The library was founded by Victor E. Messinger, a Stanford graduate who came to Glendale in 1895 to manage a lumber company, bringing with him an estimated four hundred books. In a community-minded gesture, he put his library in an office at the lumberyard and made it available to the public. As the library grew, thanks to donations from the community, it was moved to the new lumber company building on Glendale and 58th Drive, where Vic volunteered to be librarian part-time.
Glendale Library at Murphy Park, c 1938.
A new Spanish-style mission library building was constructed in 1938 in the center of Murphy Park, using funds from a Public Works Administration grant. When the white stucco structure was outgrown, the present 15,000 sq. ft. downtown library was erected in its place in 1971. The library was named after longtime librarian Velma Teague, who, unfortunately, died in 1969. Renovated in 2015, the Velma Teague Library continues to thrive today.
Grand Opening of Main Library c. 1987
Glendale continued to grow, particularly to the north, and it was clear another library was necessary. Land was purchased from nearby Midwestern University, with the proviso that the city would only use the land for a library. In July 1998, the groundbreaking ceremony for the Foothills Library was held. The 33,500 sq. ft. branch library was opened on July 22, 1999.   Foothills Library was the first library in Arizona to offer the convenience of a drive up window square foot facility.

Various plans for a western branch of the Glendale Public Library were considered while public input was solicited. On June 27, 2018, the groundbreaking ceremony took place. Former Chief Librarian Michael Beck oversaw the construction of the 7,515 sq. ft. library, located in Heroes Regional Park. On May 18, 2019, the Heroes Regional Park Library celebrated its grand opening. 

View photos of Heroes Regional Park Library Groundbreaking Ceremony.
View photos of Heroes Regional Park Library Construction.
View photos of Heroes Regional Park Library Grand Opening.

Victor E. Messinger and the first library in Glendale, c. 1895
H.W. Adams, superintendent of Sahuaro Ranch, helped organize the library association in 1898, becoming its president. The Glendale Library led a nomadic life, sheltering in schools, offices and a corner of City Hall. In 1917, the library was permanently housed in a small building, constructed with funds donated by May Catlin Hansen, wife of Catlin Court subdivision promoter Otto R. Hansen, in what came to be known as Murphy Park. It wasn’t until 1922 that the Glendale Public Library became a department of the City of Glendale.
Librarian Velma Teague, c. 1966
By 1980, it was obvious to the newly hired library director Rodeane Widom that Glendale had grown to need another library. Under her leadership, a new main library was suggested, accepted, and built in June of 1987. In a strange twist of fate, the 65,000 sq. ft. Main Library is built on land that was once part of Sahuaro Ranch.
Groundbreaking Ceremony at the Foothills Library, 1998