History of the Independence Library

What was originally started in 1908, and then was legally established in 1909, the library was housed in a storefront on Main Street. It then moved to a building on Monmouth street. In 1929, the Independence Public Library moved to a new building designed to be a library. At this time the collection of items held fewer then 2,000 and the city had a population of fewer then 2,000 people.

The original library building is still part of the Independence Library system and be seen at 311 Monmouth St, Independence. The Friends of the Library hold their book sales there, as well as share space with the active community visitors center.

In 2000, voters in Independence approved a bond for a new library. After many months of deliberations, vigorous fundraisers, the new library opened in 2003, with over 27,000 items, and has now grown to over 47,000 items. The new library provides almost five times more space plus a meeting room used by local groups and organizations.

Library Director

Patrick Bodily

Friends of the Library

Friends of the Library is a non-profit organization dedicated to the enrichment of library facilities and services. Our mission is to help the Library fulfill its role in the community by fund-raising, promotions and support.

The Friends of the Independence Public Library is a non-profit group formed to support the Independence Public Library. Their mission is to help the library fulfill its role in the community by fund-raising, promotion and support. All money raised provides funding and assistance for projects and programs at the library that would not otherwise be possible. The Friends of the Library have an ongoing book sale at the Historic Independence Library and Ash Creek Arts Center (311 S. Monmouth Street). You can buy books at any time that the center is open — usually Tuesday and Thursday from 10am to 2pm.

Friends of the Independence Library Brochure (PDF)

The Friends of the Independence Public Library have gathered memories of the Columbus Day Storm from people throughout the northwest.  To order a copy of “Storm Stories” print the order form listed below.

Columbus Day Storm 1962 Memories Order Form (PDF)

Meeting Room

The primary purpose of the Library Meeting Room is for library-related activities such as story
hours, author visits, exhibits, audio-visual programs or other activities sponsored or cosponsored by the library.

The primary purpose of the Library Meeting Room is for library-related activities such as story hours, author visits, exhibits, audio-visual programs or other activities sponsored or cosponsored by the library. These activities will receive priority in use of the room. Regular library service takes precedence over all other activities. Use of the Meeting Room must not interfere with the operation of the library. Meetings that would interfere with the work of the library because of noise or other factors will not be permitted.

The following policy shall apply to all users except for the Library and the Friends of the Library.

1. First priority for scheduling is for events sponsored by the Library, the Friends of the Library, and City of Independence departments. There is no time limit on how far ahead these events may be scheduled.
2. Local organizations and those organizations serving the Polk County area will have the second priority. Reservations will be scheduled no more than six months in advance. The meeting room may be reserved no more than twice per month. Additional meetings may be scheduled on a space available basis, no more than 7 days prior to the meeting date.
3. To reserve the meeting room, complete a “Meeting Room Reservation” form, and return it to the library circulation desk. A copy of this policy will be provided to each applicant at the time the reservation is made.
4. The Library shall have the right to cancel a reservation prior to use and will return any deposits. The Library reserves the right to make additional conditions for use prior to approval of a meeting room use application.

Reservations must be made by a responsible member of the organization who will ensure that all regulations are followed:
1. All meetings must be open to the public. The Meeting Room may not be used for private social functions, such as birthday parties, anniversary parties, wedding or baby showers, and retirement parties.
2. The meeting room is only available on days that the library is normally open. All meetings must conclude by 10 p.m. This includes clean-up of the facility and departure from the building. Any group that does not meet this deadline will be charged a $25 late closure fee, and may be
excluded from future use of the facility.
3. No group or person may charge an attendance fee for meetings or workshops held in the Meeting Room or make requests for voluntary donations and no sales may be made in connection with the meeting. Exceptions may be made for Library-sponsored or co-sponsored programs, and for non-profit educational groups.
4. Use by minors. The applicant must be of legal age. Groups composed of minors must be supervised by one (1) adult (age 21 or older) for every fifteen (15) children while using the meeting room. Supervision must be provided both inside and outside the building. Library staff will not be held responsible for the supervision of children.
5. The Library will not provide storage for property of organizations that hold meetings in the Library, nor may the Library be used as the official address of any organization. Publicity announcing organizational programs at the Meeting Room may not state or imply Library or City of Independence sponsorship.
6. The Library is not responsible for theft or damage to property brought in to the Meeting Room.
7. Only light refreshments may be served, such as cookies, sandwiches, coffee, tea, or cold drinks. All utensils, plates, cups and paper products must be provided by the organization and must be removed or disposed of in an acceptable manner following the meeting for which they are used. No alcoholic beverages will be allowed. Tables must be wiped clean after use. A cleaning deposit may be required. Coffee service is available (see fees below).
8. Users shall assume responsibility for cleaning up and for any damage to Library property or the facility, including any theft, breakage, staining or damage. Under no circumstances are chairs, tables or other equipment to be removed from the building. The room must be left thoroughly cleaned and free of trash. The Library may assess charges for damage or cleaning.
9. Tack boards must be used to hang materials. Absolutely no tape or tacks or other materials are to be used to post notices on walls or windows. Decorations shall not be put up without prior approval by the Library.
10. State law prohibits smoking in all facilities. The use of the meeting room shall conform to all local, state or federal laws.

1. Responsible for their own set-up of chairs and tables. The room must be returned to its original condition.
2. Responsible for maintaining order of the group while on Library premises and for enforcing the occupancy limit.
3. Responsible for taking reasonable care of the room and furnishings and for paying for any damages to the building, furniture, or equipment.
4. Responsible for prohibiting smoking in public facilities.

1. The building is to be kept locked at all times when the Library itself is closed. The person
signing the application will be held responsible for making sure that all meeting room doors, and
exit doors are securely shut and locked and the bathrooms are empty and the lights turned off
before exiting the building.
2. If a meeting exceeds 4 hours (including set up & clean up time) a $50 fee will be charged.
3. Coffee (including cups, sugar, sweetener, powdered creamer) is available for $3 per pot (8-10 cup pot). Please rinse the air pot(s) at the end of the meeting.
4. Cleaning deposit. A cleaning deposit of $20 will be required from any group that has previously used the room and left it in a less than acceptable manner.
5. Late meetings. Any group that does not leave the building prior to the 10pm deadline will be charged a $25 late closure fee, and may be excluded from future use of the facility.

At the Library Director’s discretion, meeting room privileges may be canceled for reasons including, but not limited to, the following:
1. Failure of group to observe rules and regulations.
2. Failure of group to leave rooms and furniture in original condition – neat clean and undamaged.
3. Disorderly conduct, disturbances, and parking problems caused by the group meeting.
4. False representation of the group and its planned activities.
5. Unauthorized use of alcohol, or smoking inside the library.
6. Exceeding the occupancy limit (40 seated/80 standing only, no chairs or tables).

For questions contact the Library at 503-838-1811. *The Library Director may determine exceptions to these rules.
Approved: Independence Public Library Board- February 23, 2004; revised November 23, 2010

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Sunny Days and Warm Nights

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Independence Public Library

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The Independence Public Library offers a full range of library services; including circulation of books, audio, and video materials, reference services, outreach to homebound patrons, and programing for adults, teens and youth.

Library Programs

  • Family Story Time

  • After School, Saturday, and Summer Programs for Children and Young Adults

  • Wide range of adult programs

Reference Assistance 

Refrence services available during open hours. For after hours contact Answerland or email us

Outreach Activities 

If you live within the City of Independence city limits and are unable to visit the library, contact us for home delivery


The Library consists of many print and online collections all with easy access for all ages in both English and Spanish.

Community Space 

The meeting room at the library is available for use by local community groups.

Don’t have a library card yet?

No problem, we can help. Here’s a few things to know

Who can get a card

Residents of Polk, Yamhill and Marion Counties may apply for a library card at the Independence Public Library.  If you live elsewhere, you may purchase an out of area card.

How to get a card

  • Drivers License

  • Oregon ID with current address or something with picture ID

  • utility bill or rent receipt

  • If under 16, a parent or guardian must sign your application

  • You can also apply for a temporary card online.  You will need to visit the library within 30 days with current ID and verification of address.

Barrowing Limits

  • If you live within the City limits, or within the service area of another Chemeketa Cooperative Regional Library Service (CCRLS) library, the maximum number of items that can be checked out at one time is 50. Some library collections have lower limits

  • If you live within the CCRLS service area, but outside of the service area of a member library, you may apply for a basic card that will allow you to check out ten items at a time with no charge.  Full service cards are available for a fee. Please contact the library for current fees.

  • A free C.A.R.E card is available for children under the age of eighteen who live within CCRLS boundaries, but outside of the service area of a member library.  This card allows children to check out up to 25 items from the children’s and young adult’s collections.

  • If you live outside of the Chemeketa Cooperative Regional Library Service boundaries, you may purchase a card. Please contact the library for current fees.