Sausalito’s first privately funded library “reading room” opened, called the Sausalito Free Library and Reading Room. Members paid dues to borrow books; the reading room was free to all. Reverend Frederick Reed, first rector of Christ Church was president. This and other reading rooms would open and close during the next 12 years.
Sausalito Public Library, “a place of healthy and innocent recreations” (Stroman, p.16), was founded with promised help from the California State Library Traveling Library Program, an appropriation of funds from the town of Sausalito, donations from citizens, and a property tax. The first trustees were Father John Valentini, Reverend George Maxwell, Florence Wooser, and Caroline Fiedler.
The library opened on the second floor of the Sausalito Land and Ferry Company building, next to the San Francisco Yacht Club on Water Street (renamed Bridgeway after the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge). The rent was $20.00 per month.
The first librarian was Eugenie Melville, who was paid $60.00 per month.
Library moved to 1035 Water Street (now 729 Bridgeway, and the home of Gene Hiller Menswear,) on half of the second floor of the Bank of Sausalito building. In 1923, the town of Sausalito acquired the building and City Hall moved into the ground floor of the building.
Library was remodeled and expanded over the entire second floor.
Joined the North Bay Cooperative Library Association. Sausalito Friends of the Library was organized.
In December, the Library moved into the auditorium and lunch room of the old Central School at 420 Litho Street, which also became the home of the Sausalito Civic Center. The Central School, built 1927(?) on the block between Litho, Bonita, Bee and Caledonia, was the original location of the old Richardson School (built 1888), which was moved in 1926 down the hill to the corner of Caldonia and Litho Street and is now Waterstreet Hardware.
The Sausalito Library joined Marin County’s online circulation system and established a microfiche catalog.
First remodel of the library which was closed in February and books were placed in storage. Some services (and 6000 books) were transferred to a trailer in the parking lot. Library reopened on September 20 after the installation of a mezzanine and elevator.
Library purchased the first computer for public use, the Commodore PET.
Mary Richardson became city librarian and served for the next 27 years.
MARINet was established by a Joint Powers Agreement on June 12, 1991, by founding members: Sausalito, Mill Valley, San Rafael, and Marin County libraries for the implementation and maintenance of an online catalog and library management system.
Second remodel of the library was completed on March 4. The library remained open during remodeling, but a “micro library” was set up in the hall, where staff retrieved items for patrons. The remodel project entailed the enclosure of the children’s room and the consolidation of reference and circulation desks into a single service desk with separate stations for reference and circulation. New display shelving was added to the lobby area to increase the visibility of new and popular materials, as well as a new e-book “petting zoo.”
Eugenie Melville 1907- 1909
Bertha Wosser 1909-1922
Caroline Fiedler 1922-1927
Ethel Carter 1927-1929
Caroline Fiedler 1929-1933
Lillian Shoobert 1933-1937
Mabel Wosser 1927-1960
Josephine Ripley 1961-1961
Dolly Georgetti, interim librarian 1961-1963
Cynthia Wilcox 1963-1964
Dolly Georgetti interim librarian 1964-1966
Kat Berteau 1966-1968
Janet Garner and Dolly Georgetti, interim co-librarians 1968-1969
Katherine Worsley 1969-1969
Patricia Shepard Lawrence 1969-1978
Janet Garner 1978-1985
Mary Richardson 1985-2011
Abbot Chambers 2011-present
The Sausalito Library History Timeline was compiled from:
Chambers, Abbot. “Library Remodel Coming”. In Sausalito Marin Scope [database online]. Posted September 12, 2012 (accessed April 19, 2013). Available from California Digital Newspaper Collection:
Sausalito Historical Society. 2005. Sausalito. Images of America. San Francisco, CA: Arcadia Publishing. [Library call # 979.462 Sausalito]
Stroman, Elizabeth Leavy. 2007. A Place of Innocent Recreations: History of the Sausalito Library. Sausalito, CA: Friends of the Sausalito Library. [Library call # 979.462 Stroman]
Tracy, Jack. “Sausalito Historical Society: Dear Old Golden Rule Days”. In Sausalito Marin Scope [database online]. Posted 2010 (accessed April 11, 2013). Available from California Digital Newspaper Collection:
Wikipedia contributors. “Sausalito Library”. In Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia [database online]. (accessed April 11, 2013). Available from:
Special thanks to Bonnie Groshong