Boise Public Library

Boise Public LibraryBoise Public Library
715 S Capitol Blvd
Boise ID 83702
(208) 972-8200

Monday - Thursday 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
Friday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

For the hours of our other locations, please visit our website.


Boise Public Library traces its roots to February 18, 1895, when the women of the Columbian Club opened a subscription library and free reading room in City Hall. For 10 years, the Club kept the reading room alive while helping to secure funds from Andrew Carnegie to construct a true public library. Club members persuaded city fathers to provide the matching funds necessary for the administration and maintenance of a Carnegie library. Andrew Carnegie awarded library grants to 1406 communities in the early 1900's with the provision that the communities supply land and on-going maintenance.

Boise's Carnegie Public Library opened its doors at 815 W. Washington on June 22, 1905. The institution remained at that site until April 27, 1973, when it moved to its present location at 715 South Capitol Boulevard. City leaders decided that purchasing and renovating the Salt Lake Hardware building at this site was more cost effective than tearing down and rebuilding on the Carnegie site. Boise Towne Square branch was added in 1989, soon after the mall opened. The Boise Public Library also serves patrons via the Bookmobile, which makes weekly stops at six locations, and through Homebound Service. Two new storefront branch libraries were opened in the spring of 2008.  One is located in the Collister Shopping Center on W State Street and the other is in the Hillcrest Shopping Center at the corner of Orchard and Overland Rd.  The first stand alone branch library began construction in May 2008 and opened its doors in June 2009.  It is located in the Library! Plaza Shopping Center at the corner of Cole and Ustick.  The Southeast Boise branch located at Bown Crossing is currently in the planning stages with a possible opening by late 2011.

As technology has evolved, so has the library. Electronic databases and an integrated online system have replaced the traditional card catalog, and patrons can now check out DVDs, compact disks, books on CD, downloadable audio and e-books and video games, as well as traditional print materials. Internet access is also available on each floor of the downtown facility as well as all our branch locations.

Approximately 150 employees and many volunteers work together to provide library services to the community. Each year, more than 75,000 cardholders check out over just under 2 million items. Many access information from the Library's web site (

Boise Public Library is a part of the City of Boise government and is funded through local property taxes. The Board of Trustees sets policy for operations, while the Friends of the Boise Public Library and the Boise Public Library Foundation provide additional financial support.

To learn more about the history of Boise Public Library, check out a "A Light in the Window of Idaho," edited by Kathleen Rubinow Hodges. The book is an extensive account of the first 100 years of public library service in Boise.