Branch History

From the Oakland Public Library website:

“The original 900 square foot Storybook style library was built in 1930 in the Oakland hills, about half a mile from the emerging shopping district known as Montclair Village. An addition was constructed in 1969 to meet the rising demand for children’s services. This became the new children’s room, doubling the previous space. In 2000, another addition was completed, again to expand children’s services as well as adding space for a new teen area. Now Montclair is a busy 3900 square foot branch serving a well established, bustling community.”

The library land and the original building were a gift from Chauncey W. Gibson, a wealthy businessman who dedicated his fortune to supporting charities for women and children, like the Homes and Children’s Alliance, and also funded the original Middletown, CA library and OPL’s Melrose branch.

The Storybook building style was suggested by Mrs. Charles Fisher, wife of the chairman of the Homes and Children’s Alliance.  Mrs. Fisher thought this kind of building would be cozy and welcoming to the public.

Entryway of Montclair's storybook library

Entryway of Montclair’s storybook library

Additional branch history information:
Article from Friends of the Oakland Library newsletter
OaklandWiki article about the branch

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