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Crowell Public Library Timeline

(formerly the San Marino Public Library)
  • 1913: Henry Huntington establishes San Marino; lends his Mayberry House (at Oak Knoll and Monterey Road) to serve as City Hall.
  • 1915: Edna S. Rees (1883-1963) establishes a branch of the Los Angeles County Library in Mayberry House.
  • 1920: Library moves into the new Valentine School.
  • 1933: Library separates from County and sets up shop in what is now San Marino School District headquarters. Louise P. White (later Mrs. L.E. Blinkern, 1906-1993) is the library director, and Emily Daubney is the children’s librarian.
  • 1949: The San Marino Public Library outgrows its facilities. A bond is passed to build a new structure on the “Hart Place” at Huntington and West drives.
  • 1951: The new library, designed by Herbert J. Powell, opens in December. The library director is June Bayless. The children’s librarian is the legendary Beverly Saunders.
  • 1956: Friends of the Library is formed.
  • 1968: Saunders is named “California Librarian of the Year.”
  • 1978: Proposition 13 results in drastic cuts in library services. The Friends of the Library steps in to help.
  • 1997: Library Foundation is formed to raise capital to put card catalog online.
  • Library is connected to the Internet for the first time.
  • 1998: Six computers are installed for public access to the Internet.
  • 1999: Library air conditioning unit, installed in 1956, fails. Replacement parts must be hand-tooled.
  • 2000: Heating pipe breaks, basement floods. Asbestos and mold contamination forces the book processing department upstairs.
  • 2001-2004: Library applies three times for Proposition 14 money to rebuild library. It is rejected.
  • 2005: The Crowell family donates millions of dollars to jumpstart construction.
  • 2006: Construction begins on new library.
  • January 26, 2008: The new building, renamed the Crowell Public Library opens, on time and on budget.

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