Tacoma Public Library

1102 Tacoma Avenue South
Tacoma, WA 98402


About Us :

As one of the most important educational and cultural institutions in the city, Tacoma Public Library is an essential resource for the residents of the city of Tacoma. Who uses Tacoma Library? Everyone.

There is hardly an institution in Tacoma that affects more lives than Tacoma Public Library … the possibilities are endless. No matter where you are, or what time of day it is, library access is available either at a local library or through our website.


Tacoma's Main Library opened in 1903 and was the first Carnegie Library built in Washington state. Philanthropist and steel-czar Andrew Carnegie gave the City of Tacoma $75,000 to build the orginal library (which is now home to the Handforth Gallery, community meeting rooms, and the Library's Northwest Room and Special Collections). Today, more than 100 years later, the Library is still the heart and soul of our city, and a major cultural resource -- with art exhibitions, lectures, author visits, and more -- as well as home to more than 250,000 books, magazines, compact discs, and videos.

The Main Library is filled with many treasures -- from Leaves of Glass -- James Carpenter's stunning dichroic glass sculpture which greets visitors as they enter the library, and Carnegie Pond -- a tile mural by artist Jack Ferrell in the second floor Children's Area, to a collection of work by Tacoman Thomas Handforth, the recipient of the 1939 Caldecott Medal and for whom the Library has named it's art gallery. A collection of images by photographers from our sister city of Vladivostok can be found in the Olympic Room (one of our two free community meeting rooms).

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