About Us

“You are the best library” is one of the most often heard comments about our library on Clematis Street. From residents to snowbirds, from seniors to preschoolers, all use the services and programs provided free by the Library. West Palm Beach’s library is an unparalleled asset in our community.

Cardholders total over 93,771 and more than 613,000 people visit the library each year.

The Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach began as the West Palm Beach Reading Room in the Congregational Church at the corner of Datura and Olive Streets in 1894. Soon after, Commodore C.J. Clarke, a Palm Beach yachtsman, donated a houseboat to the Palm Beach Literary Society. The collection from the Reading Room and a $100 donation from Henry Flagler created the first city library. The houseboat was anchored at a dock off of the city park where Clematis Street terminates at the Lake Worth section of the Intra-Coastal Waterway. Residents were encouraged to visit the Reading Room instead of wasting time drinking on Banyan Street. Please click here to view historic photos of the West Palm Beach Public Library