Who the Library Served

The library association created in 1900 did not specify who could use the library; instead the only requirement was the 50 cent membership dues which allowed people to check out the materials.  It stands to reason that anyone in the community could use the facility.  Bearing in mind that Chaffey created Ontario as a liquor free city, we know that North Ontario in 1900 was also a place of temperance.  Four churches were standing at the turn of the century, as well as a small grammar school for young children.  The majority of those involved with the creation of the library were also members of other community organizations.  Several of the men are seen as founding fathers of Upland, pioneers who fought for incorporation of their community.  The members whose names we know are middle class white settlers.  Black (1967) writes “What kind of people were living here? Were they adventurers, who only aim was to get rich quick?  No, they were thoughtful citizens eager to build a good future and for themselves and their children; attracted by a colony whose founders had endowed a college as part of a real estate subdivision [Chaffey College)]."  Although Upland, like Ontario, had residents of both Asian and Mexican decent, it is unknown whether the library admitted them.  One of the churches in Upland was Catholic, St. Joseph’s, so we can hope that the members of this smaller religious community were allowed the use of the library resources.

As years passed, Upland has made an open effort to include all residents.   Los Olivos, a small community within Upland’s borders, was the site of “Upland public library’s first branch” in 1944.  This community was primarily composed of migrant farm workers of Mexican descent.  Although the branch was never actually built in Los Olivos, the library did provide services and offer regular story times at a community center there.  In the 80s Director Linda Yao was responsible for creating a large Chinese language collection to meet the needs of that community.