Hillsboro Public Library

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Hillsboro Public Library
Hillsboro Library logo.png
Established 1914
Location Hillsboro, Oregon
Coordinates 45°32′34″N 122°56′09″W / 45.54278°N 122.93583°W / 45.54278; -122.93583Coordinates: 45°32′34″N 122°56′09″W / 45.54278°N 122.93583°W / 45.54278; -122.93583
Branches 2
Size 286,000
Access and use
Circulation 1.75 million
Population served 157,000
Members 59,000
Other information
Budget $5.6 million
Director Stephanie Chase
Website Official website

The Hillsboro Public Library is a two-location public library system in Hillsboro, Oregon, United States. First opened in 1914 in a Carnegie library building, the system provides services to a population area of 157,000 people. As of 2004, the system had a usage of 674,000 visits per year. One library is located near downtown in Shute Park, with the other newer location in the central portion of the city near the airport. Circulation exceeds 1.75 million per year, and the system has over 59,000 registered users. As of 2015, the director of the library is Stephanie Chase.[1]


The first library in Hillsboro opened on December 9, 1914, when the Carnegie City Library was dedicated.[2] This was one of 2,500 plus libraries built by money donated by Andrew Carnegie around the world, and the only public one in Washington County, Oregon (the Carnegie Library at Pacific University was a private, academic library).[3] The land at Northeast Second and Lincoln Streets where the library was built, was also donated to the city.[4][5] Designed by architect Ernest Kroner, the $10,000 building was constructed by the firm Book & Engeldinger.[2]

In 1925, the library had a circulation 19,445 and a total of 4,855 volumes.[6] Total fines charged that year were $92.28, while expenses totaled about $250 for the year to maintain the grounds, pay for heating, and pay for water and electricity.[6] The Friends of the Library group was started on February 6, 1968.[7] In May 1971, this group began campaigning for a new library building, including paying some of the early costs for designs, with voters later approving a bond measure to pay for the new facility.[7] On January 21, 1975, a new library opened to replace the Carnegie building, located at Shute Park.[2] The new building was designed by Martin, Soderstrom & Matteson.[7] Circulation at the library totaled about 130,000 in 1975 with around 40,000 books.[6] The year after the Shute Park location opened a library was opened in the Tanasbourne area on the east side of Hillsboro. In 1990, the city took over those operations, moving it in 1996 from the former Tanasbourne Mall location.[8]

Old Carnegie building

In 1998, a Books-by-Rail branch was opened at the Hillsboro Central MAX Light Rail station in a 168-square-foot (15.6 m2) space.[9] Two times in 2002 and again in 2004, the city had property tax levies on the ballot to build a new $25 million library.[10] Plans called for building a 60,000-square-foot (5,600 m2) building on Cornell Road at 206th in the Tanasbourne area to replace the Tanasbourne branch.[11] The levies to build the new library and remodel the Shute Park location failed. The first measure in 2002 received majority support at the voting booth, but lost due to low voter turnout and the state’s double-majority law.[12]

The library closed the Books by Rail branch in 2003 due to a reduced budget.[13] Hillsboro cut their library funding by $350,000 that year.[14] In 2005, the city decided on an alternate plan of buying an existing building and renovating it at a total cost of $13 million, with $1 million of the funds coming from private donations.[10]

The city purchased a two-story, 77,000-square-foot (7,200 m2) office building on Northeast Brookwood Parkway near the Hillsboro Airport for $6.8 million in September 2005.[10] With the opening of the new location in a more central area of Hillsboro, the Tanasbourne location was closed with its inventory moved to the new main library. The new library location opened in May 2007 after the building was renovated, but originally only occupied the first floor. In June 2013, the second floor opened to add 38,000 square feet (3,500 m2) of space and an art gallery to the Main Branch.[15] The Shute Park location was closed in 2013 for renovations, and re-opened in March 2014 with the entrance moved to the west end of the building.[1] A 3D printer was added to the Shute Park branch in December 2014.[16] The library added an automated kiosk, the Book-O-Mat, at the Hillsboro Civic Center in November 2015.[17]

Facilities and services[edit]

Shute Park branch

Main branch[edit]

The Hillsboro Main Library is housed in a two-story, city owned building encompassing 76,000 square feet (7,100 m2).[15][18] The library’s collection includes more than 200,000 items.[19] Story readings at the main library are given in a variety of languages including Mandarin, Japanese, Bengali, and Spanish.[20] Additionally, the location has books in roughly 50 languages.[20] Part of the second floor houses an art gallery featuring local artists.[21] This library includes a privately owned coffee shop with leased space in the building.[22] There are approximately 300 parking spaces at the site.[23] The Main library also houses the collection of the Hillsboro Independent and The Hillsboro Argus newspapers, dating back to 1887.[24]

Shute Park branch[edit]

Opened in 1975, the Shute Park Branch is the oldest of the two libraries in the system. The building was designed by Will Martin and cost $760,000 to build.[2] With 15,000 square feet (1,400 m2), it is also the smaller of the two locations.[25] The building is triangular in shape, with the north facing wall all glass.[2] Shute Park houses over 105,000 library articles ranging from books and videos to audio materials and periodicals. It contains 36 seats and 31 computer terminals.[25]


Main Branch on Brookwood Parkway

As of 2004, the library system had a service area population of 150,000 residents.[26] That year the Tanasbourne branch served 401,000 people and the Shute Park branch 273,000 people.[26] In 2006, the library system had a rating of 683 from the Hennen's American Public Library Ratings,[27] down from 705 in 2004.[28]

For 2006 to 2007, combined the library has over 286,000 items in its collections and a circulation of over 1.75 million.[29] Revenue for the library totals $5.6 million, with expenditures slightly exceeding that number.[29] Between the two branches there are 55 staff members including librarians. Hillsboro Public Library has 59,275 library card holders, and is part of Washington County Cooperative Library Services.[29] Total visits were 644,000.[29] The library is the third largest in Oregon by population served.[29]


  1. ^ a b Myers, Theresa (March 11, 2014). "Shute Park branch library in Hillsboro reopens Saturday: What you need to know". The Oregonian. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Engen, Edna. Culture, knowledge brought to community by new library. The Hillsboro Argus, October 19, 1976. p. 15.
  3. ^ Did you know? Libraries. The Oregonian, September 20, 2007.
  4. ^ Hillsboro's Carnegie Library. Hillsboro Public Library. Retrieved February 4, 2008.
  5. ^ "Carnegie Hall". The Council of Independent Colleges. November 2006. Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  6. ^ a b c "Records show book increase". The Hillsboro Argus. October 19, 1976. p. 15. 
  7. ^ a b c Bartrop, Toice (October 19, 1976). "Life Styles: Friends of Library offer helping hand". Hillsboro Argus. p. 16. 
  8. ^ "The Hillsboro Public Library at Tanasbourne". City of Hillsboro. Archived from the original on March 5, 2007. Retrieved July 17, 2012. 
  9. ^ Fentress, Aaron. Books by light rail. The Oregonian, September 24, 1998.
  10. ^ a b c Bermudez, Esmeralda. Bookish applaud library deal. The Oregonian, September 1, 2005.
  11. ^ Stranzl, Justin. Hillsboro hosts final library proposal open house. Daily Journal of Commerce, July 8, 2004.
  12. ^ Turner, Anne M. Balloting Backs Growth; Local support for libraries slows but remains firm, as 60 percent of building measures are upheld despite tight races Library Journal, March 15, 2003.
  13. ^ Anderson, David R. Hillsboro libraries cutting back hours, more. The Oregonian, January 29, 2003.
  14. ^ Recession, 2003: more cutbacks and closures; News Fronts; libraries suffer throughout the United States due to reduced public funds. American Libraries, August 1, 2003.
  15. ^ a b Theen, Andrew (May 29, 2013). "Hillsboro library leaders expect crowd of thousands to celebrate expansion of Main branch". The Oregonian. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  16. ^ Fuller, Kathy (December 10, 2014). "Carving into the world of 3-D". Hillsboro Tribune. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  17. ^ "Book-O-Mat, Hillsboro Public Library's automated book kiosk, to debut at Civic Center Plaza". The Oregonian. November 30, 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2015. 
  18. ^ Bermudez, Esmeralda. Get a peek at future site of library at open house. The Oregonian, April 20, 2006.
  19. ^ Gregory, Roger. New Hillsboro library opens its doors today. The Oregonian, May 20, 2007.
  20. ^ a b Suh, Elizabeth. Residents flock to new main library east of Hillsboro airport. The Oregonian, September 20, 2007.
  21. ^ Smith, Taylor (May 30, 2013). "Hillsboro Main Library expansion includes art gallery on second floor". The Oregonian. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  22. ^ Rostami, Marjon. Library's coffee court hoping sales percolate. The Oregonian, July 12, 2007.
  23. ^ Bermudez, Esmeralda. New city library to open in mid-May. The Oregonian, April 12, 2007.
  24. ^ Hillsboro Public Library - Equipment Hillsboro Public Library. Retrieved on August 1, 2009.
  25. ^ a b Shute Park Branch. Hillsboro Public Library. Retrieved February 4, 2008.
  26. ^ a b Bermudez, Esmeralda. Hillsboro looks at options for new library. The Oregonian, April 14, 2005.
  27. ^ Oregon. Hennen's American Public Library Ratings. Retrieved on February 4, 2008.
  28. ^ Anderson, David R. Beaverton city library’s rating in study jumps, keeping it top-ranked in county. The Oregonian, November 4, 2004.
  29. ^ a b c d e Oregon Public Library Statistics. Oregon State Library. Retrieved on February 4, 2008.

External links[edit]