Prescott's modern public library was dedicated on May 18, 1975. However, the history of a public library in Prescott goes back to August 1895, when seven local ladies founded the Women's Club of Prescott (now the Monday Club). They gathered a collection of books from local households and opened a reading room. This venture was supported with membership dues, but the dream of the Women's Club was to establish a free reading room. In July 1899, Julia Goldwater wrote a letter to Andrew Carnegie requesting assistance. Carnegie offered $4,000, half the sum which had been requested, with the understanding that a matching amount must be raised in the community. Eventually, the funds were raised and in 1903 the Carnegie Library was completed on the southwest corner of Gurley and Marina streets. This was Prescott's public library until 1975, when the current library building was completed on the southeast corner of Marina and Goodwin streets.
Prescott Public Library provides access to books, magazines and newspapers, computers and internet access, Summer Reading programs, story hours, special programs, meeting rooms and an ongoing Friends Book Sale that includes some of the original book stacks from the Carnegie Library. The Prescott Public Library is one of the most extensively used library facilities in the state, and parking is always at a premium. In 1998, in an effort to help alleviate this problem, the City acquired the adjacent property to the south, and constructed a new parking lot. One of the primary features of this property is an Arizona White Oak (Quercus Arizonica) estimated to be over 300 years old. This tree is very slow growing, may live to be 500 years old and is found at elevations of 4,900 to 11,000 feet. The parking lot was designed around the tree, enabling the City to preserve and protect the tree and leaving a small park area within the parking lot.