Sacramento Public Library


Sacramento Public Library is the essential resource for our communities.


Sacramento Public Library inspires our communities to discover, learn and grow.

Key Facts and Figures

  • Fourth largest library system in California, serving a population of over 1.3 million
  • Joint Power Authority governed by a 15-member board of elected officials
  • Annual budget of $43 million
  • 28 locations with nearly 450,000 square feet of public space throughout the County of Sacramento, including 19 community rooms
  • 285 staff members
  • Volunteers contribute more than 66,000 hours of service each year
  • A collection of 2 million volumes, with access to 9 million additional items through the Link+ Service
  • Circulation of over 7 million items each year
  • 3.6 million visitors annually
  • Over 8,000 free programs for kids, teens, adults, and families each year
  • 748 public computers and laptops
  • Over 39 million hours of access to public computers with Internet annually

A Brief History of the Sacramento Public Library 

In 1857, some of Sacramento’s leading citizens, including E. B. Crocker, Leland Stanford, and C. P. Huntington, formed the Sacramento Library Association to “provide for the present generation and transmit to posterity ample and increasing means of information and improvement—that it should flourish in years to come and rise to eminence among kindred institutions.”  The association transferred its building and collection over to the City of Sacramento in 1879 and city residents voted to turn the subscription association into a free library.
The Sacramento Free Public Library opened on June 14, 1879, with a collection of around 6,000 volumes to serve a city of 21,000.  The city and library flourished and in 1908, the city library system became the first in California to open service to the entire county. Small deposit stations, branches and bookmobiles expanded service to the far reaches of the county over the following decades.
Today, Sacramento Public Library is still serving the residents of the greater Sacramento area. Although time and trends have changed the delivery of library services over the last century and a half, the Library has never changed its commitment to providing those services with excellence and professionalism. Today, the Library remains the heart of the community, meeting the needs of its diverse population and responding to ever-changing interests.

Latest News

Library nominated for National Medal

March 16, 2018

Show your support by sharing your Library story on Wednesday, March 21

What can one book do?

March 15, 2018

Book First changes the lives of first graders

 Five ways storytime helps kids get ready for school

March 14, 2018

Early learning | 3-minute read

Library nominated for industry Oscar

March 12, 2018

Get ready to share your Library story on March 21

Library providing free formal attire to help teens attend prom

March 12, 2018

All-inclusive program allows teens to shop gently-used dresses, suits and accessories of all sizes and types

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