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Library History

1904-1930: The Early Years

Washoe County Library System began in 1904 with the opening of Reno's Carnegie Free Public Library at the corner of South Virginia and Mill Streets. The Carnegie library served residents of Washoe County until 1930, when the library found a larger space in the old State Building in Powning Park across Mill Street. The building was erected by the State of Nevada on a site leased by Washoe County, beginning the long relationship between area libraries and Washoe County.

1930-1979: The Steady Growth Years

The Sparks Library opened its doors in January of 1932 at its first location on B Street (now Victorian Avenue). It later moved to its current location near Oddie Boulevard and 12th Street. The first mobile library in Washoe County Library System-the "Book Bus"-became a reality in the late 1950's, and served the residents of Wadsworth Gerlach, and Empire. By 1966, Washoe County had two libraries on wheels.

In May of 1966, Reno saw the grand opening and dedication of the Downtown Reno Library, a gift from the Max C. Fleischmann Foundation to the people of Washoe County. The architecturally unique building designed by Hewitt C. Wells continues to serve residents and visitors to the Reno area.

In 1973, the Stead Branch opened to serve the residents of the North Valleys area. It also served as the library for Truckee Meadows Community College while that institution's current building was being built, and would later relocate to its current location in Golden Valley. It was known as the Peavine Branch until 1999, when it became the North Valleys Library.

Incline Village saw the opening of its first stand-alone public library in 1978, made possible by a donation of land by Boise Cascade. The construction was funded by the Washoe County Library Fund and a grant from the Max C. Fleischmann Foundation.

A grant also allowed the Senior Center Library to open its doors in Reno in 1979. The facility was primarily staffed by volunteers, providing book circulation, programs, and homebound delivery. The current location on 9th Street became an independent branch in 1991.

1980-1995: The Partnership Years

When it was no longer economically feasible to drive the Bookmobile 200 miles from Reno to Gerlach to provide library services, the Gerlach High School Community Library became the first "partnership library" in Washoe County. The library was originally located in the school's former lunchroom, but a new library facility was provided in 1996.

In 1987, the Sierra View Library became the first Washoe County Library branch to open in a shopping center (followed shortly thereafter by North Valleys).

In 1992, Washoe County Library and Washoe County School District again joined forces to open the Galena Community Library, inside the new Galena High School. The Galena branch served residents of the South Valleys until the construction of the South Valleys Library in 2003, at which time the Galena facility converted to a dedicated school library.

Also in 1992, the Verdi Community Library opened as Washoe County's third partnership library. The Northeast Reno community got a partnership library in 1994 with the opening of the Duncan/Traner Community Library in the Traner Middle School Library. Mendive Community Library became the fifth and last partnership library in Washoe County when it opened in 1995, serving the East Sparks community.

In 1994, voters approved a 30-year, two-cent property-tax override for the purpose of "acquiring, constructing, improving, equipping, operating and maintaining library facilities for the County."

The Washoe County Library System's website, the first public-library site in Nevada, debuted in September 1995. The Library was the first department in Washoe County to have its own web presence.

2008-Present:  Years of Challenge and Opportunity

The national economic downturn, which was felt deeply throughout the state of Nevada, began to impact Library operations in late 2007.  Between 2007 and 2013, the Library's General Fund budget was reduced by over 40%, and over 90 positions were lost due to attrition.  The Mendive Community Library closed in May 2008 after 13 years of service.  Public hours were reduced by approximately 25% from previous levels beginning in July of 2009.  In January, 2010, both the Mobile Library and the homebound-services van were taken out of service.

With a resilient and dedicated staff, and helped by initiatives such as new self-service checkout machines (more than 20, all built in-house) and consolidated service desks, Washoe County Library System operates 12 branches with a total workforce of approximately 130.

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Love, Hate & Other Filters

Samira Ahmed

Everless

Sara Holland

The Cruel Prince

Holly Black

Before Now

Elizabeth Olson

Love

Matt de la Pena

Oodles of Kittens

Jane O'Connor

Bad Kitty Camp Daze

Nick Bruel

Dog Man and Cat Kid

Dav Pilkey

Still Me

Jojo Moyes

The Pope of Palm Beach

Tim Dorsey

Into the Black Nowhere

Meg Gardiner

House of Secrets

V.C. Andrews

Hellbent

Greg Hurwitz

The Healing Self

Deepak Chopra

The Grave's a Fine and Private Place

Alan Bradley

Dark in Death

J.D. Robb

Brave

Rose McGowan

Act of Revenge

Dale Brown

The Wife

Alafair Burke

Sisters Like Us

Susan Mallery

Fall From Grace

Danielle Steel

12 Rules for Life

Jordan B. Peterson

All-American Murder

James Patterson

When They Call You a Terrorist

Patrisse Khan-Cullors

Iron Gold

Pierce Brown

City of Endless Night

Douglas Preston

When

Daniel Pink

Tell Me More

Kelly Corrigan

Shroud of Eternity

Terry Goodkind

Operator Down

Brad Taylor

Fools & Mortals

Bernard Cornwell

The English Wife

Lauren Willig

Blood Fury

J.R. Ward

The Woman in the Window

A.J. Finn

Unbound

Stuart Woods

Robicheaux

James Lee Burke

Promise Not to Tell

Jayne Ann Krentz

Judgement Detox

Gabrielle Bernstein

THe Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning

Margareta Magnusson

Emergence

C.J. Cherryh

The Bomb Maker

Thomas Perry

The Wanted

Robert Crais

Twisted

Helen Hardt

Survival

Ben Bova

Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics

Dan Harris

The Little Book of Lykke

Meik Wiking

THe Last Man in Tehran

Mark Henshaw

Firefly Cove

T. Davis Bunn

A Distant Heart

Sonali Dev

Death at Nuremberg

W.E.B. Griffin

The Armageddon File

Stephen Coonts

The Complete Slow Cooker

America's Test Kitchen

An Echo of Murder

Anne Perry

Charlatans

Robin Cook

Bloodstains with Brontë

Katherine Bolger Hyde

Year One

Nora Roberts

Wild Chamber

Christopher Fowler

Persepolis Rising

James S.A. Corey

Nightblind

Ragnar Jonasson

Insidious Intent

Val McDermid

The Girl in the Tower

Katherine Arden

Enchantress of Numbers

Jennifer Chiaverini

The Demon Crown

James Rollins

The Body in the Casket

Katherine Hall Page

Beau Death

Peter Lovesy

Past Perfect

Danielle Steel

The Whispering Room

Dean Koontz

The story of Arthur Truluv

Elizabeth Berg

The People vs. Alex Cross

James Patterson

Oathbringer

Brandon Sanderson

The Library at the Edge of the World

Felicity Hayes-McCoy

Higher is Waiting

Tyler Perry

Hardcore Twenty-four

Janet Evanovich

Future Home of the Living God

Louise Erdrich

End Game

David Baldacci

Count to Ten

James Patterson

THe City of Brass

S.A. Chakraborty

Artemis

Andy Weir

Typhoon Fury

Clive Cussler

Someone to Wed

Mary Balogh

Shadow District

Arnaldur Indriðason

The Noel Diary

Richard Paul Evans

The Midnight Line

Lee Child

The House of Unexpected Sisters

Alexander McCall-Smith

Heather, the Totality

Matthew Weiner

Every Breath You Take

Mary Higgins Clark

A Christmas Return

Anne Perry

Quick & Dirty

Stuart Woods

Mind Game

Iris Johansen

Deep Freeze

John Sandford

Crazy Liek a Fox

Rita Mae Brown

Fairytale

Danielle Steel

The Witches' Tree

M.C. Beaton

Origin

Dan Brown

Merry & Bright

Debbie Macomber

Ghost on the Case

Carolyn Hart

Sleep Like A Baby

Charlaine Harris

Holly and Ivy

Fern Michaels

The Romanov Ransom

Clive Cussler

A Column of Fire

Ken Follett

Secrets in Death

J.D. Robb

The Right Time

Danielle STeel

Kill The Heroes

David Thurlo

Glass Houses

Louise Penny

THe Burning Girl

Claire Messud

Don't Let Go

Harlan Coben

Young Jane Young

Gabrielle Zevin

Y Is For...

Sue Grafton

The Room of White Fire

T. Jefferson Parker

Reincarnation Blues

Michael Poore

If the Creek Don't Rise

Leah Weiss

Without Fear or Favor

Robert K. Tananbaum

Seeing Red

Sandra Brown

I Know A Secret

Tess Gerritsen

How to Find Live in a Bookshop

Veronica Henry

Exposed

Lisa Scottoline

The Store

James Patterson

The Paris Spy

Susan Elia MacNeal

The Color of Fear

Marcia Muller

Barely Legal

Stuart Woods

Any Dream Will Do

Debbie Macomber

The Dolls

James Patterson

On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service

Rhys Bowen

Crime Scene

Jonathan Kellerman

The Clockwork Dynasty

Daniel H. Wilson

The Address

Fiona Davis

The Wildling Sisters

Eve Chase

The Story of Arthur Truluv

Elizabeth Berg

Paradise Valley

C.J. Box

The Marriage Pact

Michelle Richmond

The Lying Game

Ruth Ware

Deadfall

Linda Fairstein

Look Behind You

Iris Johansen

The Late Show

Michael Connelly

A Distant View of Everything

Alexander McCall-Smith

The Breakdown

B.A. Paris

Blame

Jeff Abbott

Two Nights

Kathy Reichs

Some Kind of Hero

Suzanne Brockmann

Hello, Sunshine

Laura Dave

Final Girls

Riley Sager

Down A Dark ROad

Linda Castillo

Beautiful Tempest

Johanna Lindsey

Almost Sisters

Joshilyn Jackson

Wired

Julie Garwood

The Reason You're Alive

Matthew Quick

Persons Unknown

Susie Steiner

THe Last 100 Days: FDR at War and PEace

David B. Woolner

Charles Darwin

A.N. Wilson

THe Whole30 Fast and Easy Cookbook

Melissa Hartwig

The How Not To Die Cookbook

Michael Greger

The Doomsday Machine

Daniel Ellsberg

Atkins Eat Right Not Less

Colette Heimowitz

Anyone Who's Anyone

George Wayne

Prairie Fires

Caroline Fraser

Keto Slow Cooker & One-Pot Meals

Martina Slajerova

Promise Me, Dad

Joe Biden

An American Family

Khizr Khan

You Can't Spell America Without Me

Alec Baldwin

What Unites Us

Dan Rather

President McKinley

Robert W. Merry

Medical Medium: Thyroid Healing

Anthony William

The Inner Life of Animals

Peter Wohlleben

God

Reza Aslan

Bobby Kennedy

Chris Matthews

Where the Past Begins

Amy Tan

The RBG Workout

Bryant Johnson

Degrade and Destroy

Michael R. Gordon

Why Buddhism is True

Robert Wright

The Odyssey of Echo COmpany

Doug Stanton

The Four Tendencies

Gretchen Rubin

Braving the Wilderness

Brené Brown

Believe Me: My Battle With the Invisible Disability of Lyme Disease

Yolanda Hadid

Fantasyland

Kurt Andersen

Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell

David Yaffe

Rabbit

Patricia Williams

Morningstar: Growing up with Books

Ann Hood

American Fire

Monica Hesse

Rediscovering Americanism: And the Tyranny of Progressivism

Mark R. Levin

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

Vashti Harrison

Click Clack Moo I Love You

Doreen Cronin

The Magic Misfits

Neil Patrick Harris

The Caldera

John Flanagan

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth

Oliver Jeffers

The Getaway

Jeff Kinney

Darkest Night

Erin Hunter

Mr. Limoncello's Great Library Race

Chris Grabenstein

Everything is Mama

Jimmy Fallon

The Ship of the Dead

Rick Riordan

Swing It, Sunny

Jennifer L. Holm

It Takes a Village

Hillary Rodham Clinton

The Empty Grave

Jonathan Stroud

Tigerheart's Shadow

Erin Hunter

THe Princess in Black and the Mysterious Playdate

Shannon Hale

Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties

Dav Pilkey

The Bad Seed

Jory John

Laugh Out Loud

James Patterson

Girls Who Code

Reshma Saujani

The Truth Beneath the Lies

Amanda Searcy

Ever the Brave

Erin Summerill

The Speaker

Traci Chee

Renegades

Marissa Meyer

The Becoming of Noah Shaw

Michelle Hodkin

Tortall

Tamora Pierce

The Empress

S.J. Kincaid

Turtles All The Way Down

John Green

All The Crooked Saints

Maggie Stiefvater

Warcross

Marie Lu

Genuine Fraud

E. Lockhart

The Finals Spark

Richard Paul Evans

Tower of Dawn

Sarah J. Maas

They Both Die At The End

Adam Silvera

Apex

Mercedes Lackey

Leia, Princess of Alderaan

Claudia Gray