San Mateo Public Library Foundation

55 West Third Avenue
San Mateo, CA 94402

The San Mateo Public Library Foundation seeks private financial support from the community to ensure high-quality library services will always be available, today and for future generations.


San Mateo’s first library was established in 1885 by volunteers who recognized the importance of a shared community resource for literacy and culture. The City of San Mateo took over the property and operations in 1899. Two neighborhood branches were added in 1956 (Hillsdale) and 1966 (Marina). Since 1977, the Town of Hillsborough has had an agreement with the City of San Mateo to provide library services to its residents.

Once primarily a print collection, the library has evolved to offer extensive and wide-ranging resources, including eBooks, books on tape, videotapes, CDs, DVDs, computer software, and specialized online databases. The library offers book delivery to the homebound, literacy tutoring for adults, Internet training, story times (including bilingual), children’s summer reading program, and other special services for children, teens and adults. Reference librarians answer questions in person, by phone, and online.
Today's library collection mirrors a vibrant and diverse community with materials in Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, French, and Farsi. San Mateo library users can select from more than two million books, newspapers, magazines, videos, and CDs thanks to an automated network and delivery system linking public and college libraries throughout San Mateo County. A joint online catalog can be browsed from home or business.
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