courtesy Oakland History Center

The Telegrove Branch Library was a small branch library at 3424 Grove St. (now Martin Luther King, Jr. Way).

It was open from February 1930 1,2 to 1950, 3 and used a leased building. Telegrove was a name used to refer to the area between Telegraph and Grove, 4 before much of that was removed for the freeways. It was first formally used in 1926 by the newly formed Telegrove Improvement Club.

Librarians included Amalia Silver (c.1930), E.O. or Claire Antonia (c.1931), Florence Bullfinch (c.1934), and Katherine Weld (c.1938-c.1940)

According to library records, the branch was closed in 1950 to make funds available to open the Sheffield Branch in Sheffield Village, considered an underserved community.

According to Peter Conmy, former city librarian, in his 1971 report, “An Evaluation of Oakland’s Branch Libraries, an interim report, July 1971,” the Telegrove and North Oakland branches were “preposterously close. There were racial overtones in branches in such proximity.” 6 It's unknown what he meant by that.

courtesy Oakland History Center1951 Sanborn excerpt. 34th St. on left, 35th St. on right.

Links and References

  1. Library Branch to Open Doors Oakland Tribune February 10, 1930
  2. Program to Feature Opening of Library Oakland Tribune February 11, 1930
  3. German Visitor in Library Talk Oakland Tribune July 9, 1950
  4. 8th Birthday of Telegrove Club Observed Oakland Tribune February 14, 1934
  5. Play On P.T. Program Oakland Tribune December 11, 1938
  6. Hoover-Foster Library Effort Gathers Steam East Bay Express January 10, 2018