Meridian Library History

Meridian Library District

MLD is an independent special district governed by an elected Board of Trustees. The Occident Club founded the original Meridian Library in 1924, and voters established the Meridian Free Library District in 1974. In 2024 we will celebrate 100 years of serving our community!

Meridian Library Opens

A traveling library was opened in Meridian at the Songer Pharmacy on September 10, 1924. The books were obtained from the State Traveling Library at Boise by the Occident Club of Meridian and the “latest and best books are included in each shipment.”

On March 25, 1925, they moved the books to the City Hall and in 1928 they were told that they needed to find a building to house the Library. By this time the Interurban Stage had ceased operation and the station became our first building for the purchase price of $1,205.00.

The Library was standardized in 1950 so that it became eligible for tax support and the Occident Club received a tax levy of $1 million for the library that same year.

Meridian Library District Established

It became obvious to the members of the Club that they could not continue to operate the Library with volunteers and the levy from the City. On August 27, 1974, the voters approved the establishment of the Meridian Free Library District; taxation for the library passed on August 26, 1975.

New Locations

By 1995, the population of the District had grown significantly and the Board of Trustees decided that it was time for a bigger building. Voters overwhelmingly approved our $3.4 million bond and in 1997 our Cherry Lane location opened to the public. 

Our second location, Silverstone, opened in 2009 followed by unBound in 2015 and our Tiny Library in October 2018. Our newest branch at Orchard Park opened May 2023. You can read more about each of our locations on their landing pages.

In May 2019, Meridian voters passed a plant facility levy measure for $14 million to renovate, expand, and modernize our library. Follow the progress of our future locations on our projects page

Learn More About the Occident Club

In 2021, Meridian Library District took over the Meridian Historical Society's collection of materials. Work began in 2022 to preserve and digitize the history collection materials, including a collection of Occident Club photos, documents, and scrapbooks. Visit the Meridian History Center page to learn more about the Occident Club collection and ongoing digitization projects. 

Occident Club members at a tea party circa 1950s.
Occident Club members at a tea party circa 1950s.
Newspaper advertisement for the Occident Club Library Drive event to raise money for the Meridian Library.
A 1926 newspaper advertisement promoting an Occident Club sponsored event to raise money for the Meridian Library.
The Occident Club and Meridian Library building in 1969.
The Occident Club and Meridian Library building in 1969.