Home / History

1957 “Overlake Friends of the Library” organized. The Library was 1600 sq. ft. of rented space in the basement of the Washington State Bank Building on Main Street.

1961 A Bellevue City bond issue purchased the old Sacred Heart Church at Main and 108th Street, the library’s first permanent home, at a cost of $125,000.

1967 A new bond issue enabled the construction of a new library adjacent to City Hall on Main and 116th. The new library contained 18,500 sq. ft. at a cost of $600,000.

1968 A new 7,600 sq. ft. library opened at Lake Hills.

1985 Bellevue and Lake Hills Libraries annexed to King County Library System, and OFOL changed its name to “Bellevue Friends of the Library.”

1993 A new Bellevue downtown library (80,000 sq. ft., $21 million) opened at Ashwood Plaza on July 1. The Corner Book Shop, operated by the Bellevue Friends of the Library, opened on the same day.

2000 BFOL established an endowed fund to support the School of Library and Information Science at the University of Washington. A scholarship is awarded annually to a student working towards a career in public libraries.

2001 The Library Connection at Crossroads opened.

2003 The Corner Book Shop celebrated its 10th anniversary.

2006 KCLS adopted a Cluster system and BFOL extended membership to include Bellevue, Lake Hills and the Library Connection at Crossroads.

2008 Bellevue Friends of the Library celebrated “Fifty-onederful” years.

2010 A new Lake Hills library opened at Lake Hills Blvd and 156th Ave SE.

2011 KCLS won the national Gale/Library Journal 2011 Library of the Year award for the most profoundly demonstrated service to community, innovation, creativity and leadership. Construction began on an extended garage.

2013 The new garage was completed and opened June 22nd with parking for 363 vehicles. Bellevue Library celebrated its 20th anniversary on July 1st and The Corner Book Shop was remodeled.

2015 The Friends held their first Silent Auction on December 4th.

2017 Bellevue Friends of the Library celebrated its 60th anniversary.