The beginning of the Aloha Community Library Association (ACLA) started in early 2011 with a few friends, neighbors, associates, and community activists meeting for coffee to discuss the possibility of forming a new library for the community of Aloha. From that early beginning a ground-swell of community grass roots activism took hold of those involved and led them on an amazing journey. The journey included learning about the technical specifics of library formation in Oregon, Washington County, and specifically Aloha. It also included learning how to create the necessary 501(c)(3) non-profit legal documents, which included articles of incorporation, bylaws, etc., and registering with state and federal agencies to enable legal fundraising activities to support the library.
A website was created, refined, and constantly revised allowing a consistent communication tool for our community. Facebook and Twitter accounts were created and actively supported. A “sneak peek” event was staged in early December, 2011 that was well attended even though it was just an empty shell of what would soon become the Aloha Community Library. The highlight of that evening was the first book checkout, “Packy and Me”, written by a local celebrity, the late Dr. Mathew Maberry and his wife, Patricia Maberry. The book was checked out to Zachary Jarvis, the child of one of the most fervent volunteer families, Becky and Terrill Jarvis. Read more
The Association wrote strategic plans which included reviewing and summarizing demographic analyses of the area, creating a budget, creating a development and fundraising plan, setting short and long term goals, and other important business startup tools. They learned how to fundraise and demonstrated their knowledge and new skill by actually raising over $40,000 before opening day. This was remarkable for a group that had never worked together before but only shared a common mission.
During the summer of 2012, the Association began its first reading program thanks to a wonderful grant from the Washington County Cultural Coalition and the Beaverton Rotary Club. Over 100 children and adults were served during an 8-week period in July and August, 2012. The library opened as a full-service community library on September 22, 2012. The Wednesday morning Storytime program has continued to grow with an average of 30 kids in attendance each week. On Saturday mornings the Storytime program is provided in Spanish. As of July, 2013 the library had issued over 1400 library cards to local residents and steadily increased circulation to over 2300 items/month with over 9,000 items in its collection. The library also serves the community with free Wi-Fi and Internet service and six public access PCs. The library currently employs a part-time volunteer coordinator to manage the dozens of volunteers and hundreds of hours they dedicate each month to sustain the operation.
Additional background information is available at the ACLA wikipedia site. See History of Washington County Cooperative Libraries for information about other libraries in the cooperative.