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Library History
The public library is a catalyst for imagination, a conduit to information and a cornerstone of the local community.

From humble beginnings, branches operated in the backrooms of businesses and homes, the Colusa County Free Library has operated as a community resource.

In rural areas, such as Colusa County, libraries are one of the main the focal points of community life. It’s a safe, trusted place for meeting friends and neighbors, a place for learning, information and leisure and sometimes just a place to keep warm.


Before 1915:

  • 1867     The Colusa County Library Association is founded by Will S. Green, Charles Spalding and several others
  • 1876     Melvil Dewey introduces his proprietary library classification system, still used today, and popularly known as the Dewey Decimal System
  • 1878     A public library room opens in the basement of the Methodist Church on 5th and Oak Streets in Colusa
  • 1884     Mark Twain publishes The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 
  • 1900     The first library board is elected including W.M. Aubrey, U.W. Brown, E.T. Crane, J.W. Hayman and C.W. Tuttle 
  • 1906     The Carnegie Library is opened on the corner of 5th and Jay Streets, and holds 1,400 volumes. The average daily attendance boasts more than 40 patrons, with as many as 700 books lent per month
  • 1909      City Librarian, Belle Crane hosts a meeting to discuss the concept of a County Library
  • 1911      Governor Hiram Johnson signs an act that provides for the establishment and maintenance of free county libraries in California on February 25