East Bonner County Library District
The mission of the Library District is to provide free and open access to information and ideas which are essential to a democracy. In support of this mission, the District encourages lifelong reading and learning, supports activities important to our diverse community and is dedicated to the basic First Amendment principles of intellectual freedom and access to information without censorship.
The Sandpoint Branch of the East Bonner County Free Library District is located in our new facility at Cedar and Division Streets. The library was originally the Sandpoint Public Library. It was located upstairs in the City Hall building on Main and Second. In December of 1967, after the post office moved to its new location and the building was remodeled, a chain of high school students from the Class of '68 moved the books from City Hall to the building at 419 North Second Avenue, the library's previous home. In 1974 the East Bonner County Library District was formed after a vote of the county residents. The boundaries of the district are shared by Bonner General Hospital District, encompassing the eastern portion of Bonner County from approximately just east of Priest River to the Montana border.
By the late 1980's the library district had outgrown the Sandpoint facility. Initially, renovating and remodeling the existing building were considered. The inability to resolve parking problems, a requirement to bring the building to ADA standards, and the high costs associated with that, in addition to the costs of the remodel alone, eliminated that option. Over the course of about 10 years, attempts to pass a levy or bond to build a new facility failed. Finally, in May of 1998, the patrons passed a bond that would build new facilities in Sandpoint and Clark Fork as well as purchase a Bookmobile. The facility in Sandpoint is more than triple the space of the building at Second and Alder and has three meeting rooms for the public. The Clark Fork library building recently underwent renovations which added almost 700 sq. ft. and rearranged existing spaces to improve patron access and staff workflow.
Old Building History
The building the library occupied from 1968 to April of 2000 originally served Sandpoint as a federal building, housing the post office, Forest Service, and other governmental offices. Local Congressman Burton L. French pushed an appropriation bill through Congress to provide funding for the $73,300 project. As a result, the building opened in 1928 and remained home to the post office until 1967, when the new facility was built.
The Spanish Colonial Revival style, seen also in the Panida Theater, was uncommon in northern Idaho, although it was popular elsewhere in the country. Its use here may be attributed to plans drawn by a U.S. Treasury Department architect who was more familiar with national trends than regional ones. The building is unique in Sandpoint with its rich cast concrete decorations surrounding the doorways and upper windows. The row of gracefully arched windows is divided with pilasters topped by capitals containing gargoyles, an unusual feature in Idaho architecture.
Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees of the East Bonner County Library District is comprised of 5 members, each elected to a five year term with one term expiring each year. The Board holds its regular monthly meeting on the second Monday of each month at 5:15 PM at the Sandpoint Library in meeting rooms 102-103 unless otherwise noted. The Board's annual meeting is held on the second Monday in June at the same time and place. The October meeting is held at the Clark Fork library at 6:15 PM, and is preceded by a potluck dinner at 5:15 PM.
East Bonner County Library District Board of Trustees
Shannon May, Chairperson
Molly Huckaby, Vice-Chairperson
East Bonner County Library District