Salem Public Library is a department of the City of Salem, providing library services at a Central Library in downtown Salem and a West Salem Branch on Glen Creek Road NW.
The staff serves Salem’s 157,000 residents 53 hours a week at the Central Library and 16 hours a week at the West Salem Branch. Salem Public Library offers its patrons over 400,000 items, including print and audio books, DVDs, music CDs, and more. Salem residents enthusiastically use their libraries, borrowing 1.3 million items per year.
Salem Public Library is also proud to offer public-use computers, varied and interesting programs for youth and adults, meeting rooms and one auditorium available for rent to community groups, monthly displays by local and regional artists, and an impressive permanent art collection.
Salem Public Library was founded in 1904 by a group of determined volunteers from the Salem Women’s Club. The first library was housed in a corner of the City Council Chambers for the City of Salem. The library was operated by the Salem Women’s Club until it became a department of the City of Salem in 1912. Also in that year, the library moved into its first dedicated building, constructed with a grant from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.
In 1972, the library moved to its current location at 585 Liberty St. SE, sharing a campus with Salem City Hall. The West Salem Branch was established in 1957 in the old West Salem City Hall, and moved to its current location in 1995.
Salem Public Library continues to benefit from robust community support from the Library Advisory Board, Friends of the Salem Public Library, and Salem Public Library Foundation.