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    Photo Credit: Jay Dunn

About the Salinas Public Library

Public libraries have a long history of offering equal and open access to information, education and enrichment to the communities that they serve. At the Salinas Public Library, we are committed to helping every member of our community achieve their educational and vocational goals, as well as providing safe and inclusive spaces for residents to meet, learn and connect with one another.

The Salinas Public Library has proudly served the community since 1909 when it first opened its doors as a Carnegie Public Library. Today, there are three branch libraries, John Steinbeck Library, Cesar Chavez Library, and El Gabilan Library, with services available 7-days a week. The collection includes more than 100,000 books, magazines, movies, and audiobooks, and a Steinbeck Special Collection of more than a thousand books, articles, and artifacts.

In 2005, the library was featured in the movie “The Hollywood Librarian” after it received national attention for nearly closing its doors because of severe budget cuts. Rally Salinas, a local and regional effort to restore funding for the library through a local tax measure, was ultimately successful in sustaining operations. Today, the Salinas Public Library is experiencing a renaissance of programs and services with its recent launch of a Digital Branch that includes an extensive collection of online resources, databases, instructional software, as well as eBooks, eMagazines, streaming movies, and much more.

In 2012, Cesar Chavez Library in East Salinas, completed its redesign and expansion project which includes the addition of an outdoor courtyard and a community meeting room. This library continues to be one of the most popular destination for children and teens during after-school hours, with its homework center and community programs.

The library completed a major redesign and expansion of El Gabilan Library on Main Street in North Salinas, in February 2020. During the construction period from mid-2018 until January 2020, the library had continue to provide library service in North Salinas community by innovatively opening Library Connection, a temporary location at the Northridge Mall. The expanded El Gabilan Library increased the building size to about 20,000 sq.ft., and featured new community meeting room, makerspace, computer lab, and outdoor learning space.

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