Mesa Public Library: Not Your Mama’s Library

Honestly, it is NOT my mom’s library any longer! My mom worked here from 1976 to 1987, retiring just as the library was making the big transition from card catalog to computers. Now, more than 28 years later, there is SO much that is offered digitally and the library has transformed into a space with a lot more than books.

Some of the libraries greatest resources are now found online. Check out all the free books, magazines, videos, music and more available with a library card at: (Overdrive is my personal favorite!)

Our tour was given by Cherise Mead of the Mesa Main Public Library, which is downtown at 64 E. First St.

The library is no longer just about checking out books, but, of course, you can still do that! More than 1.4 million books circulated through Mesa Public Library last fiscal year.

You can get help from a librarian, and often it’s a question about the computers.

On the main floor it was interesting to see “behind the curtain.” Here, after a patron returns an item, a book or a DVD goes down the conveyor belt and is automatically checked in and sorted into bins to be reshelved.

The children’s area on the main floor is a wonderful place for children with separate spaces for young children to older children and teens. There are also a lot of activities and programs offered here. Check the online calendar for monthly schedules:


Did you know there are other things besides books that you can check out?

Bet few knew you could check out a novelty cake pan for that special party!
Or sports equipment, and they were all gone today!
Peruse the used books for sale and take one home. Profits go right back into library programs and services.

Downstairs is the Genesis Youth Center. Maricopa Workforce maintains and staffs the center and it is designed to assist youth between the ages of 14-24 gain the skills they need to become self-sufficient through education, employment, and leadership activities. If eligible, participants work with a Youth Career Guidance Specialist to create a personalized plan for a successful future.

For more information of the resources and services Genesis Youth Center offers, go to:

Maricopa Workforce maintains and staffs the Genesis Youth Center in the basement of the Mesa Public Library downtown.

Downstairs is the Mesa Room Local History Archives and Special Collections. For hours and resources available, go to:


What is it? “The primary mission of the Mesa Room is to collect, preserve and make available for research, materials on historic and present-day Mesa. We endeavor to provide prompt and professional information services to Mesa residents, city of Mesa employees, researchers and visitors. We promote knowledge and understanding of the City of Mesa through collaborative efforts with other historical and cultural institutions.” (from the Website)

These are old city directories from local municipalities.
There are some local family history books here, although Mrs. Mead said most of these types of books can be found at the Mesa LDS FamilySearch Library, 41 S. Hobson (


There are old yearbooks from local high schools.



Sharon found her husband and herself in a Mesa High School yearbook.

This aerial photo is on the wall of the Mesa Room. It’s a view of the city from 1980.

Upstairs there are more books and some other interesting offerings.

When open, this HOTspot Digital Help Desk is available for tech help for anyone on any device. Check the library’s online calendar for hours that it is staffed by a knowledgeable tech guru.

The newest addition to upstairs is the seed library. Check out seeds for growing a vegetable garden and bring some back (if you want to) at the end of the season when your plants have gone to seed and help replenish the supply. Seeds are only offered for plants to grow in season. In just a little over a month since the seed library was introduced, more than 300 seed packets were “checked out.”




Upstairs there are also big and small rooms for group meetings or study groups. To reserve a room online:


This tour was of the Mesa Main Library downtown, but there are three branch libraries:

Dobson Ranch Branch (DR)
2425 S. Dobson Road

Red Mountain Branch (RM)
635 N. Power Road

Mesa Express Library @ Power Square Mall
2055 S Power Rd. Suite 1031 (Entrance 5 of the Power Square Mall)

For more information, access to the many things the library offers online or a schedule of library activities, go to:


Members of the Mesa Leadership class who attended this tour.




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