The Riverside County Free Library was founded in 1911 and quickly grew to ten branches spanning the distance from Thermal to Corona. The Library grew quickly along with Riverside County, adding locations regularly. By the late 1940s, new branches existed in Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City and Temecula and bookmobiles brought the Library to all parts of the County. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, libraries were added in Lake Elsinore, Perris, Norco, Indio, San Jacinto, and Coachella. Known today as the Riverside County Library System (RCLS) and comprising 35 libraries and 2 museums, RCLS provides quality library services throughout Riverside County. Library Connect Mobile Resource Vans bring library services and educational programs to the underserved regions of Riverside County.
The new library is part of the Cabazon Civic Center which includes child care and counseling areas, water district administration offices, and expansion of existing park facilities, providing recreational and learning opportunities to the Cabazon community. The library offers a spacious multi-purpose room for library programs and community events, a children's corner, teen area, adult reading area, RFID technologies and public internet computers.
Calimesa collection is approximately 9,500 volumes with a circulation of 29,000 items per year.
Our mission statement is:
The mission of the Calimesa Library is to connect the community with materials, technology, and services that promote lifelong learning and cultural enrichment.
The Canyon Lake Library relocated from inside City Hall to its new location within the same shopping center. The Grand Opening was held on Saturday, August 21, 2021. The new space is 3,394 square feet with more than 13,000 materials. The new library has a meeting room, which the public can reserve, a braille section for sight-impaired youth and public computers for all to enjoy.
A former army hospital barracks was purchased by a Chamber of Commerce bond issue and moved to the site. This building served as the community’s library for the next 39 years. On June 3, 1981, a new 3,700 square foot branch library was dedicated on Hwy 111. This library was funded through a HUD Community Development Grant and the County General Fund.
Dedicated in January 1996, the current Library was constructed with funds provided by the Cathedral City Redevelopment Agency and the California State Library under authority of the California Library Construction and Renovation Bond Issue. This 20,000 square foot library served as the City’s library facility until February 2008, when a devastating fire halted all library services. In June, 2009 the renovated library reopened with state-of-the-art furnishings, new materials and display areas, additional public computer stations, and RFID self-check technology.
In 2018, a newer building with more amenities was constructed at 1500 6th Street in Downtown Coachella. It is an 8,820 sq. ft. building with a large collection for the community. The library boasts a growing Spanish collection that includes items from the Cesar Chavez National Monument Museum, and features the "Harvest Mural" donated by Billy Steinburg.
In 1956 a new building was dedicated and much of the labor on the building was donated by local residents. The library stayed in this location until 1972 when the library moved to a 3,527 sq. ft. building, run jointly with the City of Desert Hot Springs, on West Drive. In May of 2021, this location closed to the public to get ready for its next move.
In June 2021, the new, state of the art, Desert Hot Springs Library opened on 14380 Palm Drive. It is a 15,500 square foot single story building with 2 study rooms, a community meeting room, opportunity rooms, furniture with plug in technology, a teen library space, children’s library space, story time room, and a Friends of the Library bookstore. There are also 2 self-check stations and 12 computers for patron usage. The collection has 31,000 items for all ages and for varied interests in the growing and diversifying population of Desert Hot Springs.
The Edward-Dean Museum provides free educational tours to over 400 students from schools all over the Inland Empire. The Museum is also active in the community with a variety of volunteers and interns that participate in helping host special events, as well as maintain the grounds and help set up and present each new gallery exhibit. An additional program of providing active stewardship allows the conservation of museum paintings.
The "Friends of the Museum" is a non-profit entity that supports the museums educational programming, which allows schools the opportunity to have free field trips to the Edward-Dean Museum.
Only students are allowed to access the library during school hours. Other patrons must wait until after school and can only check out items owned by the county. The El Cerrito Public Library features a children’s reading room and a community room. Please check out our calendar for exciting events at the library.
The library offers a variety of programming to meet the needs of its diverse community. Some successful grant funded programs and collaborations include: participation in the Making a Difference/ community dialogue grant program, funded by the California Council for the Humanities and an ongoing successful partnership with Jurupa Unified School District. The Friends of the Library group supports the ongoing programs such as author events and an annual book festival, featuring local authors.
The library celebrated its renovation re-opening on Aug.5, 2021 with new furniture, public computers, study spaces, a teen library space, an interactive children’s library space and centers that assist community members in career development, pursuing citizenship and the study of English as a second language.
In the year 1907, a building was completed on Center Street to house the W.W. Ayers general merchandise store and the Highgrove Post Office. A small rotating book collection is sent from the State Library after a reading room is established in the new building. It was maintained between 1914 to 1941, by the County Library until the space was taken over by the Post Office.
During the 1940s, a “junior library” was operated in a private home over the summer months until in 1950, a county library branch was established in the Community Hall sponsored by the local PTA. The County appointed the first paid branch supervisor and in 1959, the Highgrove Library moved to a separate rented building at 978 Center Street.
On February 7, 1966 the Highgrove Library reopens to a new larger leased area which was located at 931 Center street in the Ayers building. Twelve years later during the Summer of 1978, the Highgrove library on Center street was threatened with closure along with several others in the Riverside City and County Library system. During this time a community Library Association was founded in the wake of Proposition 13 to lobby against the closing of the Highgrove Library. The community came together and organized a Friends group to keep the library open. The Friends group raised money to pay the rent and utility bills. Due to these efforts, the library survived the crisis, although hours were curtailed. Volunteers ran the Highgrove Library for about one month, until it is officially reopened with paid staff.
The Friends applied for a $197,000 HUD community development grant to build a permanent library to replace the old rented quarters that had housed the library since 1966. It took longer than expected, but the grant eventually was approved and a modern, pre-fabricated metal library building was expected to be installed at the corner of Center street and Garfield Avenue on school property. On January 28, 1981, a new Highgrove Library building is dedicated on the grounds of the Highgrove Elementary school. The circular “porta-structure” is claimed to be the first pre-engineered, modular library building in the nation. The Highgrove library building was 1,600 square feet of floor space, and has seven revolving carousel shelves, which greatly reduces the need for shelving space. During the year 2000, Highgrove had some remolding done to this exciting building. The library received new shelving, new carpet, new furniture, and new windows, the building was painted blue and white inside and out. Highgrove library also received new workstations for all of the six public computers.
In 2011 the Highgrove Library moved once more, into a state of the art building which was funded by Redevelopment dollars from the County of Riverside Redevelopment Agency. The new library is a leader in Environmental Efficiency and Design, or LEED certified, a green building program that encourages projects to implement strategies for improved environmental operation. In addition to water-wise landscaping, the building also takes advantage of natural lighting to further decreased energy cost. Riverside County unveiled Highgrove library on Saturday March 19, 2011 with a grand opening of the new library, a 7,500-square-foot environmentally efficient building. The library has a Community room, two study rooms, a children and young adults’ area, 10 public computers.
Accessibility to HGA is fantastic. Directly adjacent to the library is a bus stop for both the RTA and Corona Cruiser. Recently, a signal light has been placed at the intersection of Neece Street and Magnolia Avenue, which has immensely improved traffic flow and safety for our patrons. Now, for the first time since Home Gardens opened, patrons can safely cross Magnolia Avenue.
At the Home Gardens Library we value trust, respect, honesty, integrity and teamwork. We strive to create a welcome environment that fosters creativity, success, growth and excellence for our customers and our staff. We recognize the diversity in our community as well as the social, economic, racial and cultural complexities of our patrons. We also recognize the need for empathy, patience, humility and sincerity in working with the community. We provide an unbiased team that respects the community and works together to create a safe space for all.
Today, after several moves, a fire in 1945, a flood in 1978, several additions, remodels and expansions, the library has recently relocated to the Strawberry Creek Plaza on Village Center Dr. It is a contemporary, bright, airy, 6400 square foot facility with a community room, a study room, inviting Children and Teen areas and a reading lounge with a fireplace. The staff continues the long tradition of friendly, helpful and knowledgeable service to the local community and offers a refreshed and up-to-date collection appealing to residents and vacationers alike.
Free Wireless Internet Available!
In 1976, the current 23,000 sq. ft. building was dedicated as the Max T. McCandless Memorial Library in the Indio Civic Center. In 2017 the Indio Library received a refresh inside the building, offering more open space for study and reading.
The Indio Public Library houses more than 41,000 items. The library is also the desert’s resource for microfilm access to local newspapers as far back as 1890s. The library is home to the office for the Family Literacy Coordinator and the East Mobile Resource Van and has a Friend’s of the Library bookstore.
In 1986, funding was approved by Riverside County and the City of La Quinta for a library. In the summer of 1988, the La Quinta Branch Library opened in the newly constructed 2,000 square foot commercial building directly across from what was the old La Quinta City Hall. The library was open only 20 hours a week and had a collection of 8,900 items.
By the late 1990’s, La Quinta was one of the fastest growing cities in California. The City Council strongly suggested to the County that a bigger library was needed in order to serve the increasing population. A “Site Selection Committee” began searching for a new location. The library’s building had been purchased by a civic-minded developer, and since two suites remained empty, it was decided to renovate the ground floor into a bigger library instead. All the items were placed in two storage containers in the parking lot while the floor was expanded to 4,130 square feet. This new library was reopened in 1999, with 40 hours of service and a collection of 28,000 items. Eventually, a 20,000 square foot “stand-alone” library would be built on the City’s new Civic Center Campus.
The present building opened in 2005, with the library only occupying the space currently known as the Children’s Area. By 2008, the library expanded into the Adult Area, and a storytime room was built as well as a teen room. Many programs from then continue to this day: preschool story time, children, teen, adult, as well as other informative presentations by community partners.
The current collection is over 71,000 items, and includes books, DVDs, audio and MP3 books, CDs and newspapers and magazines. It is open 7 days a week for 56 hours. The Library has become a viable community collaborator, sharing programs and resources with local La Quinta businesses and City-run entities. It continues to grow and expand its outreach not only to the surrounding communities, but well into its future.
Free Wireless at this location
A library was opened on September 25, 1908, and has been in service ever since. Altha Merrifield was the first librarian in Lake Elsinore, and continued to work in that capacity until her retirement in 1968. The library has been at its current location since 1998.
In the beginning our library started with a box of books in the Desert Center Café. After the Kaiser mine opened a small library was formed in one of the buildings. In 1970 the present Riverside County building used jointly by the fire department and our library was constructed.
Upon the closing of Kaiser mine in the early 1980s leading to the departure of most of the area residents the plan to close the Lake Tamarisk developed. A letter writing campaign instigated by the Friends of the Lake Tamarisk Library prevented the potential sad end to our treasured community asset.
In 2001 plans for a new library building were drawn up. This building finally opened on April 17, 2010. It is 20,000 square feet with room for about 70,000 items, and includes a dedicated story-time room, 42 public access computers and wi-fi access. In the same complex is the County Library’s Literacy Department and the administrative offices for the Riverside County Library System. In its 64 years of service the Louis Robidoux Library has had 5 locations and 5 librarians. As the new city of Jurupa Valley grows in strength and vitality the library will remain dedicated to consistent provision of educational, recreational, and informational services for the community.
The Mead Valley library features large meeting rooms, a spacious youth section, a story room, young adult room complete with diner booths and over 40 computers for the public.
Originally known as the community of “Walters” the town was renamed in 1903 to “Mecca” because of the area’s similarity to that of Mecca in Arabia: the desert topography, heat, and little rain.
Mecca, CA, is located in Riverside County in the Southeastern part of the Coachella Valley. 11 miles from Coachella, and 39 miles from Palm Springs, Mecca is a small agricultural community whose main agricultural products include citrus, grapes, and dates.
In its inception, Mecca, the nearest railroad station, helped with shipping supplies to local mines: Virginia Dale, Iron Chief, Cottonwood Springs, Red Cloud, and Eagle Mountain. The Southern Pacific Railroad drilled wells, making Mecca an important water station, water trains supplied water to people from Mecca to Yuma, Arizona.
Mecca is best known for its hills and canyons: Box Canyon, Painted Canyon, and Hidden Springs Canyon. The Canyons served as site for outdoor pageants, while also used as passage route to Blythe and Arizona before the construction of Interstate 10.
Many of the streets in the Mecca community are named after the early pioneers who helped to establish the community. “Dale Kiler road” is named after a pioneer who established a grape ranch in the community, his wife Sarah was one of Mecca’s first schoolteachers. “Hammond road” is named after the Arthur Hammond family, all of which were very involved in education. “Brown street” is named after Charley Brown, the man whom the book “From Maine to Mecca” was written about, and “Coahuila Street”, named after the local Indian tribe.
In 1967 the Mecca/North Shore Library opened as an “official” county branch. In June of 1990, the library was moved to a building on Coahuila street, constructed on the grounds of the Mecca Elementary school, which housed both the public and school libraries, each operating independently.
The current Mecca Community Library building held its grand opening on February 9th, 2008 and is located on 66th Avenue. Today, the library is open 40 hours a week and provides the community with a place to study, conduct, research, and have access to internet and computers. The library reflects the needs of the community with plenty of Spanish language fiction and non-fiction for both Adults and Children, while also conduction programs that reflect the needs of the community offering Bilingual story times, arts & crafts for kids, and various interest related programs for both adults and teens.
The library features a number of Spanish Adult and Juvenile titles. Local History of Mecca, North Shore, Salton Sea are also highlighted in the library.
The library also has 12 public computers available for use, as well as a Community Room with a 49 person capacity, available for organizations and people to rent out for meetings or other room use activities.
Today, Nuview Library is located at the corner of Lakeview Ave. and 10th St. It houses over 10,000 items and offers six public access computers along with free WiFi. Weekly programs for adults and children are offered year-round, including Story Time, Summer Reading Program and craft hours.
In 1995, a new building was planned, financed and constructed by a partnership between the City of Palm Desert, the County of Riverside and the College of the Desert. On April 19, 1996, the newly built 43,000 sq. ft. state of the art multi-agency facility on the College of the Desert campus opened at 73300 Fred Waring Drive. Palm Desert Library occupies the southern half of the building and the lobby. The College of the Desert Library occupied the northern half until January 2020.
The public library portion of the building was enhanced in January 2013, increasing the number of public computers to 42. Wifi became readily available as well as an outdoor access automated book return machine. Self-checks were installed in the marketplace that showcase the latest titles of books, CDs and DVDs. With an improved floor plan and a Reference Desk as the center, the expanded meeting areas opened the library to its patrons to access with ease and allow more quiet places for study.
In 2016, Riverside County 3rd District Supervisor, Chuck Washington, the City of San Jacinto and Riverside County Library services came to an agreement on a new site. A temporary location, 4,000 sq. ft. city-owned parcel next to San Jacinto City Hall will serve as a temporary home for the public library. The relocation will provide much needed additional space for the library programming while continuing to offer amenities to the public such as free Wi-Fi, computer use and a comprehensive collection to the public.
Riverside County Library Services strives to create a welcoming environment for patrons of all ages with diverse programming, knowledgeable and helpful staff, and a host of available services.
Free Wireless Internet Available at this Location
Originally known as the Temecula Branch of the Riverside County Free Library, the library’s name changed when the new facility opened in 1992. The newly-named Temecula Library experienced rapid growth in its $3-million facility that was partially funded by the fund raising efforts of local citizens. In 2006 the City of Temecula opened the Temecula Public Library on Pauba Road, and with the opening of the new structure, the current library’s name was changed to the Grace Mellman Community Library, named after Grace Mellman—the woman behind the original fund-raising effort and former president of the Friends of the Temecula Libraries.
Remodeled in 2010, the twenty-first century library provides more than a place to check out your favorite book. Interactive check-out stations, two public computer labs, comfortable and functional furnishings, and two new study rooms are some of the enhancements that supplement the book repository. The building features a rotating art exhibit and a large community room that is available to the public for outside programs. Both the Adult and Youth Services departments offer several interesting programs each month, while the Youth Services department hosts multiple weekly story times for the youngest in the community.
Ronald H. Roberts Temecula Public Library was named after Ron Roberts, longtime Temecula Leader who's vision, leadership and perseverance to ultimately build what remains as the busiest library in the Riverside County Library System. The 34,000 sq.ft. state of the art facility, situated along a narrow site atop a hillside, was designed with a plenitude of windows to create an interior filled with natural light. In the evening, the illuminated windows serve as a metaphor for the "light of knowledge," an emblem as a community lantern upon the hillside.
This beautiful facility is equipped with 64 public computers, self-checkout stations, and RFID security. Special amenities include the Technology Homework Center with 24 computer workstations, Grace Mellman Heritage Room which accommodates 12 people for small meetings, large gas burning fireplace and lounge chairs, Community Room which accommodates 200 people seated in lecture style or may be divided into two separate rooms to accommodate up to 100 people each, and five study rooms available for small group projects.
Dedicated in September 2006, the current 5,484 sq. ft. facility was built by Riverside County Economic Development Agency. Located adjacent to the Community Center, the library serves as a centralized hub for residents, as well as visitors. Fundraising by dedicated Building Fund Volunteers provided additional revenue for wireless Internet connectivity and several upgrades in library furnishings. Named after Art Samson, the tireless leader of the Building Fund and Friends group, this community library prides itself in offering quality materials and programs for all ages.
Wildomar staff take pride in providing programs for children, teens and adults. The Library features Weekly Storytimes; Book Clubs, Movie Screenings, and Creative Teen and Adult Programs on a monthly basis.
By 2006 we had outgrown the store front location. The county built a beautiful 10,080 square foot LEEDS Certified building to house the new Woodcrest Community Library. The Grand Opening was held on November 10, 2007. This new building had many improvements. The library has a large children’s area, featuring computers, tables and chairs to scale, a cozy nook for reading and it has its own rock. There are two study rooms located next to the dedicated Teen area, and many more tables and chairs for studying throughout the library. We also have many comfortable chairs for reading and lounging. The library building and surrounding grounds have wireless access so that patrons can use their own laptops in the library and the collection is tagged with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) circulation allowing self-checkout.
The Woodcrest Library has the prestige of being the first County Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEEDS) certified building. Some of the features of a Leeds Certified building include overhangs eliminating solar heat and glare in the library, a daylight diffusion control skylight, a storm water-permeable parking lot composed of decomposed granite, task specific lighting, low VOC (volatile organic compounds) emitting materials, water-conserving plumbing fixtures, day lighting at Children’s Reading Area and Forest Stewardship Council Certified Wood for tables, chairs and paneling. Along with making the library a sustainable site these features provide the library with water efficiency and good environmental quality. The surrounding grounds include shaded and light colored paving to reduce heat near the library and a water-wise garden.