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Yakima City Library's Carnegie building

Library services in the Yakima Valley began in 1889. Citizens in one small community hoped to enrich their lives by providing a public reading room. In time, that same hope spread throughout the valley. Growing towns that established schools and libraries boasted of the culture and education they could offer new settlers and investors. Those early libraries were the seeds that became Yakima Valley Libraries. You can follow the story as reported in the local papers and historical documents by clicking on the links below.

2012 - Buena Friends of the Library reopen the Buena branch of Yakima Valley Libraries in a beautiful new building.
2010 - Selah Library moves to newer, larger building at 106 S 2nd Street.
2004 - Sunnyside Library annexed
1998 - Libraries provide public Internet access
1964 - Carnegie Library in Sunnyside is demolished and replaced with new building.
1958 - Library opened in Moxee
1951 - Rural and city libraries merge to form The Yakima Valley Regional Library.
1942 - Wapato City Library relocates
1934 - Selah City Library established
1912 - Library in Toppenish organized
1911 - Why towns supported a library
1910 - Speaking on behalf of the public, Board of Trustees directs librarian to buy more fiction.
1907 - The Carnegie Library in Yakima dedicated. Bessie C. Hall was librarian
1903 - Andrew Carnegie donates $10,000 for the construction of a free public library in Yakima.



1895 - Library moved to the second floor of the Syndicate Building, located at North 2nd and 'A' Street in North Yakima

1889 - Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) establishes public reading room on First Street in North Yakima

2012 - The Richard E. Ostrander Summitview Library moves into a new building.
2012 - Yakima Central Library major remodel completed

2006 - Yakima library annexed to regional library

2005 - Selah City Library joins with regional library
2001 - Toppenish library annexed
2000 - Wapato library moves to new location
1968 - Wapato Library merged with Yakima Valley Regional Library
1959 - New regional library building dedicated in Yakima
1946 - Buena Book Nook opened
1944 - Rural library district is established. Library branches soon opened in Zillah, Tieton, Naches, Terrace Heights and Union Gap.
1917 - Carnegie library in Yakima remodeled
1914 - Library opened in Mabton
1911 - Carnegie Library at 621 Grant Street in Sunnyside is dedicated.
1909 - Library opened in Wapato


1904 - Yakima passes an ordinance to finance library services with public tax monies.

1900 - The circulating library moves to the corner of Yakima Avenue and 3rd Street to accomodate its growing collection of 1800 books.
1891 - Circulating library established by North Yakima Library Association. After the first year, they had 75 members and 350 books.
Yakima Public Library's Carnegie building, 1907 - 1957