Visalia, Tulare County
San Joaquin Valley/South area, Central Valley region
Visalia was incorporated in 1874 and dates its first library from an 1868 Odd Fellows library. Good Templars and WCTU also established libraries and reading rooms. Typically, they occupied numerous locations over the years. All were incorporated into the Visalia Free Library established in 1903. A $10,000 grant was offered on February 2, 1903. McDougall Bros. of Fresno designed the building in the Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival style. The library opened May 31, 1904. In 1910 Tulare County was among those counties to organize under the first county library legislation which was passed in 1909. The Carnegie building was outgrown in 1936, and was replaced by a WPA-built building which still stands and is used for special purposes, while an adjacent much larger addition serves as the central library of the Tulare County Library system.