The local Montevideo Public Library was established in 1879 by nine individuals. Each member contributed three dollars. Annual dues were $1.00. In 1892, this early private library was taken over by the city of Montevideo. A one mill tax was levied producing an operating budget of $250.
Around 1902, a movement was started for a Carnegie Library. This became a reality in 1907 when Andrew Carnegie donated $10,000 to construct a new Carnegie Public Library. Total construction costs were $8,960. This building served the Montevideo area for over sixty years. In 1960, the Chippewa County Library System was created. Charter members were the cities of Maynard, Clara CIty, and Montevideo, along with all rural residents. The city of Milan joined in 1968.
During the 1960's, it became obvious that our community was outgrowing the Carnegie building, and that a new building was needed. In 1968, a joint project was undertaken by the city of Montevideo and Chippewa County to build a new combined city-county library. Total cost of this twelve thousand plus square foot facility was $200,000. A public library grant of $100,000 provided half of the needed money. The city and county each raised $50,000.
The current library building features an attractive Spanish flair. It has a tiled roof and a striking Spanish-inspired peak, along with a warm, dark wood interior utilizing heavy wooden beams. The inviting front features three beautiful arches.