About the Library
Mission, History, Long-Range Plan
The Library is a Special District
The Lassen Library District is a special district public library formed pursuant to library sections of the California Education code. The Library District provides a single service, that of a public library, to the residents of the district, Lassen County and its visitors. The boundary of the district is coterminus with that of the City of Susanville.
As a special district the library is independent of other local governments and solely responsible for its policies and funding.The primary source of funding to finance its operations is a special district tax assessed on residential properties located within the incorporated area of the City of Susanville. To learn more about California special districts visit the California Special Districts Association Special Districts web page.
The mission of the Lassen Library District is to provide services, resources, and programs that enable its patrons to acquire a love of reading and skills for life-long learning; to preserve historical materials; and to help patrons make maximum use of the District's information resources and those of the nation's libraries to improve the quality of their personal and professional lives.
The Lassen Library District seeks to create a community hub for educational, recreational, and cultural learning by promoting a resource center devoted to growth and imagination for all ages; to promote the joys of reading and life-long learning; and to engage with community organizations, churches, schools, government agencies, and businesses with the goal of fostering trust.
History of the Library
From 1915 to 1994 the Susanville area had been served by a county library. In 1994, the county library was closed when the Lassen County Board of Supervisors decided to stop support of the library due to fiscal constraints the county was facing. Faced with the closure of their library, concerned Susanville citizens moved to establish an independent library special district.
The formation of the district was approved by the Lassen County Local Agency Formation Commission on August 10, 1994 and approved by 71.4 percent of Susanville voters on November 8, 1994. In that same ballot the voters approved an annual special tax of $28 on each habitable dwelling located within the city limits of the City of Susanville to pay for the new library. The first members of the Board of Library Trustees were sworn into office in January 1995 when the Board assumed library governance from the Susanville Municipal Public Library Board of Trustees. At the time of the district's formation its approved boundaries coincided with the city limits of Susanville. County residents who lived outside the city limits of Susanville were considered non-residents of the District and were required to pay a non-resident fee to obtain borrowing privileges at the library.
The Susanville Library District acquired the collections and furnishings of the closed county free library from Lassen County and commenced operations in the former county librarys location at Courthouse Annex on S. Roop Street. The library then moved into temporary quarters in an old furniture building at 911 Main Street until renovations were completed to their new facility.
The library moved into its current location at 1618 Main Street in February 1997.
The boundaries of the Susanville Library District were expanded via administrative application to the Lassen County Local Agency Formation Commission in September 2006 to encompass the entirety of Lassen County and the Board of Library Trustees approved in November 2006 changing the name of the District to Lassen Library District to better reflect the District's expanded area of operations.
The administrative expansion of the district's boundaries did not include an expansion of the tax liability on habitable dwellings located outside the city limits of Susanville because that action can only be accomplished by a 2/3 favorable approval by the affected voters. The District succeeded in getting a tax measure on the November 2012 general election ballot that would have extended the special tax to all habitable dwellings in the county, but that measure did not obtain the required 2/3 favorable voter outcome and thus failed.
Without the taxing authority to implement a fairly shared tax burden for supporting the library the Board of Library Trustees approved action to retract the boundaries of the District back to the originally approved boundaries of the city limits of Susanville. That action became effective in June 2013. The non-resident fee was reinstituted in January 2014.
Today, the Lassen Library District is dedicated to providing the best library services it can with the resources it has to both the residents of the City of Susanville and non-residents of the library district.
Long-range Plan 2014-2019
The Lassen Library District Board of Trustees approved a Strategic Plan for the period 2014 - 2019 on November 19, 2014. Click here (PDF) to read he specifics of the plan.