The library serving the Baker area today operates as a county-wide special district under the directorship of five elected officials. Originally founded in 1901 by the Alpha Club for the enrichment of the community, in 1906 the library evolved with construction of a Carnegie building to a Baker City Public Library. In 1964, it expanded to a county department and in 1971 moved from the Carnegie building near City Hall to a newly constructed library next to the Geiser-Pollman Park. When threatened by budget cuts in the mid-1980's, a grassroots citizen campaign rallied to the rescue. In May 1988, voters passed a permanent tax base for the Baker County Library District, at which time it became independent from the County administration. Voters approved bonds in 1998 to remodel the main library and its five branches soon afterward. In 2006, a 5-year local option levy for operating costs was first approved to support county-wide service, and it has been successfully renewed since. In 2010, Library Journal recognized BCLD as one of the "Best Small Libraries in America."
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