Glendale Public Library Celebrates 100th Anniversary

Arpee Markarian

Children and adults came together for an old-fashioned ice cream social with a petting zoo and music by the Oddly Enuf Barbershop Quartet to celebrate the centennial of the Glendale Public Library on Aug. 18.

The free event, held on the lawn of Glendale Central Library, at 222 E. Harvard St., included cold drinks for everyone, water balloons, and crafts for children. The Musical Barnyard Show featured a horse, lambs, and bunnies.

“We all got together and thought we want to have a birthday party [for the library] and we thought an ice cream social would be perfect for this time of year,” said Mindy Liberman, manager at the Pacific Park Branch Library.

Liberman said the centennial celebration will continue through the year with various events such as One City One Book, where authors of one children’s and one adult book will speak to the public in November.

Historical figures of Glendale were represented during the centennial. Portraying Isadora Verdugo, whose great grandfather is said to have established the city, Anait Ovsepian walked through the crowd dressed in boots, a long skirt, and blouse of the early 1900s.

Also attired in historical garb, Roberta Bassin wore a long green dress, blouse, feather hat, and boots. She portrayed Nell Shipman, a leading silent screen actress, writer, and producer from Glendale.

Crowd members approached the historical characters with questions about their clothing and history.

Daniela Karlin from North Hollywood enjoyed the celebration with her mother and grandmother, who are long-time patrons of the library. “I thought the festival today was amazing, everyone seemed to be having a great time,” Karlin said.

Library services were first provided in 1906 when the women of the Tuesday Afternoon Club, a social and philanthropic organization, raised money through a series of lectures to fund a library collection. The facility opened with 70 books in a renovated pool hall at Third and E (now Wilson and Everett) Streets and became a municipal library the following year.

In 1907, the City Trustees passed Ordinance 53 which established and supported a library which “…shall be forever free to the inhabitants and nonresident taxpayers of the City of Glendale…” The first year the library had 251 books, 165 registered patrons, and a budget of $248.88.

Today there are seven branches of the Glendale Library: Glendale Central, Casa Verdugo, Brand Art & Music Library, Grandview, Chevy Chase, Montrose, and Pacific Park.

The community borrows over 1 million items every year from the libraries collection of almost 700,000 books, over 25,000 music CDs and almost 14,000 movies. Additionally, patrons have free Internet access.

The libraries continue to expand this year with the opening of a new branch in Adam’s Square toward the end of the year.

For more information on the Glendale Public Library, visit: www.glendalepubliclibrary.org