I’ll be in Lakeview this weekend to give a talk about my research on Bernard Daly and the impact of his scholarship at the annual Lake County Library Endowment Dinner on Saturday, the 18th. Hope many of you who live in the area will be able to attend and add your support to the Lake County Library Endowment.
Lake County’s library is one of Oregon’s oldest and is very important to the success of the Daly Fund. According to Georgie Stephenson (The Growth of Lake County Oregon, 1994), the first library in Lake County was opened to the community on April 27, 1905 with about 80 books. The first reading room was in the Bank of Lakeview, donated for that use by Bernard Daly. The reading room was open seven days a week and open in the evening until the last patron left (sometimes as late as midnight). Patrons purchased library cards for $2.50 each; by the end of 1906, 60 library cards had been sold and there were 400 books on the shelves.
In the late 1800’s and the beginning of the 1900’s women’s clubs were being formed throughout the country (and in Lakeview).1 Made up of wealthy, well-connected women, they were activists, lobbying for education reform, juvenile justice, women’s suffrage, and libraries. They were a force. It’s estimated that 75 to 80% of America’s public libraries were established because of their pushing and prodding.
Libraries were important then and even more so today. Scholarships like the Daly Fund help students go to college, but it takes the support of a larger community for those students to succeed in college and in life. In my interviews with scholarship recipients, many have told me how important the library was in preparing them for success. In a recent email exchange, Mary Jo (Augustine) Clogg (Lakeview H.S., 1958) told me that, “As a bookish girl, I was grateful for the excellent public library in Lakeview, and feel that without it my life might have taken a different course.”
As it turned out, Mary Jo’s life took a most interesting course. At age 16, with the help of the Daly scholarship, Mary Jo went to the University of Oregon where she was in the Honors program and majored in history. In her junior year, she went to Edinburgh for a year abroad, then a post-graduate degree in library science at the University College in London. Apart from a brief stint in New Jersey, Mary Jo has since lived and worked abroad in England, Scotland, and Greece. Mary Jo is a regular at her Lakeview High School class reunions; no doubt, the one who travels the farthest.
The Lake County Library is a powerful force for good; helping people young and old travel far, even if they never leave Lake County.
1 The Lakeview women involved in the establishment of the Lake County library were well-connected. They included: Mrs. Rinehart, Mrs. Bieber, Mrs. Norin (president of the group), Mrs. Heryford, Mrs. Chandler, and Mrs. Conn.