The Webster Groves Public Library was first organized in 1890 and began as a small reading room in a frame building at Gore and Lockwood Avenues.
|Monday Club/Library building, opened October 1911|
In 1904, the reading room was moved to the basement of the Webster Groves Congregational Church. The Monday Club took over the Library from 1911 until 1927. In April 1927, Webster Groves citizens voted for a four-cent property tax increase, making the Webster Groves Library one of the first tax-supported libraries in St. Louis County.
|Library located in Webster Groves High School, ca. 1940s|
A library building was erected by the Board of Education as a separate unit of Webster Groves High School. The present building was completed in 1951.
The Library's computer system went online in 1988. The system allows patrons to search for materials and know the status of a given item. It also allows the staff to check materials in or out, keep track of reserves and delinquencies, and to maintain patron registration information.
The Library had been a part of the Municipal Library Cooperative, an association of municipal libraries (including Brentwood, Ferguson, Kirkwood, Maplewood, Richmond Heights, Rock Hill, University City and Valley Park) in St. Louis County since the cooperative was founded. But in 1996, the other eight member libraries decided to form the new Municipal Library Consortium (MLC) and share an automation system. For financial and other reasons, Webster Groves Public Library declined to join, although reciprocal lending privileges were maintained with the Rock Hill, Richmond Heights, and Valley Park libraries.
In 2000, the MLC libraries signed reciprocal lending agreements with St. Louis County Library, St. Louis Public Library and St. Charles City/County Library allowing their patrons to obtain free library cards at those locations. About a year later, Webster Groves Public signed similar agreements with St. Louis Public and St. Louis County libraries.
By July of 2004, Webster Groves Public Library decided to join the Municipal Library Consortium. The vendor of Webster's Inlex automation system informed the Library that the system would no longer be supported, leaving the Library in the position of either purchasing a very expensive new system, or joining the MLC and buying into their Dynix automation system for much less. The new agreement allows Webster Groves patrons to check out materials at any MLC library, search the collections of all nine MLC libraries in the same online catalog, and place reserves on books, DVDs and other materials from all these locations.