Wilsonville Public Library

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Wilsonville Public Library
Wilsonville Public Library logo.jpg
LocationWilsonville, Oregon
Coordinates45°18′09″N 122°45′41″W / 45.3025°N 122.76128°W / 45.3025; -122.76128Coordinates: 45°18′09″N 122°45′41″W / 45.3025°N 122.76128°W / 45.3025; -122.76128
Access and use
Population served22,000
Other information
Budget$1.3 million
DirectorPatrick Duke

The Wilsonville Public Library (WPL) is the single-location public library of the city of Wilsonville in the U.S. state of Oregon. Established in 1982, the library moved to its present location near Wilsonville Memorial Park in 1988. WPL is a part of the Library Information Network of Clackamas County and serves a population of about 21,900. The library has approximately 155,000 items in its collection with a total circulation of approximately 515,000.


Wilsonville was incorporated in 1969, and in February 1982 dedicated a library.[1][2] Prior to 1982, library services were provided by the county via a bookmobile.[3] Phila Simmons served as the first librarian of Wilsonville's public library.[2] At that time the library was located on the grounds of the old Wilsonville Grade School on Boones Ferry Road owned by what was then the West Linn School District .[4][5]

Wilsonville residents passed a measure in June 1987 that provided $2,225,000 for the city to build a library building and buy 41.5 acres (16.8 ha) to add to Wilsonville Memorial Park.[4] In December 1987, the city started construction on a new library building to be built on 2 acres (0.81 ha) at the northwest corner of Memorial Park.[4][6] William L. Lonigan General Contractors Inc. built the new library, designed by Nagao & Oroyan Associates, for a contract price of approximately $760,000.[4] Part of the funding came from a $96,000 federal grant, and the new building was expected to handle the city's growth for 15 years, and it was also designed to be expanded.[7]

The new library was designed to have 7,000 square feet (650 m2) and include a conference room, children's area, and a large meeting room.[4] While under construction, the city commissioned a sculpture of author Walt Morey to be paid for by the Friends of the Wilsonville Library.[8] The 3-foot (0.91 m) tall bronze figure cost $7,500 and honored the Wilsonville area resident who wrote novels such as Gentle Ben.[8] The library's children's room was also named after the author, and includes a bronze plaque.[8][9] Wilsonville's new library building opened on August 23, 1988, at a cost about $900,000.[5] The Walt Morey statue by Jerry Joslin was dedicated on December 18, 1988.[9]

In 1990, Steve Turner was hired as the library's new director to replace Phila Simmons.[10] Local employer Fujimi America Inc. donated approximately 1,500 Japanese books and money to the library in May 1991.[11] The library started being open on Sundays in 1994, but only during the school year, after Clackamas County passed a library operating levy.[12]

Exterior of the library

Wilsonville sent a bond measure to the voters in September 1995 for $3.9 million to be used to expand the library building, which at that time held 35,000 books.[13][14][15] Voters rejected the measure, along with a measure to improve Memorial Park.[15] In 1998, the library started offering passes to cultural institutions in the Portland metropolitan area.[16] The city went to voters again in November 2000 with a $4 million measure designed to expand the library four-fold, and this time the measure passed.[17] In August 2001, construction began on the expansion designed by Rich Turi that had construction scheduled for completion in May 2002.[17] Both InFocus and OrePac Building Products donated equipment for use in the expanded facility.[18]

Starting in 2002 the library offered story time for children in Spanish, and in 2005 brought in Claudia Renata Osorio in an attempt to increase the number of people attending the sessions.[1][19] The Wilsonville Public Library Foundation paid for a 35-foot (11 m) ceramic mural in the children's area of the library added in 2004.[20] On December 21, 2003, Patrick Duke replaced Steve Turner as the library's director.[21]

The Library Foundation attempted a fundraiser in 2005 where participants paid for a tour of homes that used a line of paint from Devine Color.[22] An attempt by the city to raise property taxes in November 2006 was defeated by voters, which led to cuts in the hours of the library.[23] The library received a grant in 2008 to expand its out-reach program at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, a women's prison in Wilsonville.[24] The $10,000 grant allowed for additional training and books for the program, entitled Book Bridges, designed to build and strength the connection between infants and their mothers who are serving time in prison.[24] Also in 2008, the library's Storytime Collection was chosen by the Oregon State Library as one of the outstanding projects of the year.[25]

Facilities and services[edit]

The 28,677-square-foot (2,664.2 m2) building houses a variety of collections as well as 19 computers.[26] One of the larger collections is the children's collection, which has its own room that can open onto an exterior patio.[18] Two other rooms also open to the patio.[18] Other features of the building include tile in the highly traveled portions, blue-heather carpet elsewhere, and wood accents on the walls and ceilings.[18] The main entrance leads to the grand foyer that has a high ceiling and skylights, and is home to the library's reference desk.[18]

Another collection at the library is the Heritage Collection, which focuses on the history and genealogy of Oregon and southwestern Washington state.[27] The collection includes U.S. Census records, biographies, vital records, local histories, and online databases, among other items.[18][27] That section of the library also includes exhibits sponsored by the Wilsonville-Boones Ferry Historical Society, including models of sternwheelers and a photographic mural of the city from about 1910.[18]


As of 2011 the library had an annual budget of $1.3 million, which included $166,000 spent on the collection to serve a population of about 22,000.[26] At that time the collection had 155,000 items, of which 102,000 were print items, nearly 11,000 were video items, almost 11,000 were audio items, plus 166 periodical subscriptions.[26] The library had approximately 17,000 registered patrons and an annual circulation of 514,706 in 2011, which included about 178,000 items loaned out to other libraries.[26] Also, as of 2011, WPL had an attendance of 24,406 at its 353 children's programs over the course of the fiscal year.[26]


  1. ^ a b Taylor, Kate (November 24, 2004). "Spanish story time will return to library". The Oregonian. p. Southwest Zoner C2.
  2. ^ a b Bergman, Erik (February 16, 1982). "Volunteer effort makes Wilsonville library reality". The Oregonian. p. 25.
  3. ^ Neiworth, Trish (June 24, 1982). "'Empty shelves' quick to become fine library". The Oregonian. p. 42.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Ground breaking inaugurates work on new Wilsonville library". The Oregonian. December 17, 1987. p. South Zoner 10.
  5. ^ a b "New Wilsonville library building pleases patrons". The Oregonian. September 15, 1988. p. South Zoner 8.
  6. ^ "Wilsonville seeks money for library art". The Oregonian. January 7, 1988. p. West Zoner 7.
  7. ^ Schouten, Hank (August 4, 1988). "Wilsonville library eagerly awaits moving into its new, custom-built facility". The Oregonian. p. South Zoner 6.
  8. ^ a b c "Wilsonville library to get sculpture honoring Morey". The Oregonian. July 14, 1988. p. South Zoner 6.
  9. ^ a b Brinkley, Pam (December 29, 1988). "Wilsonville statue honors hometown author Morey". The Oregonian. p. South Zoner 9.
  10. ^ Brinkley, Pam (April 4, 1990). "Wilsonville fills library directorship". The Oregonian. p. B2.
  11. ^ "Fujimi donates books to Wilsonville Library". The Oregonian. May 23, 1991. p. South Zoner 7.
  12. ^ "Wilsonville Library starting Sunday hours". The Oregonian. September 8, 1994. p. West Zoner 10.
  13. ^ Staff (July 20, 1995). "Wilsonville measures would fund library, parks". The Oregonian. p. South Zoner C2.
  14. ^ Staff (August 21, 1995). "Open houses focus on library design at Wilsonville". The Oregonian. p. South Zoner B2.
  15. ^ a b Kohler, Vince (September 20, 1995). "Wilsonville turns down library, park measures". The Oregonian. p. South Zoner B2.
  16. ^ Thomas, Kristine (July 25, 2002). "County libraries offer free passes to area's cultural sites". The Oregonian. p. Southwest Zoner 6.
  17. ^ a b Bella, Rick (December 6, 2001). "Wilsonville Library wing takes off, with skylights and space". The Oregonian. p. South Zoner 15.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g Bella, Rick (April 4, 2002). "Wilsonville Library steps up to fill city need". The Oregonian. p. Southwest Zoner 1.
  19. ^ Taylor, Kate (January 13, 2005). "A special hour". The Oregonian. p. Southwest Zoner C3.
  20. ^ Goetze, Janet (March 15, 2004). "Creating a wall of characters". The Oregonian. p. Southwest Zoner 2.
  21. ^ Taylor, Kate (January 15, 2004). "Meet your neighbor sharing a love of libraries". The Oregonian. p. Southwest Zoner 6.
  22. ^ Thomsen, Skipp (May 19, 2005). "Library draws up colorful fundraiser". The Oregonian. p. Southwest Zoner 2.
  23. ^ Mortenson, Eric (March 15, 2007). "Library director: Leaner times ahead". The Oregonian. p. Metro Southwest Neighbors 10.
  24. ^ a b Haight, Abby (March 6, 2008). "Mothers in prison get help bonding with their babies". The Oregonian. p. Metro Southwest Neighbors R5.
  25. ^ Haight, Abby (May 1, 2008). "Library urges tots to act out tales toward reading". The Oregonian. p. Metro Southwest Neighbors.
  26. ^ a b c d e "2010-2011 Oregon Public Library Spreadsheet". Library Development Services: Oregon Public Library Statistics. Oregon State Library. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
  27. ^ a b Blackmun, Maya (January 10, 2002). "Wilsonville Library makes dusting off history easier". The Oregonian. p. Southwest Zoner 5.

External links[edit]