News Release - Hermiston Public Library Centennial


Hermiston Public Library
235 E. Gladys Avenue
Hermiston, OR 97838


For further information, contact: Marie Baldo, Library Director at (541) 567-2882.

The Hermiston Public Library will host its centennial celebration Friday, May 16 from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.  It is the 100th anniversary of the organization of the Hermiston Public Library.   There will be displays, photos, and memorabilia to explore as well as a concert by the Hermiston High School Jazz Band.

“There’s actually a lot of minutes, and correspondence from the early days,” said Marie Baldo, Hermiston library director. “We have all the materials and photos placed on tables in the Lanham Room and those with special significance will be read out loud by our guests.”

This is an open house so everyone is encouraged to stop by, look at the displays, speak to volunteers and staff, and enjoy the refreshments and music.  Historical tours of the adjacent Carnegie Library and the current facility will be conducted by staff members and volunteers throughout the afternoon.  Commemorative bookmarks provided by the Friends of the Hermiston Public Library will be presented as long as the supply lasts.  Special balloons and pencils are available for younger patrons.

The birthday celebration will include a special cake made by members of the Hermiston Public Library Staff.  The official cake cutting will be conducted at 3:30 p.m. using a circa 1914 cake knife donated for this special event. 

Library service began in Hermiston on May 16, 1914 after a library committee met and organized on May 14, 1914. The first librarian was Miss Edith Prann.   The library was located, along with other civic organizations, in a building on main street.  On February 23, 1915 the Hermiston City Council passed an ordinance providing for a free public library and the official appointment of a library board. 

This ordinance and the city’s subsequent actions paved the way to obtaining, with significant help from the County library, a grant from the Carnegie foundation to help the city build a permanent library building. The building was completed February 1919 and served the city well for many years and generations of students and families. 

Discussion over a new library building began in 1986 with many possibilities explored and rejected.  Finally a decision was made to build on the current location and construction started.  The new library was occupied in May 1989.

For more information, call Hermiston Public Library at 541-567-2882.