Salem Public Library

821 East State Street
Salem, OH 44460



Our mission is to provide free, open and equal access and service to all individuals and groups in the community. Our objective is the provision of carefully selected materials to aid the individual in the pursuit of education, information or research, and in the creative use of leisure time.


The Salem Public Library has its roots in the Monday Night Club, a literary club of about forty persons who recognized the need for a collection of reference materials to support their research on various topics. In March 1895 they formed the Salem Library Association. Shares sold for $25.00.

The library opened with 1,200 books and was housed in the Gurney Building on S. Broadway Ave. It grew rapidly and in 1900 it moved to the Pioneer Block on the corner of what is now N. Lincoln Avenue and E. State St.

Recognizing the need for a permanent home, the first librarian, Mrs. Helen Carey, contacted Andrew Carnegie in January 1903 to request a grant of $17,500 to build a library. Within three weeks Mrs. Carey had his commitment. The new library opened September 1, 1905 at its present site, on land donated by the board of education. In 1931, the Carey Memorial Reading Room was added to the library and in 1984, a $1.2 million expansion and renovation project was completed.

The audio-visual department was created in 1991 and includes all non-print services. Videocassettes, compact discs, audio books-on-tape, laminating, computers and software, and audio-visual equipment are available.

The outreach department, begun 1998, provides book delivery service to area retirement, assisted living and skilled care centers; programs for day cares, preschools and elementary schools; and special programs for organizations.

Today the library is home to 105,000 items with an annual circulation of 350,000 by 16,000 registered borrowers. We hope you enjoy using your library.

Images provided by, Ticketmaster
Please use "Flag This Place" to alert us about content that is inappropriate or needs immediate attention. Nothing you submit will be shared with other site visitors.

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events »

Find information about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in your state. CDC information is available at; additional AARP information and resources are at En español, visite

AARP Member Card

Join or Renew Today


  • Immediate access to your member benefits
  • Discounts on travel and everyday savings
  • Subscription to the award-winning AARP The Magazine
  • An ally on the issues that matter most to you in Salem
  • Free membership for your spouse or partner