Lakeside Friends of the Library remembers the past, looks to the future

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The Lakeside Library has always been the heartbeat of the community, especially in these last several years with free classes, workshops and events of all kinds, thanks to the Friends of the Library. All eyes are on the future when a larger library will be built on a lot next to the Ottavio’s Italian Restaurant, with construction completed by 2021. 

The Lakeside Library has always been the heartbeat of the community, especially in these last several years with free classes, workshops and events of all kinds, thanks to the Friends of the Library. All eyes are on the future when a larger library will be built on a lot next to the Ottavio’s Italian Restaurant, with construction completed by 2021. 

To aid in the library’s future move, a St. Patrick’s Fundraiser, with food, dancing and music by Charley’s Boys will be held on Mar. 10 from 5-9 p.m. at the Lakeside Rodeo Grounds.   

In the meantime, the history of Lakeside’s library is one to be cherished and remembered. This was the topic of the Annual Chicken Potpie Fundraiser at the Lakeside Historical Society general meeting in February. Heather Gutierrez, president of the Lakeside Friends of the Library, gave a presentation, “Legacy of a Community,” about this lively little library’s history.

When Lakeside was being settled by dairy farmers in the area in the early 1900s, the Women’s Club of Lakeside was one of the first organizations of Lakeside. The club broke ground in 1911 and helped to start the library by dedicating a corner bookshelf in the Town Hall.

“It was a small start for the library, but the women played a big role in the Lakeside Library,” Gutierrez said. 

The community had a vision and a hope for a larger library, which began to take shape in 1936 when the Western Loan and Building Company incorporated it. In 1945, the library moved into a rental “on the highway,” said Gutierrez. 

“That was the research I found on it, but there is still some speculation as to which highway the library was located,” she said.

The library finally gained its own building in January 1946, inside a WWII bunker. 

By April of 1969, the library had come into its own in a new building and the Lakeside Friends of the library was established. The year 1975 ushered in the library’s first book fair and sale.

“We still do have an annual book fair, with a fantastic book giveaway,” said Gutierrez.

The 70s saw a great growth in the library’s popularity. 

“Who remembers doing this?” Gutierrez asked as she projected a photograph of elementary school children riffling through the card catalog. Practically every hand went up. “We call it prehistoric googling,” Gutierrez joked.

By June 1982, the library had transitioned to a computer system; in 1983, the library gained an additional 1,800 square feet and amenities. 

Within the last decade, the Lakeside Library has gained a reputation for being a place of lifelong learning, holding classes, workshops and events for all ages. Another large donation for the new library is expected. “You can hear about that at the St. Patrick’s Fundraiser on March 10,” Gutierrez said. “And Lakeside Friends of the Library can always use more volunteers.” 

Gutierrez encouraged everyone to become a friend of the Lakeside Library, whose Facebook page is at www.facebook.com/lakesidefriends/. Information can be found there about the fundraiser as well as volunteering opportunities.  

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