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.