Library services in the Yakima Valley began in 1889. Citizens in one small community hoped to enrich their lives by providing a public reading room. In time, that same hope spread throughout the valley. Growing towns that established schools and libraries boasted of the culture and education they could offer new settlers and investors. Those early libraries were the seeds that became Yakima Valley Libraries. You can follow the story as reported in the local papers and historical documents by clicking on the links below.


    2015 – Sunnyside Community Library remodel.

    2015 – Selah Community Library purchase of building.

    2012 – The Richard E. Ostrander West Valley Community Library opens August, 13, 2012.

    2012 – Yakima Central Library major remodel completed

    2012 – Buena Friends of the Library reopen the Buena branch of Yakima Valley Libraries in a beautiful new building.

    2011 – Groundbreaking for new West Valley Library

    2011 – Yakima Valley Library Awards Building Contract to Blew’s Construction

    2011 – Invitation to Bid September 7, 2011

    2011 – Proposed Project Schedule June 6, 2011

    2011 – Questions for West Valley SOQ, January 12, 2011

    2010 – Selah Library moves to newer, larger building at 106 S 2nd Street.

    2006 – Yakima library annexed to regional library

    2005 – Selah City Library joins with regional library

    2004 – Sunnyside Library annexed

    2001 – Toppenish library annexed

    2000 – Wapato library moves to new location


    1994 – Libraries provide public Internet access

    1973 – Selah City Library established

    1977 – Library opened in Mabton

    1968 – Wapato Library merged with Yakima Valley Regional Library

    1964 – Carnegie Library in Sunnyside is demolished and replaced with new building.

    1961 – Library in Toppenish organized

    1959 – New regional library building dedicated in Yakima

    1958 – Library opened in Moxee

    1951 – Rural and city libraries merge to form The Yakima Valley Regional Library.

    1946 – Buena Book Nook opened

    1944 – Rural library district is established. Library branches soon opened in Zillah, Tieton, Naches, Terrace Heights and Union Gap.

    1942 – Wapato City Library relocates

    1917 – Carnegie library in Yakima remodeled


    1911 – Why towns supported a library

    1911 – Carnegie Library at 621 Grant Street in Sunnyside is dedicated.

    1911 – Library opened in Wapato

    1910 – Speaking on behalf of the public, Board of Trustees directs librarian to buy more fiction.

    1907 – The Carnegie Library in Yakima dedicated. Bessie C. Hall was librarian

    1904 – Yakima passes an ordinance to finance library services with public tax monies. 

    1903 – Andrew Carnegie donates $10,000 for the construction of a free public library in Yakima.

    1900 – The circulating library moves to the corner of Yakima Avenue and 3rd Street to accommodate its growing collection of 1800 books.


    1895 – Library moved to the second floor of the Syndicate Building, located at North 2nd and ‘A’ Street in North Yakima

    1889 – Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) establishes public reading room on First Street in North Yakima

    1892 – Circulating library established by North Yakima Library Association. After the first year, they had 75 members and 350 books.