The Lassen Library District conducts programs and provides services and resources that enable its patrons to acquire high-level literacy and life-long learning skills so they can make maximum use of the District's information resources, and those of any of the nation's libraries, to improve the quality of their personal and professional lives.
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 contraints. 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 priviledges 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 library’s 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.
A long range plan for the Lassen Library District is under development and will be published when it is completed.