From its very beginnings, the Cannon Beach Library has been an independent operation created and nurtured by volunteers. In 1927, when there were only about 50 families living in the area, eight women formed an informal Cannon Beach Civic Club to work on improvements such as street lighting, garbage disposal, public restrooms and – most important to us – a Library open to the public.
During the first year, the Library consisted of a few shelves in the back of the local La Rose Shop with books donated from the Oregon State Library. By late 1928 the Library had grown enough to rent its own space in the Gerritse Building. A plaque was placed on the building honoring the first home of the Cannon Beach Library.
In 1945 the Library relocated to a small cottage on Second Street. Volunteers not only staffed the Library, but constructed the shelves and tables. The Library grew during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s thanks to fundraising events (such as card parties, street dances, baby contests, and “clam chowder day”).
By 1972 enough money had been raised to develop plans for a Library building. The City of Cannon Beach agreed to lease the Library a lot in city center on Hemlock Street for $1 per year. As always, the Library was a community effort. Local lumber yards provided lumber at cost. Local construction companies donated excavation work and building materials. Many people volunteered labor for the roofing and siding. The new Library building was dedicated in September 1976.
A new children’s wing was dedicated in August 1997. The wing was funded through grants from a number of foundations, local businesses, fundraisers and individual donations.
In the tradition of the eight women who founded the Library, we remain privately owned. The Library is owned by an Oregon nonprofit corporation called the Cannon Beach Library. Our members operate the Library, led by a Board of Directors chosen by the membership.
Board of Directors 2021-2022
President – Phyllis Bernt
Vice president – Lynne Murray Stuart
Treasurer – Karen French
Secretary – Claire Landrum
Melodie Chenevert, Caroline Godderz, Amy Jones, Mary Kerwin, Wanda Meyer-Price, Linda Sugano