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History of WCCLS

WCCLS was established in 1976 with the passage of the first countywide tax measure to fund library services. The cooperative governance structure was chosen as a way to link together the existing libraries in the county (there were 6 city libraries and some volunteer libraries) and to extend public library service to all county residents. At the time, over half the county population did not have access to a public library.

  • 1974-1975: Study about countywide library service initiated. Beaverton initiated a Federal grant to study/implement countywide service.
  • May 1976: Library services for all residents established by voters. Beaverton, Cornelius, Forest Grove, Hillsboro, Sherwood and Tigard city libraries joined by community libraries in Banks, Cedar Mill, Town Center (Tanasbourne) and West Slope to create WCCLS.
  • 1976: 1st countywide propery tax levy approved.
  • 1977: Outreach to rural and homebound begins; Tualatin Public Library joins.
  • June 1979: Checkouts exceed 1 million annually.
  • May 1986: Countywide computer system replaces the card catalog.
  • September 1996: Garden Home Community Library joins.
  • 1996-97: Cooperative Library Services are rolled into County's permanent tax base by Ballot Measures 47/50 (County General Fund).
  • September 1998: Countywide computer catalog converts to web-based system that incorporated internet technology.
  • 2002: 1st tax failure resulting in funding cuts.
  • May 2004: May levy failed to net 50% voter turnout.
  • Summer 2005: Over 17,000 kids participate in the Summer Reading Program.
  • November 2006: November levy passes with 57% approval!
  • June 2007: North Plains Public Library joins.
  • Fiscal Year 2006-07: Total checkouts of materials: 7,389,681.
  • September 2007: Website is redesigned and gets new URL (
  • June 2009: Checkouts exceed 10 million annually.
  • 2010: Free Wi-Fi offered to the public through WCCLS libraries.
  • November 2010: November levy renewal passes - 66% approval!
  • 2010: Beaverton City Library, Murray Scholls branch opens.
  • June 2012: Checkouts exceed 13 million annually.
  • September 2015: Website is redesigned and becomes mobile-friendly.
  • November 2015: Voters pass a replacement levy to enhance library services for next 5 years - 64% approval!
  • June 2016: E-book collection grows to 522,292.
  • December 2016: Aloha Community Library joins.
  • Present: Read our latest annual report!