(707) 923-2613

Friends of the Garberville Library


Our member spotlight is now on The Friends of the Garberville Library

The Friends of the Garberville Library support, promote, and enhance the services and programs of the Garberville branch of the Humboldt County Library.  They are proud to say that, as an organization of volunteers, they’ve been around in one way or another for more than a century.  The first library in Garberville was founded by volunteers in 1916 with Margaret Cobb, a friend of author Jack London, as the first librarian.  At that time, the library collection was housed in private homes.

In the 1950s, the Civic Club began to sponsor the library.  By the early 60s Betty Phelps, wife of Dr. Jerold Phelps, was the key organizer of funding and location; however, it wasn’t until 1972 that the County actually leased building space for a library in Garberville.  In 1986, Betty and her friends in Garberville and Redway raised $15,000 ($36,000 in today’s dollars) to match county funds that resulted in the library building on Cedar Street.  Today, the Friends generally focus their fundraising efforts to underwrite the costs of live programming at the library, provide monies to purchase books and magazine subscriptions, and other incidental needs not covered by the County.

However, this is an extraordinary year for the Friends.  Their focus right now is to raise funds to refresh the book collection for the new branch facility scheduled to open in late Spring.  When the old building was packed up for the impending demolition, library staff inspected the entire collection item by item.  Damaged, worn and dated titles were taken out of circulation.  The reference collection was declared outdated and in need of replacement, and they found a need to add Spanish language books and media to serve the increasingly diverse community.   The costs of new and replacement books are estimated at more than $20,000, and they are raising money to cover these critical costs.

The new facility offers an opportunity to expand programming.  The Friends will be working with the library staff to find volunteers and develop new programs.  In addition to their commitment to renew the book collection at the library, the Friends pledged funds to cover the cost of a digital projector and screen so the library can host afterschool and evening movies.  They are excited about the myriad possibilities afforded by the addition of a conference room to the building.  Some possibilities include hosting gamer groups, ESL classes and a meeting space for community groups.  After more than a year of pandemic precautions and closures, everyone is so ready to gather again; the Friends are here to help make our library a strong community hub.

Do you want to get involved? You could donate money (yes, please!), donate time reading aloud to our youth after school hours (in English or Spanish!) or, perhaps, you have a lecture to offer.  También, Los Amigos de la Biblioteca de Garberville están buscando voluntarios hispanohablantes para acentuar los programas bilingües para nuestra comunidad.

Contact Friends of the Garberville Library at garbervillefriends@gmail.com  or speak to one of our fabulous librarians at the temporary DHHS location, open Monday through Friday 5:15pm – 8:15pm and Saturdays 10:00am – 5:15pm.  Donations can also be dropped off at the Chamber office at 782 Redwood Drive in Garberville.





Southern Humboldt Chamber Of Commerce

782 Redwood Drive / PO Box 445
Garberville, CA 95542

Phone: (707) 923-2613


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