A group of determined, energetic, and practical women was the sparkplug for the Garden City Public Library. After a proposition to establish a public library had been defeated at the polls in 1949, these women decided to organize a library and prove to the community what an asset it could be. They formed the Garden City Library Committee, and took an adult-education course in librarianship during the summer of 1951 to prepare themselves to operate a library.
Merchants and community organizations donated materials, furnishings, and many hours of labor to refurbish the white clapboard house at the east end of Seventh Street that the Village had lent to the committee as the library's first home. Cake sales, an auction, and a membership drive were among the fund-raising events to provide for books, repairs, and equipment. Opening day, May 4, 1952, was a proud moment, although the book collection was well under 10,000 volumes and a circulation of 75 books was a busy day indeed. Mrs. Frances Hinsch was the librarian.
The enthusiasm generated by the fledgling library was the precursor of a successful referendum on March 15, 1955, which made the Library an official part of the municipal structure of the Village of Garden City, effective June 1, 1956. This meant that the Library would be supported with public funds and governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by the Village Board. These seemingly ample quarters were dedicated on December 14, 1958.
The granting of a permanent charter to the Library by the Board of Regents in 1962 was a cause for great rejoicing.
February 23, 1971 residents of the Village of Garden City approved a bond issue to construct a new building of 38,000 square feet (nearly four times larger than the existing structure), to house a library appropriate to the cultural, educational and recreational needs of the community. The Library hosted a "Renovation Celebration" on Saturday, April 19, 2008 to mark the completion of a renovation and expansion project. The Library’s renovation project was initiated in response to community needs that were identified in 2003 through a series of focus groups. In response to the suggestions emanating from the focus groups, the project included restoring the Adult Reading Lounge, which is now a brightly lit, comfortable, reading room housing the periodical collection in a windowed section of the building at the corner of Hilton Avenue and Seventh Street. A much-needed renovation to the 30 year old kitchen in the library was completed in March 2009.