Library History

Library circa 1904The Oceanside Public Library began in 1904 when the Women’s Christian Temperance Union donated a small collection of books to the City.  On December 13, 1904 the City passed Ordinance No. 150 establishing the Library.  The first Library was housed in an upstairs room in the Bank of Oceanside building.

In February 1915, the Library moved to a room on Third Street (later the site of the Avon hotel).   In November 1916, the Library was reunited with City Hall in the former First National Bank Building on Hill Street.  The next Library move was to a store building a few doors south until 1924 when the lease expired and the Library was left homeless.

From 1924 to 1929, the Library and City Hall occupied the entire main floor of the 100F building on Second Street.  Unfortunately, J.C. Penney sent them looking for a new home.  This time, the Library and City Hall shared the top floor of the Armed Services Building, then located on Tremont and Third Street.

The frustrations of frequent moves and the apparent need for permanent quarters prompted the decision by the City to construct its own building.  In 1934, the City completed a building at 704 Pier View Way, which the Library shared until 1946.  In 1946, a new Library was built at 327 North Nevada which became the City Council Chambers and offices when the Library moved to the remodeled Safeway building in 1972.

In 1968, the acquisition of the Bookmobile and in 1986, the opening of the Mission Branch at 3861-B Mission helped alleviate some of the overcrowding at the Main Library.  In 1989, the Library opened the doors to its present location at 330 North Coast Highway.  In 1998, the Oceanside READS Learning Center on Nevada Street was opened to serve the literacy needs of the Library patrons.  Most recently, the Civic Center Library underwent a significant renovation in 2011.

Come visit any one of our facilities to see why 100-plus years later, the Oceanside Public Library is still playing a vital role in the culture of Oceanside.