In 1937 a $6,000 bond issue and a Public Works Administration grant from the government enabled the city to construct a $12,000 library building in 1938. The 2,200 sq. ft. building would serve a population of 3,500. The Spanish-style mission library was located in the center of Murphy Park. It was built in the form of a "T", with an arched entrance in the center which led to the reading rooms. It was considered one of the most attractive buildings in the city.
On June 1, 1935, Mrs. Velma Teague was hired as head librarian and served until her death in 1969. She recognized the need for excellent books to stimulate young and old minds. She dreamed that a larger library would one day replace the smaller one in Murphy Park. Preliminary plans were approved for a larger library in 1967. Mrs. Teague died in 1969 before the new 15,000 sq. ft. library was finished, but she knew that the new library would be named for her. The Velma Teague Library opened in September 1971.
As the city continued to grow, it became apparent that a much larger library was needed. Under the directorship of Rodeane Widom, a new 65,000 sq. ft. main library opened in July 1987 next door to Sahuaro Ranch Park. The downtown library remained open as a branch.
In July 1999, the Foothills Branch Library opened. This 33,500 sq. ft. branch library is the first library in Arizona to offer the convenience of a drive up window.
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