was a street car drawn up Olive Avenue to the foothills by two mules. Once the mules reached the end of the line, they were given a free ride back down again on a platform attached to the trolley.
For the first library, the services were contracted from the Los Angeles County Library. The Burbank Chamber of Commerce was responsible for getting the service started. Combined with the “Library of the Brotherhood” (Foresters), this newly established Burbank library was housed in rooms in the Thompson Block at the corner of San Fernando and Olive (where the Burbank Bar and Grill is). The library was the responsibility of a Ladies’ Auxiliary member and was open only two hours per week. Since electricity was a luxury, two lanterns hanging from the ceiling by ropes served as the library’s lights.
A century later, Burbank has three library facilities with 88 staff members, a collection of 458,000 items and 1.1 million visitors last year. As we move into our next century of service, patrons can borrow eBooks and downloadable audio, follow us on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, visit our website via a smartphone, or connect their laptops to high-speed Wi-Fi when visiting the library.
No matter how our lives change during the next 100 years, there is no doubt that the library will be here to help meet your quest for knowledge, discovery and community. We have many exciting events planned throughout the year to celebrate our birthday, including the grand reopening of our Northwest Branch later this spring. Visit us on our website (www.BurbankLibrary.com), join our email newsletter, or pick up a flyer on your next visit to the library to see all the ways we are celebrating our Century of Library Service!