Hours vary by location.
(916) 264-2700



The Sacramento Library Association was established in October 1857 as a public subscription library, and its first roster listed many prominent citizens, including E. B. Crocker, C. P. Huntington, and Leland Stanford. In 1872, the association acquired a building on I Street between 7th and 8th and furnished a library on the first floor. By 1879, the Library Association was facing financial difficulties and offered to transfer ownership to the City of Sacramento on the condition that it be made free. The proposal was brought to a vote in the March elections and passed. The Sacramento Free Public Library opened to the public on Saturday, June 14, 1879, with a collection of 5,695 book.

County Library Service

Under the leadership of Director Lauren W. Ripley, Sacramento Free Public Library reached an agreement with the Board of Supervisors of the County of Sacramento in 1908 to become the first city library in the state of California to extend free service to county residents. The library established the first county deposit station in Elk Grove on October 19, 1908, and by early 1909, had deposit stations at Courtland, Fair Oaks, Folsom, Galt, Oak Park, Sutterville and Vorden.

A separate Sacramento County Library system was established in 1919 and the next year began serving all of Sacramento County, excepting city residents. The two library systems would remain separate until a July 1966 agreement between the City and County of Sacramento combined their service, unifying them under the management of the City Librarian (henceforth known as the City-County Librarian) as the Sacramento City-County Library.

On August 31, 1993, the Sacramento City Council and Sacramento County Board of Supervisors voted to initiate a joint powers authority to merge all operations of the Sacramento City-County Library, including budgeting and personnel. Today, the Sacramento Public Library Authority is governed by a Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement between the County of Sacramento and the Cities of Citrus Heights, Galt, Isleton, Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova, and Sacramento. The purpose of the Sacramento Public Library Authority is to provide public library services that provide open access to diverse resources and ideas that inspire learning, promote reading, and enhance community life to all citizens in its member jurisdictions.


Check-Out Services

The library offers access to over 2 million volumes, with access to 9 million additional items through the Link+ Service. The library circulates over 7.5 million items a year.

Computers and Internet

The library has 870 public access computers with internet access. Library branches allow black and white printing at a cost of 15 cents per page. The library offers many of its technology services to its users by contracting with a third party (these services are run by the library). These services can be found on the library's webpage, under Research

Ongoing Events

The Sacramento Public Library usually hosts over 4000 events annually. These events are mostly for young children in preschool or elementary school, however there are events for teens and adults as well. View library events from the webpage.

Other Services

  • The Bookmobile- A library on wheels with a weekly route and also visits special events. The Wonderwagon is a similar service which goes to library and public events.
  • Nook Simple touch eReaders available to check out with preloaded books to read. Also available are audiobook devices for the visually impaired.

Circulation Policies

  • The maximum number of items you borrow is 30. A person may only check out 10 DVDs at a time.
  • Items can only be checked out for a maximum of three weeks. Most items can be renewed twice for 3 week period. However, for DVDs and magazines the period is only 1 week.

Locations and Hours

See the Sacramento Public Library's Locations page for information on the branches, locations, and hours.