(1995 - Present)
In 1995, Siouxland Libraries was created from a merger of the Sioux Falls Public Library and the Minnehaha County Rural Public Library. This new system provides services to all residents of the City of Sioux Falls and Minnehaha County (with the exception of Dell Rapids, which operates an independent library) at 13 locations and one bookmobile.
The library is supported by city and county taxation and governed by a Library Board appointed by the Sioux Falls City Council and Minnehaha County Commission. The management of the library facilities and services is the responsibility of the Library Director and staff.
In 1995, the Harriet L.J. Ronning Branch Library, named in honor of the donor of the land and in recognition of the Ronning family, opened in southeast Sioux Falls at 3100 East 49th Street. In 2005, the Oak View Branch Library opened in northeast Sioux Falls at 3700 East 3rd Street. In 2013, the Prairie West Branch Library opened in southwest Sioux Falls at 7630 West 26th Street.
History of the Sioux Falls Public Library (1899-1995)
The Sioux Falls Library Association received its charter from Dakota Territory in August 1886. However, progress toward a Public Library really started in 1899, when citizens voted a mill levy for library purposes; the school board appointed the first library board; and W.H. and Wynona A. Lyon gave the former All Souls Church building at Twelfth Street and Dakota Avenue for use as a library.
Andrew Carnegie provided the initial $30,000 for construction of the Carnegie Free Public Library building at the corner of Tenth Street and Dakota Avenue. The building was completed and occupied in 1903 and served well for 70 years.
The first Bookmobile was purchased out of "fine money" in 1951 with a second and a third added in 1957 and 1960.
A new main library opened at the corner of 8th & Main in 1972. In 1988 the Ruth Kennedy Caille Branch Library, named in memory of the donor, opened at 4100 South Carnegie Circle in southwest Sioux Falls.
History of the Minnehaha County Rural Public Library (1960-1995)
The Minnehaha County Rural Public Library (MCRPL) was formed in 1960 when the citizens of rural Minnehaha County voted to create a taxation district to fund library service. The taxation district covered all of Minnehaha County outside of the city limits of Sioux Falls and Dell Rapids, which already had library service. The main reason for starting a library was to provide service to children attending small, unconsolidated schools.
The library started service with a bookmobile, a headquarters library at Hartford, and a book collection of 7,500 items from the state library purchased with federal funds. It expanded over the years to include library branches in several communities: Baltic (1973), Brandon (1975), Colton (1972), Crooks (1984), Garretson (1971), Hartford (1960), Humboldt (1971), Valley Springs (1973).