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Harriet Reece, Cavendish & Lewiston is the winner!

Pierce Free Library is the answer for Week 327 of Orofino History Trivia a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country.

Join in the discovery!

Monday: Founded in 1919

Tuesday: The school district was involved at the outset.

Wednesday: The school board appointed trustees.

Thursday: The first person to run it was paid $30 per month.

Friday: Its original building was finished in 1923.

Saturday: It grew to 1,022 books by June 1922.

According to their web site, Pierce Free Public Library was instituted under the plan for "School District Libraries in 1919. T.B. Reed, a state legislator from Clearwater County and resident of the Pierce area directed the necessary legal actions for its formation. The trustees of Independent School District #1 in Clearwater County found that a resolution should be drawn up establishing the tax upon all taxable property in the school district to create and support a library.

Trustees were appointed and the library opened on Sept. 20, 1921 at the Pierce School. Laura J. Waters, a teacher was the first librarian and received $30 per month for her services and Queen A. Reed was a volunteer assistant. Arthur Dinnision cataloged the books. By 1922, the number of books had grown from 540 to 1,022. The new library building on Main St. was completed in 1923 and cost $4,645.97. A new addition and major improvements were made in 1970.

The outside of the building has remained much as it was in 1970, but librarians and supporters have worked hard to make sure the people of the community have the library services available in larger cities, including Internet access. They now have a catalog of over 600,000 items.

(Historical notes written by past librarians, Nina Ogden and Larry Almeida)

Harriet added, "Pierce Public Library is one of Idaho's very few school-community libraries, founded under a special section of Idaho code. I served on a state-wide committee to recodify Idaho's library laws a few years ago and at that time there were only four school-community libraries--two in Clearwater County. The other was in Elk River and it has since merged with an adjoining district."

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Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544
Orofino 476 0733
Lewiston 208-503-7107
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