Our mission is connecting people to information, learning, and culture.
Sunday Noon-5 p.m.
Monday 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
Tuesday 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
Wednesday 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
301 W Elm St, Salina, KS 67401
Salina Public Library’s history began in 1868 when 15 Salinans drew up a formal petition for the charter of the Salina Library Association “for the purpose and object of establishing a public and circulating library.” In 1893 a call went out to establish a more organized free reading room in the Odd Fellows building at the corner of Seventh St. and Iron. On April 27, 1899, Mayor T. W. Roach appointed 12 citizens to a board charged with the organization of a Salina Public Library. That same year a city mill levy of one-half mill was established to support the new library. The library opened in a building owned by Mr. V. A. Austin at the corner of Eighth St. and Iron. In March 1901, the library moved to the first floor of a building on S. Santa Fe. News of Andrew Carnegie’s support of public libraries reached Salina late in 1901. Carnegie was offering $15,000 for a building with the condition that the city would furnish a site and guarantee support of no less than $1,500 annually. The library board accepted the offer immediately and began a campaign to raise the needed funds. Support was so strong that within 5 weeks all the money was raised. The southwest corner of Eighth St. and Iron was chosen as the new library’s site, and was completed and open for business in June 1903. An addition was made to the building in 1922, and the Carnegie Free Library served Salina until 1968. The building was razed in 1969. January 1, 1904, saw the hiring of Mrs. Delia Brown as the librarian. She went on to serve as Librarian for 42 years.
September 29, 1968, saw the dedication of the newest and current library building situated at 9th St. and Elm. The building cost $928,000 and was financed by a federal grant and city bonds. In the 1990s the library saw some big changes. 1992 brought the completion of the library’s automated card catalog and circulation system. In I996 a major renovation began which involved moving the children’s dept. downstairs, relocating the fiction collection, adding meeting rooms, and installing a grand staircase. In 2003, a $1 million expansion was begun to create a Technology Center resulting in 7,000 square feet being added to the library. The addition opened in 2005. In 2007 the dance studio across Elm St. from the library was purchased to house the library’s Community Learning and Skill Sharing program (CLASS) and provide additional meeting rooms and office space for staff. Originally called the Salina Public Library’s Learning Center, the building was renamed the McKenzie Center when longtime library director Joe McKenzie retired in 2017 after 40 years of service. In 2019, Melanie Hedgespeth took over as Director of the library. The main floor layout was updated in 2020, and in 2022 the Salina Public Library App was launched. New improvements are in the works as we are continuously striving to best serve our community. The support of our patrons has allowed us to grow and evolve into the library you see today.
The library is governed by a Board of Trustees, whose members are appointed by the Mayor as provided in K.S.A. 12-1222, with powers and duties as provided in Kansas Statutes 12-1215 and 12-1225. The Board has the authority to levy a property tax budget for the support and operation of the library. The Board hires an administrator, the Library Director, and they establish the policies by which the library is administered.
The Board normally meets the third Tuesday of each month at 7 a.m. Agendas are available online.
The Salina Public Library’s public comment policy is adhered to during the meeting.
Board Email: email@example.com
Property taxes in Salina make up a major portion of our operating revenue. Other revenue sources include fines, fees, and donations. A levy request is approved by the Library’s Board which has taxing authority under Kansas Statute 12-1215. Saline County residents pay property taxes to fund the Central Kansas Library System which in turn provides grants to Salina Public Library.