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"Imagine the City of Salinas as a place of peace and community engagement on the importance of learning, where every child, student and resident of Salinas has a library card, and goes to a library every week, and every student knows how to read due to the infusion of literacy and reading programs available at every library for them and their families."

Our Story

In 1907, the Salinas Civic Club, later to be known as the Salinas Women’s Club, wrote to Andrew Carnegie requesting $10,000 to create a public library. They raised another $4,000, acquired a site, added the books from the Odd Fellows, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and Daughters of the American West libraries, and opened the Carnegie Public Library on September 5, 1909.

Today there are three Salinas libraries – John Steinbeck, Cesar Chavez, and El Gabilan –  open seven days a week with a collection of thousands of books, ebooks, magazines, newspapers, online databases, books on CD, music CDs, DVDs, government documents, and other materials.

The Library survived closure in 2005, created national and state visibility, and local expectations, and was featured in the movie The Hollywood Librarian. The residents of Salinas formed Rally Salinas, and passed Measure V to fund all Library operations. The Library was able to restore its hours, as well as provide literacy and other new programs for youth and adults.

We have many assets including a Library Commission, Friends of the Salinas Public Library (FOSPL) who raise thousands of dollars to enhance children’s programs and library events, partnerships with many community organizations and foundations, and extraordinarily-dedicated employees.

Our Mission

To encourage reading, the appreciation of books, and to provide materials and services to help members of the community meet their personal, informational, educational, and cultural needs.

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