In December of 1896, the Women’s Club of Olympia established a library service with “reading matter” donated by citizens. In March 1909, the city offered to take over the collection of some 900 volumes and maintain a public library.
The Olympia library was housed in a Carnegie building at 7th and Franklin until 1978 when a new library was built and opened at 8th and Franklin. Olympia joined the Timberland library district in 1968.
The library underwent extensive remodels in 2000 and 2008. In 2000, the building was recarpeted and painted; a meeting room was converted to additional space for the children's area; and new public computers, computer stations, a teen area and shelving for about 10,000 additional items were added. In 2008, the circulation and information desks were replaced, the building was recarpeted and painted in bright, warm colors, the lounge furniture was replaced, and the computer stations were refurbished.
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