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Our History

The Folsom Public Library serves a rapidly growing city with a rich history dating back to the Gold Rush era. Folsom natives and new residents alike take advantage of the library’s materials, services, and programs for recreation, personal, educational, and professional growth. Library staff places special emphasis on stimulating young children’s interest in and appreciation for reading and learning. The library supports students at the elementary and secondary levels while serving as a learning and educational center for all residents of the community.

Folsom’s Library is a local resource for:

  • A collection of over 100,000 items;
  • Interlibrary loans and patron requests for materials from Sacramento County, regional libraries, and out-of-state libraries;
  • Computer technology including Internet access, Wifi, online databases, word processing, and online catalog access;
  • Knowledgeable library staff to help you find information;
  • Free programs for children such as storytimes, summer reading programs, and drop-in homework help;
  • A host of enjoyable volunteer opportunities.

Folsom’s earliest residents rented books from local merchants before Sacramento County opened a branch library on Sutter Street in the early 20th century. Later, the library moved to Market Street, next to what was the City's courthouse. By the time the County closed the branch in 1992 due to budget cuts, the tiny library was in a strip mall off East Bidwell Street. The community rallied behind the need for a local library.

The City successfully applied to have the residents' library taxes reallocated from the County to a new City Library. The Marvin May building on Persifer Street, which had been a fire station and later a City Hall annex, was vacant and the city offered the property as a library site.

Local residents formed the Friends of the Library, raised funds, and refurbished the 7,000 square foot building. The new Library Commission hired the City’s first library director, and the Folsom Public Library opened in 1993.

Looking Forward

In the years since the library opened in its former 300 Persifer Street location, Folsom’s population has grown dramatically and so has the demand for library services. A 2001 community survey indicated that 81% of residents surveyed listed library services as a high priority for the City. That’s not surprising considering that more than 27,000 of the City’s 57,233 residents are Folsom Library card holders.

In 2003, the library circulated more than 288,000 items, compared to 97,000 items in 1993. More than 227,000 people visited the library that year, over four times the 55,000 who went to the library during its first year of operation. The age, design, and limited space of the Persifer Street building led the Folsom City Council to approve the construction of two new libraries - a main library located adjacent to City Hall, and a joint-use branch library at the Vista del Lago High School in Empire Ranch. The Folsom Public Library Georgia Murray Building opened to the public in 2007, followed by the Norman R. Siefkin Public Library in 2008. Together the new libraries offered 33,000 square feet of library space and state-of-the-art library services to meet the needs of Folsom residents for many years to come. In 2011, public library access to the Norman R. Siefkin Library ceased, but it remains a Vista del Lago High School library.

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