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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. Currently, WCCLS includes the County, nine cities, and two non-profit organizations, serving the 540,000+ residents of Washington County.

WCCLS Through the Years

1970s

  • Study about countywide library service initiated

    Beaverton initiated a Federal grant to study/implement countywide service

  • 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.

  • 1st countywide propery tax levy approved

     

  • Outreach begins and Tualatin joins

    Outreach to rural and homebound begins.

    Tualatin Public Library joins.

  • Checkout milestone

    Checkouts exceed 1 million annually.

1980s

  • Card Catalog is automated

    Countywide computer system replaces the card catalog.

1990s

  • Garden Home Community Library

    Garden Home Community Library joins.

  • Ballot Measures 47/50

    Cooperative Library Services are rolled into County's permanent tax base by Ballot Measures 47/50 (County General Fund).

  • Online Catalog becomes available

    Countywide computer catalog converts to web-based system that incorporated internet technology.

2000s

  • 1st tax failure

    1st tax failure resulting in funding cuts.

  • Voter turnout low

    May levy failed to net 50% voter turnout

  • Summer Reading Participation milestone

    Over 17,000 kids participate in the Summer Reading Program.

  • Levy passes!

    November levy passes with 57% approval!

  • North Plains Public Library

    North Plains Public Library joins.

  • Checkout milestone

    Total checkouts of materials: 7,389,681.

  • Website redesign

    Website is redesigned and gets new URL (wccls.org).

  • Circulation milestone

    Checkouts exceed 10 million annualy.

2010s

  • Free Wi-Fi

    Free Wi-Fi offered to the public through WCCLS libraries.

  • Levy Passes!

    November levy renewal passes - 66% approval!

  • New Beaverton branch

    Beaverton City Library, Murray Scholls branch opens.

  • Circulation Milestone

    Checkouts exceed 13 million annually.

  • Website redesign

    Website is redesigned and becomes mobile-friendly.

  • Levy Passes!

    Voters pass a replacement levy to enhance library services for next 5 years - 64% approval!

  • E-book milestone

    E-book collection grows to 522,292.

  • Aloha Community Library

    Aloha Community Library joins.