ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. (January 13, 2021) – OC Public Libraries is recognizing a major milestone in 2021 as it reaches its 100th year of service. The OC Public Libraries centennial, to be commemorated with the tagline Celebrate the Past, Inspire the Future. 100 Years of Possibilities., was announced at yesterday’s Orange County (OC) Board of Supervisors meeting. The yearlong celebration will include virtual and safe programs highlighting the library’s commitment to the community over the last 100 years.
“For 100 years, OC Public Libraries has enriched the diverse communities of Orange County in meaningful ways,” said Chairman Andrew Do, First District Supervisor. “I am extremely proud of the integral role our public libraries have played in the growth of Orange County and the work they have done to enrich the lives of those who call Orange County home.”
On August 1, 1921, Orange County Free Library began operations with a staff of three people headquartered at 508 N. Main Street in Santa Ana in a rented room shared with the County Farm Advisor. This day marked the beginning of a 100-year history that has now expanded to 32 community branches throughout Orange County, with a collection of over 2.4 million items checked out over 6.8 million times each year by nearly a half-million library cardholders.
“Over the last 100 years, OC Public Libraries has supported residents and encouraged families to begin a habit of reading that benefits their personal and professional lives,” said Vice Chairman Doug Chaffee, Fourth District Supervisor.
OC Public Libraries will offer a year full of programming and activities that celebrate its centennial including a commemorative library card and logo in addition to providing print, audiovisual and digital resources, internet access, and skilled staff assistance. Special storytimes, take-home crafts, and reading programs will also highlight the library’s history and advocacy.
“OC Public Libraries is a County asset that inspires people of all ages to read, learn, and connect with the world around them. I encourage residents to utilize our extensive resources as it can enrich the quest for research and information,” said Supervisor Donald Wagner, Third District.
Over its 100-year history, OC Public Libraries has instituted services and programs that directly respond to community needs and reflect the changing climate across Orange County. A virtual timeline detailing the history of OC Public Libraries will be available at ocpl.org/ocpltimeline.
“OC Public Libraries provides enduring connections to the past and future of our communities, County and State in a world undergoing constant change,” said Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District.
OC Public Libraries continues to offer Grab & Go service, which allows patrons to use self-service checkout of requested and limited popular items, as well as contactless curbside pickup. Library buildings remain open with metered access for Grab & Go checkout, along with physically distanced single patron internet stations available by reservation for thirty-minute sessions.
Residents are invited to join the yearlong celebration on social media by following and tagging the hashtag #OCPL100. For more information about OC Public Libraries and the centennial, visit ocpl.org/centennial.