On February 14, 1974, a small group of volunteers proposed the idea of a Mary Esther Community Library to then Mayor Tom Pryor and the sitting Town Council. Their hope was to open the library to the public by June 1, 1974. The original space for the library consisted of 585 square feet and was located in Town Hall. As word spread about the library, the membership base and collection grew, and the library expanded to 810 square feet.
In October 1976, the Mary Esther Community Library was renamed Mary Esther Public Library. As use of the library grew, a Friends of the Library group was officially formed and officers were elected by June of 1977. By August of that year, the library had a full time librarian and two full time library aides as well as a host of volunteers.
In November 1988, the active Friends group presented the City Council with a petition for a new and larger library.The Council decided to move forward with the construction of a new library and authorized the submission of a Public Library Construction grant application.
In June 1990, the City of Mary Esther was awarded a construction grant of $175,000.00 for a new building to be located at the corner of Christobal Road and Hollywood Blvd.The new 3,500 square foot library opened to the public on March 9, 1992.In 2004, the City received a construction expansion grant for $350,000.00 and an additional 2000 square feet was added to the existing facility.
On October 1, 1997, Mary Esther Public Library became a charter member of the newly formed Okaloosa County Public Library Cooperative. Since the inception of the OCPLC, Mary Esther Public Library has been able to improve the quality and quantity of its collection and programming services.
Libraries empower our communities through education, creation and exploration and our goal is to promote literacy in our community by providing access to informational resources.