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California Library Hall of Fame: Ida May Reagan
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California Library Hall of Fame

Ida May Reagan (1875-1971)


Born in Battle Creek, CA, in 1875, Ida May Reagan was a rural schoolteacher (1983-1902) before becoming Oroville city librarian (1903-09). One of the first to be certified by the California Board of Library Examiners, she was appointed San Mateo city librarian in 1910 and then Madera county librarian in 1911. When Butte County organized its county library in 1913, Reagan was named the first county librarian. The job involved extensive, difficult travel through the foothills and to isolated logging and mining camps to establish the library’s earliest branches. In 1915, she went to Humboldt County to build and operate their new library system. She remained there until 1929, when she returned to Butte County to serve, once again, as county librarian. After 18 years, she retired, but then returned to Oroville to work as branch librarian until 1953. During the course of her career, Reagan traveled more than a million miles to deliver books, materials, and supplies to library branches and stations in Butte County. For her efforts, Ida May Reagan was included in Max Binheim’s Women of the West, published in 1928.



Ida May Reagan was inducted into the California Library Hall of Fame in 2013. For more information about her, please see:

  • Butte County Library archives