Public libraries with treats such as coffee on the side aren’t a modern creation.
Back in 1918, you could drop by the Manteca Public Library and browse through the collection or else order an ice cream sundae. The library, at the time, was housed inside the Vandevort Ice Cream Parlor.
Manteca has had a library in one form or another for the past 97 years.
The first library was opened in 1910 in a building on the southwest corner of Yosemite and Maple avenues. A year later, Mrs. M.B. Hooper became the second librarian and moved the library to a corner of her husband’s store that carried hardware, groceries, and dry goods on the northeast corner of Main Street and Yosemite Avenue.
There were never more than 50 books at a time in the library’s collection in 1911. They were exchanged once a month in Stockton. The Manteca Bulletin published a list each month of the new books that were brought in from Stockton for circulation.
The library bounced around for several years including a stint in a private home on Willow Street.
In 1924, the library was housed in part of the second floor of the just completed City Hall on Sycamore Avenue that houses private offices today.
Space needs in 1952 forced the library out of city hall and into rented storefront space at 313 W. Yosemite Ave.
It was three “yes” votes on the last absentee ballots counted in 1960 that passed a $75,000 bond to build the initial portion of Manteca’s current public library that now stands on Center Street in the triangle formed with Manteca and Poplar avenues.
The site is the ninth home for a Manteca branch library. It took three elections for the bond measure to pass. The first effort failed by four votes in April 1958. The bond was defeated again in November 1958 by 60 votes.
The library was dedicated on Jan. 13, 1962. It was expanded in 1977 to its current configuration with the prediction it would be adequate for the city through 1995 when population was projected to reach 32,000. Manteca’s actual population in 1995 was 45,060 residents. Manteca now has 72,000 residents.