Murphys Library is beautifully situated overlooking Murphys Community Park, across the way from the Veterans Memorial. Parking is readily available at the library, or the public lot next to the Murphys Creek Theatre. Main Street is easily accessible by foot.
The library has served the town of Murphys in various locations since the 1960s. Over the years, the collection has been housed in a pharmacy, an art gallery, and a 20'x20' storefront on Main Street. The building which currently houses the Murphys Volunteer Library was completed in 2001 thanks to a huge outpouring of support from the community.
History: In 1985 cuts in the county budget resulted in four Calaveras library branches being closed: Mokelumne Hill, Railroad Flat, Sheep Ranch, and Murphys. The Murphys branch was closed from August through December that year. Our librarian, Jean Kirkpatrick, was steadfast in her belief that Murphys must have a library. Her passion, combined with that of several leaders in the community (including Mearl Lucken, Doris Barger, Ben Smith, and Russ Shoemaker) resulted in the creation of the Murphys Volunteer Library, Inc. and a board of directors dedicated to ensuring that Murphys would have a library.
On January 2, 1986 the library reopened in a tiny location on Main Street, staffed solely by volunteers - the first all volunteer library in the state of California. Jean Kirkpatrick was joined by volunteers Ruby Tenbrink and Barbara Cannon to keep our library open. With Murphys Volunteer Library, Inc., the community rallied to raise funds to provide for operating costs and to build a new facility to house the collection (as the rented space on Main Street was badly in need of repairs: it has since been remodeled and is occupied today by Nelson's Candy Company).
Many in the community came together to build our library. Native Daughters of the Golden West made very generous donations in honor of Jean Kirkpatrick who passed away in 1992. The Murphys Community Club purchased land which it then donated to the county for the library site on Algiers - John Campbell (architect) and Al Tunsen (builder) were instrumental in that transaction. Pam Shoemaker also played a vital role in construction: newly elected as President of the Board, she was responsible for the hard work behind the scenes to raise funds, hire contractors, and recruit volunteers to get the job done!
In May of 1995 - 10 years after county budget cuts led to the creation of the Murphys Volunteer Library, Inc. - the library opened in its current location. In that decade, the library remained open wholly through the dedication of volunteers and community support. In 1998, Calaveras County hired a branch assistant for Murphys, and has continued its support of the library within the county system since then.
The spirit of community remains strong, and we welcome anyone interested in volunteering at Murphys Library.
Murphys Volunteer Library is always looking for interested individuals who can commit time, energy, and expertise to its front desk staff or serve on the board of directors.
Be a part of the community!
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
A long long time ago on a dark and stormy night Kristine was born! Actually, it might have been a nice day. Growing up in Oakland, CA provided opportunities for little Kristy to ride her bike to the local brick and ivy covered library near her house. She loved exploring the card catalog and her fascination and love of books has never ended. After graduating and receiving her teaching credential from Sonoma State University she attempted to find a job in the teaching field which was very difficult at the time because of an overabundance of teachers.
She took a break and had two children - some break! Realizing her life was not complete she accepted a job in 1984 at an elementary school teaching in a very small (8 Apple IIe) computer lab. It wasn't easy because she didn't have a computer (they were still fairly new) but she struggled through and taught herself and took several classes. Seventeen years later after helping the lab grow to 32 networked Macintosh computers she finally graduated from elementary and moved to a high school to become the Library Media Teacher. She received her Masters in Library and Information Technology from San Jose State University.
After 8 years of working in at the high school library, she retired to beautiful Murphys. Again she found her life not complete and volunteered for over 2 years at the San Andreas library until accepting the position here at the Murphys Library. Happily married to her sweetheart she loves her job but hopes to travel to exotic places in the future.
Nancy was raised in the Bay Area and has been coming up to her family cabin in Arnold for the last 25 years. In June of 2019, Nancy and her husband made the move to full time living in Murphys. Her and her husband Pete have been married for 35 years and have 3 children. She is a retired elementary school teacher and has a passion for early literacy. She enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, kayaking, camping and traveling just about anywhere! The last book she read was "Educated" by Tara Westover.
Educated by Tara Westover
Andrea joined the MVL board in August, 2014, and is currently the Secretary of the Board. She and her husband, Gary, have been coming to the Murphys area for over ten years for vacations; they moved here full time from Menlo Park in early 2014, after Andrea retired from Wells Fargo Bank. She enjoys watercolor painting, golf and theater. One of her favorite books is Inheritance by Dani Shapiro
Inheritance by Dani Shapiro
Mary was born and raised in San Jose, and graduated from Santa Clara University. She has been married 27 years to Mark. Mary discovered Murphys in 2012 while visiting her brother and his wife, and fell in love with the town instantly. Six months later she purchased a home here.
In 2015, Mary completed the UC California Naturalist program at Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Some of her hobbies are hiking, kayaking, camping, gardening, and being a good caretaker for their property in Murphys. Mary's favourite book is currently The Goldfinch by Donna Tart
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Dennis was born at MGM Studios in Culver City, CA, where his mother worked as a makeup artist, and his father was an accomplished leathercraftsman (saddle-maker) for the movie industry.
Dennis earned his Masters in Humanities & Comparative Religion from CA State University at Sacramento. He and his wife, Pat, settled in Murphys in the 70s, where they built their home by hand and raised two children (Dennis now has several grandchildren).
Dennis worked for Calaveras county until he retired in 1998. He has been extensively involved in his community: he assisted with high school sports (soccer, swim team, baseball) and founded Ebbetts Pass Youth Soccer with three other families; he was a Scout Master - one of only four recipients in Northern California of the Silver Beaver Award; he has been a member of several church choirs; and he has participated in numerous community groups - including Native Sons, Murphys Community Club, and Murphys Volunteer Library.
When he is not absorbed by interesting reading material, Dennis is busy raising goats on his property, and tackling home improvement projects to make a mess of his garage. Dennis is currently reading The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World by A.J. Baime.
The Accidental President by A.J. Baime
Pat Lamson was born and raised in Long Beach, California. She and her husband bought a home in Murphys in 2013 when they fell in love with the area. Pat and her husband have been married for 44 years. They have three children and four grandchildren.
Pat is a retired teacher and counselor who loves the library. Her parents were both teachers and when she was a child the family made regular trips to the library. These trips would often be followed up by hours of reading together. Going to the library was always a special experience.
Pat enjoys spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren. She also enjoys getting together with friends, traveling, writing, and hiking.
She enjoys reading historical fiction, autobiographies, and books about psychology. She is currently reading The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles.
The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
Pete Murray grew up in Connecticut and moved west after graduating from college. He worked as an aerospace engineer in southern California where he met Nancy. They married and settled in San Mateo where Pete worked as an engineer at the United Airlines Maintenance base at SFO. Pete and Nancy and their three kids spent a lot of time at the family cabin in Arnold and loved stopping in Murphys. Nancy and Pete left San Mateo in 2019 and have settled in Murphys. Pete enjoys camping, gardening, traveling and just about any kind of DIY project. Pete enjoys reading history, biographies and other non-fiction. Currently reading Nothing Like It in the World by Stephen E. Ambrose.
Susan believes in possibilities. She moved to Hathaway Pines in September of 2017, when she found her 'dream home on the hill." Her hope is to restore her 1948 home, create an organic garden and enjoy the beauty of the Stanislaus forest; which is literally her backyard.
Susan is a lifetime San Francisco peninsula resident, a mother of three sons, six grandchildren who taught elementary school in Menlo Park for 25 years. She was active in her county's historical library until moving to the Sierras.
After Susan visited the sweet Murphys Volunteer Library, she thought, "Sign me up!" Susan mother was a middle school librarian, so she felt akin to the magic libraries give to a community. Susan is excited to support and manage a book club again at the library.
Being a reading teacher, Susan is continually reading. Her favorite genres are historical fiction and classics. Ernest Hemmingway, Wilda Cather, John Steinbeck, Erik Larson, and James Mitchner are some of her favorite authors.
Maggie is a library fan. The first public library she patronized (at 4 years old!) was in a defunct strip mall across the walkway from a bar. Thanks to the amazing librarians there, she learned the importance of libraries as community centers; she believes that the Murphys Library can become the heartbeat of our community, providing patrons not only books and services, but hopes, dreams and a future.
A Bay Area girl, she came to the Mother Lode after a lifetime of travel, work and play from the cold beaches of Northern California to the sunny climes of Mexico. She worked at Sunset magazine for 15 year, and currently works for the Calaveras County Arts Council.
Maggie reads constantly, online and in real life. She can't choose a favorite book or genre, because anything can capture her attention. She recommends The Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin (Sci-fi), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (Historical Fiction), and When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron (Buddhist thought).
The Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin
Murphys Volunteer LIbrary
420 Park Lane • PO Box 702 • Murphys, CA • 95247
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Murphys Library is a non-profit organization
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