History of the San Joaquin Valley Library System

San Joaquin Valley Library System (SJVLS) libraries began more than fifty years ago, when the Public Relations Committee of the Yosemite District of the California Library Association began a reference project. This San Joaquin Valley Reference Project received federal funding in 1960 and in 1961, this Project became the San Joaquin Valley Information Service. Cooperation among valley public libraries increased as additional libraries began participating. In 1964, the Public Library Services Act was passed which promoted the creation of cooperative ventures with state funds. By 1978 the California Library Services Act (CLSA) funded reference services and inter-library lending (ILL) services among cooperative library systems. 

SJVLS was organized under its present structure in 1979. The member libraries at that time were Coalinga-Huron, Fresno County, Kings County, Madera County, Porterville, Tulare County and Tulare Public. SJVLS would eventually expand to include Kern County (1984), Mariposa County (1994) and Merced County (2007). In 1984, the members of SJVLS signed a computer agreement that would lead to installation of the first automated circulation system, ULISYS, the following year. This shared circulation system marked the transition of SJVLS' focus from reference to technology support.

Like many libraries at the turn of the millennia, public demand for PC's increased, which in turn required that SJVLS concentrate its efforts on structuring a optimized telecommunications network capable of meeting the demands of libraries and their users. Our telecommunications network is being constantly expanded and upgraded to and currently include support for Internet filtering, public and staff PC management, subscriptions to online content including databases, eBooks and eAudiobooks.