Pinetop-Lakeside Public Library celebrated its 85th anniversary in 2015!
Pinetop-Lakeside has a history of library use dating back to 1930, long before the Town’s incorporation in 1984. We carry on that tradition today. In fact, part of our vision is to become the heart of our community.
Library history (selected)
1930: Library was established as the “Lakeside Public Library” with the acquisition of 3,000 books at a cost of $500 from a prominent Holbrook lawyer and county attorney, Thorvald Larson (no relation to Wallace H. Larson).
1931: Fire destroyed the library collection.
1954: Prominent Lakeside School teacher, elementary school principal, superintendent, Justice of the Peace, and Arizona state representative Wallace Hunt Larson died. The Arizona Legislature subsequently presented a $400 memorial fund to the Library Advisory Board to build a new library in his name.
1955: A new library was established in the old red stone Lakeside School building, combining the school library and the public library.
1957: Yet another fire destroyed the building; although some of the collection and furniture was salvaged.
1963: The library rented a portion of the “long building” in Lakeside and reopened with a collection of 583 books.
1964: The “Wallace H. Larson Memorial Library” was established.
1969: The Library Advisory Board obtained an agreement with Blue Ridge Unified School District and United States Forest Service for a building to be constructed on a corner of the school grounds.
1971: The new 832 sq. ft. library opened in the spring of 1971.
1979: Construction began on an addition.
1983: Volunteers completed construction on the new addition.
1984: The communities of Lakeside and Pinetop incorporated as the “Town of Pinetop-Lakeside.”
1985: Town Ordinance No. 8 (3/7/1985) established the library as a department of the Town with the Library Advisory Board continuing as an advisory board.
1992: The Library Advisory Board dissolved.
1999: Friends of Pinetop-Lakeside Library was formed to raise funds for the library and support a long-needed expansion.
1999: The Town purchased Real Property from Blue Ridge Unified School District in order to obtain a federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) construction grant to expand the facility.
2000: The current 5,760 sq. ft. library was completed, incorporating the original frame structure of the 1971 building.
2009: The Library Journal Index of Public Service ranked the library as one of America’s Star Libraries (4 stars).
2010: The Library Journal Index of Public Service ranked the library as one of America’s Star Libraries (3 stars).
2013: The Kids’ Corner was refurbished, including a three part wall mural by local artist Carole Fogle.
2013: Town Ordinance No. 13-377 (12/5/13) changed the name of the library from “Wallace H. Larson Memorial Library” to “Pinetop-Lakeside Public Library.” The library building at 1595 Johnson Drive was named “Larson Memorial Building.”