Yolo, Yolo County
San Francisco Bay/Delta/Sacramento area, Central Valley region
Yolo Branch Library
Just seven miles northwest of burgeoning Woodland, the small town of Yolo is a California anachronism. With no adjacent housing tracts, no strip development, and no malls, Yolo consists of about a dozen town blocks providing some commercial services, school, fire station, and library for residents of the surrounding farmland. The low frame bungalow would not at first be recognized as a library, much less a Carnegie library designed by William H. Weeks, more widely known for his many "Greek temple" Carnegies.
In 1910 when Yolo County established its county library system, one of the first branches was in the town of Yolo. Carnegie funding, which had provided for expansion of the Woodland Library to handle the countywide system, was again sought for permanent buildings for several of the branches. However Carnegie's James Bertram felt that Yolo County had already received more than its share. The Yolo County librarian exchanged some twenty letters with Bertram before $3000 for just one branch was offered in 1917.Then Bertram objected to the selection of the town of Yolo to be that branch because it was so close to Woodland. In more correspondence, Yolo was defended because of the dilapidated state of its current library and because it served a large rural constituency. Residents of Yolo raised $300 to buy the lot. William H. Weeks, who had designed the Carnegie funded Woodland addition, designed the library and in 1921 he duplicated the design for the Santa Cruz/Eastside branch.