The Upland Public Library Today

The current library is housed at 450 N. Euclid, no more than a parking lot away from the old Carnegie Library.  The need for a new library was a talking point for Adda Manker, who served as librarian from 1914 – 1945.  Her 31 years of service gave her a unique view of the library’s needs, and she actively campaigned for a new library in the1940’s.  Unfortunately, the city would not move on this need until the late 1960’s.  The groundbreaking ceremony was held in December of 1967 and the library was completed in 1968, although it wasn’t open to the public until 1969.   The structure is 24,000 square feet and has many interesting architectural features.  The most obvious are the large arches that appear inside and outside the building.  In 2007 the library’s holdings numbered at 147,362 items. 

In 1996 the long process of restoring the Carnegie Library was begun.  Since 1990 the Carnegie had fallen into a state of disrepair.  The building was boarded up, and vacant.  Funded through a variety of sources the Carnegie, which cost just over $14,000 total, would require “roughly $1 million to renovate" (Daily Bulletin, 2000).  A large portion of the refurbishment was made available through the Baldy View Regional Occupational Program.  Through this program teens learn valuable training like carpentry and construction while receiving college credits for their efforts. 

Since its renovation the Carnegie has been host to weddings, receptions and various meetings for both the city and the public.  The new Carnegie features one large space with a full attached kitchen, large restroom and elevator.  The bottom floor of the Carnegie building houses the Upland Library’s Literacy and homework help center.  The Carnegie is also used for the library’s larger programs, like Summer Reading performers and teen gaming nights. 

Though the process of restoring the Carnegie has been long, the effort was well worth it.  The Upland Carnegie is one of only two remaining Carnegie Libraries in San Bernardino.  The Carnegie also served as Upland’s first Civic Building, so restoring the building goes a long way in maintaining a small piece of history.