The Inverness Library

The Inverness Library, a branch of the Marin County Free Library, is located in downtown Inverness, 1 block west of Sir Francis Drake, at the corner of Ten Inverness Way (north) and Park Avenue.         

The library contains about 7500 volumes, is fully automated with 3 computers for library users, has a children’s book corner, and access to the entire collection of the Marin County Free Library, as well as to the libraries of local colleges and universities. 

The library, often referred to as The Gables, is also the home of the Jack Mason Museum, which holds exhibitions of historical documents and photographs in the library’s main ‘Museum Room’.

History

The Inverness Library opened as a branch of the Marin County Free Libraries in September, 1942 in the Civil Defense Office.  Wartime gas shortages prevented local residents from driving to Point Reyes for books.  Open 9 hours a week, it was staffed primarily by volunteers.  In 1948, it moved to a tiny real estate office next to the garage.  In 1966, the small building (still standing) was moved to the edge of the property, and was later surrounded by a small garden.  In 1978, when the County Library threatened to close the branch, local residents, led by librarian, Nancy Hemmingway, convinced the County Board of Supervisors to keep it open, for 12 hours a week.

In 1985, when Jack Mason died, his will provided that the Gables property (his home) be sold to the Inverness Foundation for use as a local library.  The community rallied, raised the funds to purchase the property and restored it to comply with County standards for a public library.  Much of the labor required of this project was donated.  In 1986, the community celebrated the opening of the “new” Inverness Library by carrying the library’s books up Ten Inverness Way to their new home, the Gables, at 15 Park Avenue.  Jack Mason's museum which had been in his living room was retained as well.