In February of 1913, San Diego County became the 13th County in California to establish a County Free Library. The Poway Branch Library was established in May 1913, becoming the second official County Library. It was set up in the parlor of the home of Poway resident, Mrs. E.B. Flint. Her parlor was the library for 11 years before it moved to another person’s home for about three decades. Then, in 1955 it was moved into a house trailer that was relocated periodically to the driveway or front yard of several other peoples’ homes. The library’s first rented space came in 1962, and it opened with a collection of 10,000 books. After yet another move, it was clear that Poway residents needed a larger community library. After years of fundraising and planning, the present library opened in June 1998, as a city-owned, county-operated facility, as it remains today.

Now, 100 years later, the library is celebrating a century of service to the Poway community. While special events will be planned throughout the year, the big party in Poway is on Saturday, May 4, with special programs and free lunch on the patio. And what a difference 100 years has made! From selecting books out of someone’s home to the present 20,000 square-foot building, with a collection of more than 100,000 items, and access to another 36 million items through county branch libraries and the Circuit and Link+ programs. Nearly 1,000 people come to the library every day and about 2,000 items are checked out on a daily basis. Programs for youth, teens and adults are offered regularly, and range from story time for new parents and babies to teen gaming and crafts to full-on concerts featuring local and prominent musicians. In addition to books, the library of 2013 lends music CDs, DVDs, magazines, books on CD, books to download to your E-Reader and provides on-line resources to help with research and questions. All of this is possible because of the ongoing support of the Poway community, the Friends of the Poway library, the City of Poway and San Diego County. Plan to join the Library’s celebration of 100 years of stories.