The Lake Worth Public Library
Our Community Building Partner In All Things Literary
The beautiful and historic Lake Worth Public Library is located at 15 North M Street
right across from the Cultural Plaza in Downtown Lake Worth. (561) 533-7354
Monday Through Friday
10am til 12 Noon
2pm til 4pm
Closed Saturday and Sunday
1941 ~ 2021
Celebrating 80 Years of Literary Service at 15 North M Street
The area which is now Lake Worth Beach was settled by Samuel James and his wife Fannie, at the turn of the century. They called the settlement Jewel, and opened a post office. After Samuel died, Fannie sold the land to the Palm Beach Farms Company from Chicago in 1911. The Jewell post office was closed.
The Palm Beach Farms Company hired Bryant and Greenwood to begin to plot the town site Lucerne, a city along the waters of Lake Worth. They established salesmen all over the U.S. and Canada to sell 5 acre plots for $250 with each purchaser receiving a free lot in the town-site of Lucerne.
To spread the news of Lucerne, E.F. Harrison’s Lucerne Herald was mailed to 5 to 6 thousand people in the U.S. and Canada. Many of the first issues of the paper contained an appeal for books to stock a library for the new city.
Books began to arrive by mail and express. Mr. and Mrs. John McKissock accepted the task of receiving the books as they arrived. Three times a week the couple rode their bicycles to West Palm Beach to pick up the books and place them in their living room. The McKissock home at 11 South C Street was the first home of the library from 1912 until 1916.
During this first four years, 2 important things happened. Lucerne became Lake Worth, and was incorporated in 1913. Electric lights came to town in 1914.
The next ten years, from 1916 until 1926 the library was in a room in the Club House, which would later become the Auditorium. It was run by volunteers and called the Lake Worth Library Association.
From 1926 until 1941 the Library occupied it’s third home, a room in City Hall. Several important events took place during this fifteen-year period. In 1926 the citizens voted to build a library building for the City of Lake Worth.
$2,000 was raised from the citizens to get the project started. The drive for funds began.
Franklin Roosevelt vetoed the request for funds to build the General Worth Memorial Library, so funds were raised from individuals through bake sales, the sale of bonds, parties, and investments.
The Strait brothers from New Albany, Ohio who wintered in Lake Worth donated $10,000 to build the Strait Art Museum wing of the library building. This wing is now a community meeting room.
On August 12, 1941 the current library building, it’s fourth home, was opened to the public. This beautiful 10,000 sq. ft. building features bright rooms, interesting architectural details, and a variety of staircases. The library is home to paintings by Sherman Winton and wood carvings by Sam J. Schlappich.
The Friends of the Lake Worth Library, a non-profit organization to support the mission of the Library began in 1988. In 2019, the people voted to change the name of the City from Lake Worth to Lake Worth Beach.
2021 marks the 80th year that the Library has occupied its current home. Our City has a strong library tradition and a history of citizen involvement of which we can be proud. The Library is dedicated to continuing to serve its community today.