History of the Library

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History of the Santa Maria Public Library


  • In 1894, the Ladies Literary Society of Santa Maria (now the Minerva Club) gathered regularly to discuss English literature.
  • In 1900, the Society started a lending library located in the lobby of the Post Office. See select photos of the Minerva Club here.
  • The City of Santa Maria opened its first Public Library in 1909. The building was funded by a $10,000 grant from the Carnegie Library Foundation, city funds, and private donations. The library opened with a collection of 600 books donated by the Minerva Club.
  • Plans for a new Spanish-Mission style library building were completed in 1939. The new Santa Maria Public Library, located at 420 South Broadway, opened on July 15, 1941. The book collection numbered approximately 10,000 volumes.
  • Between the years of 1958 to 1970 the library had three building additions. The additions included a mezzanine, children’s room expansion, and two-story expansion.
  • Construction began on May 1, 2006 on the current library building, located at 421 South McClelland Street. The nearly 60,000 square foot building opened on August 23, 2008.

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