Joel D. Valdez Main Library History

The Tucson Public Library started out in the top floor of city hall in 1883. Andrew Carnegie gave Tucson a $25,000 grant, which was used to build the first library building located at 200 S. 6th Street (currently the home of the Children’s Museum Tucson, opens a new window).

The building was home to the “Main Library” until the completion of the current Main Library on Stone Avenue in May 1990, which consolidated Library Administration, Technical Services, Periodicals, and Government Reference.

In 1990, the library was named in honor of Joel D. Valdez who served as the Tucson City Manager for 16 years and helped create the Downtown Development Corporation.

"A Walk to the Library," a photographic history of the downtown library, is on display on the 2nd floor, and viewable online.