Orange County










To aid in making the use of a library readily accessible to residents within the country, the operation of the Orange County Free Library was sanctioned by the board of supervisors in 1921. The resolution establishing the department was passed December 9, 1919, but no appropriation was made at that time. The active interest of the Parent-Teacher Associations and others resulted in the appointment of a country librarian in July, 1921. The growth and expansion of the library during the succeeding years has been steady and consistent. The selection of books reflects directly the reading taste of borrowers. A supplemental service is available of borrowing books from the great collection of the California State Library.

A special department of the work of the library has to do with schools. Districts may, through the county library, pool their school library funds to secure a better return for their money by careful purchasing, supervision, and exchange of books from one school to another. Thirty-six districts have adopted the plan with very satisfactory results. It has been demonstrated that three times more supplementary material will be borrowed by a school during the year than could be purchased by the school library fund used singly.

Library buildings are provided for county branches at La Habra, Laguna Beach, and Westminster. At Brea and Seal Beach a special wing for a library was built on the new city halls. Branches are maintained at Tustin, Wintersburg, Costa Mesa, San Clemente, Shady Brook, El Modena and Trabuco Oaks. Each branch is in charge of a competent person with special training. The policy of the County Library is to extend the resources to all parts of the supporting area.

The Orange County Free Library was in charge of Miss Margaret Livingston from 1921 until her death in 1933. In the first week of June, 1933, the county board of supervisors appointed Miss Dorothy E. Wents to the position of county librarian. Miss Wents, a graduate of Pomona College of California, completed a library course at Simmons College of Boston. She has been a resident of Orange County, California, for thirteen years and previous to her appointment as librarian had served for two years in the capacity of assistant librarian of the Orange County Free Library.




Transcribed by V. Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: California of the South Vol. IV, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 309-310, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles, Indianapolis. 1933.

2012 V. Gerald Iaquinta.