The Friends was organized in 1972 and incorporated as an Oregon nonprofit in December 1979. The Library began on a book shelf in the Tigard City Hall and moved to a storefront on Main Street.
In the mid-1980’s a citizen committee was appointed to consider building a Civic Center. The committee recommended a complex that would include City Hall, the Police Station and the Library. Members of the Friends served on the committee and campaigned for the bond measure to finance the Civic Center. The complex was built and the new Library opened in 1986 with some furnishings and fixtures provided by the Friends. The 13,000 square-foot Library was projected to meet the city’s needs for at least 20 years.
In 1998 the Library had already outgrown the facility and a larger building was needed. The City Council formed the New Library Construction Committee, which included members of the Friends of the Library. The Friends supported the campaign to pass the bond measure to build the new library. The result was a beautiful new 48,000 square-foot library that was dedicated in August 2004 with artwork subsidized by the Friends. The group has supported library levies throughout the years. About 60 percent of the Tigard Library’s yearly funding comes from Washington County.
Since its inception, the Friends have conducted numerous book sales. The per-sale proceeds have grown from about $200 to $8,000.
From 1986 through May, 2014 the Friends provided more than $600,000 in furnishings, fixtures, books, computers and program support to the Library. Over $400,000 of this amount has been given since the new Library opened in 2004.
The many events and items the Friends has sponsored or funded include:
- Adult and Children Summer Reading Programs
- Alphabet Chair
- Art for the new Library
- Booktron, the Teen Reading group
- Cultural Pass Program
- Kids Club
- Library Adult Reading Program
- Music programs
- Library Opening Day and Anniversary Celebrations
- The City’s 50th anniversary celebration
- Otaku Teen Reading Program
- Prime Time Reading Program
- Mitten Tree
- Super Bowl Telecast
- Super Readers/Grades 4 & 5
- Tigard Reads