| |Welcome! Your public library is where you will find free access to everything
you need for your education, employment, self-government, cultural enrichment,
recreation and endless opportunities for lifelong learning and economic
improvement. I hope that you will take every opportunity to use the library
- your key to new worlds.
Interim Library Director
The San Bernardino Public Library is a system of four libraries, the Norman F. Feldheym Central Library, the Dorothy Inghram Branch Library, the Howard M. Rowe Branch Library and the Paul Villaseñor Branch Library. According to the City Charter, the San Bernardino Public Library is governed by an administrative, five-member Library Board of Trustees.
The Norman F. Feldheym Central Library was open to the public on September 30, 1985. This is the fifth central library building in San Bernardino since the first rented house back in 1891. It was named in honor of the late Rabbi Norman F. Feldheym, who had been a library board member and prominent citizen. Architects Gregory Villanueva and Oscar Arnoni, who had designed the Paul Villaseñor Branch in 1980, designed the 64,000 square foot $6 million facility. The California State Library awarded the project a $1 million Library Services and Construction Act Title II grant and the San Bernardino Redevelopment Agency issued $4.9 million in bonds for the balance.
The Dorothy Inghram Branch Library opened in 1977 in the Westside Community Center, currently known as the New Hope Family Life Center. It was named in honor of Dorothy Inghram, an educator, civic leader, volunteer and author in recognition of her contributions in the areas of education, culture, and learning. Dorothy Inghram was born in 1905 in San Bernardino to one of the first Black families to settle in this area. The 3,000 square foot library specializes in Black history and culture.
The Howard M. Rowe Branch Library was named in honor of the city librarian who served from 1955 to 1966. The 5,655 square foot library was dedicated March 31, 1968. Rowe's work on behalf of a 1958 bond issue for $490,000 contributed to the expansion of the city's library system and made possible the construction of a new main library on 401 N. Arrowhead in 1960 as well as three new branch libraries. William G. Dryden & Associates was the architectural and engineering firm.
The Paul Villaseñor Branch Library was dedicated December 5, 1980. The family of Paul Villaseñor for whom the facility was named, performed the ribbon cutting ceremony. Villaseñor was a San Bernardino resident and radio operator whose plane was shot down during World War II. The 7,500 square foot library was funded with approximately $500,000 of federal, state and Community Development Block Grants. Architects Gregory Villanueva and Associates of Alhambra used a Mexican design for both the interior and exterior of the building. The library specializes in bilingual and Spanish materials.
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