In 1907, the City Trustees passed Ordinance 53 which established and supported a library which "...shall be forever free to the inhabitants and nonresident taxpayers of the City of Glendale..." The first year the library had 251 books, 165 registered patrons, and a budget of $248.88.
In 1913, a Carnegie grant of $12,500 made possible the construction of the main library at Kenwood and Fifth (Harvard Street). The building was completed and dedicated November 13, 1914.
The building was enlarged in 1926. Between 1940 and 1942, two side wings were added, one becoming a children's library called the Hans Christian Andersen Room and the other housing Readers' Service.
The present Central Library building opened on March 13, 1973, on the former site of Glendale Union High School and Glendale College. With 92,600 square feet it had over four times the floor space of the old structure. The next twenty years saw major changes in the City of Glendale and in library technology.
By the late 1980's, it became clear that the Library needed to be renovated. Construction began in late 1992. That remodel brought library users a larger Children's Room and a separate Audio Visual area. The upper level included an expansion of the Special Collections room to accommodate the valuable historical information housed there, and a room for free computer workshops.
The most recent major renovation began July 2015 and finished with the reopening of the Central Library in May 2017, with improvements that enhance the function of the Central Library as a 21st Century library.