Placer County Library: A Brief History

In the early 1900s, Placer County residents were served by three independent city libraries in Auburn, Lincoln, and Roseville. These libraries were built with funds from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation, which supported the construction of many public libraries in California and throughout the nation.

In 1909, the Legislature of the State of California passed the County Free Library Law. This law allowed counties to establish free public libraries, and it ushered in a new era of library service in Placer County. In 1937, the Placer County Board of Supervisors approved the establishment of a county library system.

The new county library was headquartered in the basement of the Auburn City Public Library. Branches and stations (deposit collections in homes, stores, etc.) were established in various parts of the county, and some schools joined the system. The system grew and, by 1949, required larger accommodations. In 1958, county library headquarters moved to the Shepard Square Building on High Street in Auburn.

In 1967, the Auburn City Public Library and the Placer County Library were consolidated to create the Auburn-Placer County Library. This merger made possible a new library building supported by Federal library construction grant funds. The new library opened in 1971 on Nevada Street in Auburn.

The Placer County Library system has continued to grow and evolve over the years. In recent years, the library has added new services and programs, such as online access to books and materials, free Wi-Fi, and storytimes for children. The library is committed to continuing to grow and adapt with facilities, programs and collections that meet the current needs and interests of the many communities it serves.

Learn about each Placer County Library location’s history by visiting its individual page.