History of the Library

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A brief history of the Santa Maria Public Library


The first lending library in Santa Maria was a 600-volume collection of the Minerva Library Club.

Formed in 1894 and originally known as the Ladies Literacy Society of Santa Maria, the group regularly gathered to discuss English literature. See select photos of the Minerva Club here

In 1909, the City of Santa Maria opened its first official library in a new building funded with a $10,000 grant from the Carnegie Library Foundation.

The Minerva Club was integral to the creation of the library, even helping to pay for the land at Cook and Broadway.

The Library operated in that original building until July 15, 1941 when a new Spanish-Mission style building, located at 420 South Broadway, was dedicated.

The library remained largely the same until the 1960s. In 1963 a children’s wing was added, and in 1969 the building again went under construction to further expand.

The library moved again to its current location at 421 South McClelland Street. On August 24th, 2008 the current building officially opened to the public.

A photographic display of the Library’s history is available on the second floor of the main Library.

 View of Public Library From Broadway