History of the Bothell Library
early as 1905, when Bothell emerged as a logging and shingle mill village, a
circulating library was begun in the Odd Fellows Hall on Main Street between
First and Second Avenue (now 101st and 102nd). Librarian, Della Chambers, not
only maintained the new library but also tended the switchboard for the new
Independent Telephone Company. But what became of this library there is unknown.
Another library was comprised of the private book collections of School Superintendents
George Sickles (1905 - 1907) and Henry A. Simonds. Because of the voluntary
nature of these library collections, when Henry Simonds retired in 1918, the
library retired with him. Other private libraries also operated out of the Bothell
Methodist Church (1909 - 1913) and Harlen Rupp's drug store, until it moved
to Seattle in 1916.
No formal library operated in Bothell from 1918 - 1925, but Carlton Ericksen's general merchandise store on Main Street, offered books to borrow for pennies a day from 1923-1925.
In January of 1925 a permanent public library was established by citizens in a room of the annex to the American Hotel with 1000 volumes. This venture was sponsored by the Reverend Charles Bowen and his wife, Mabel. The rent for this room was $15 a month. When a lower rate was offered ($13 per month) for a similar space at the Bothell Hotel, a block away on Main Street, the library moved nine months later.
In September of 1928 the library moved into the Town Hall, located to the fire station on 102nd Ave NE, and beside the bridge spanning the Squawk Slough (the King County Park N Ride lot is currently there). The Town Council voted to spend $10 a month for a librarian's salary. It was split four ways by four volunteer librarians who each served one week out of the month.
When the new Town Hall was built in 1936, the library moved to the Assembly Room. The Town of Bothell contracted with the King County Rural Library System to provide full library service to residents in 1946. Marion Caldwell served as librarian from 1947 to 1956.
Voters continued to support the library, approving a $70,000 library bond issue in 1967. The King County Library System provided matching funds, which along with a Federal Grant of $137,333, met the total construction cost of $310,000 for the 8,300 sq. ft. library on 182nd Street, opening in 1969. The City of Bothell annexed into the King County Library District in 1986. Laura Corner served as the City Librarian from 1956 to 1974, Mary Ann Chatman served as head librarian from 1974 to 1992 and Ruth Bacharach served from 1992 to 2004.
September 18, 1995, the Bothell Library opened at its current site
on the corner of 182nd Street and 98th Avenue NE, with over twice the floor
space to serve smaller libraries and patrons of Bothell and North King County.
It is the third busiest library in the King County Library System.
Last Updated: June 13, 2007