The Coral Gables Branch Library, one of 49 branches of the Miami-Dade Public Library System, is designed to meet the educational, recreational and cultural needs of patrons of all ages. With a wide variety of resources and materials to lend, including books, DVDs, audio-books, CDs, and an online presence, patrons can access their favorite materials in person or digitally. With a Miami-Dade Public Library System library card patrons can access nearly four million items including many years of full-text newspaper and magazine articles, e-books, career and test preparation resources, business directories, investment information, interactive storytelling, and vast resources for homework or general research and much more.
The original Coral Gables Library library opened its doors in November 1927, mainly by the efforts of Mrs. Don Peabody, then president of the women's club. The library opened in a room of the Douglas Entrance with 300 books and furniture provided by The Coral Gables Corporation, courtesy of George Merrick, the founder of the city of Coral Gables. By 1937, the library had 9,000 volumes, outgrew the original site, and moved into the Coral Gables Woman's Club location at 1001 East Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Coral Gables, Florida. The librarian at that time was Mrs. Cyrus Kitchen, although she only held the post for about six months, due to ill health. Upon her resignation, Miss Margaret Beaton (from Flagler Memorial Library) became the librarian.
The library is supported by the City of Coral Gables, and by 1949 had over 27,000 volumes on its shelves. During the mid 1950s the library contained 35,000 volumes and 5,000 pamphlets. Thus, the Woman's Club, working together with the city of Coral Gables, steered the library to be operated by the city because it was becoming too big of a responsibility for the club. The city accepted the proposal and officially in July 1954, the Coral Gables Library became a municipally operated library.
The current library building was built from native keystone, quarried in the Florida Keys. Spanish influence, one of the bases of Coral Gables Mediterranean design is apparent in the building's plan, designed by Edward T. Rempe, AIA, and his associate, Wray G. Succop, AIA. The library's interior is a blend of Spanish and contemporary influence. There is an impressive mural created by artist Katherine (Kay) Pancoast in the Margaret M. Beaton Room inside the Coral Gables Branch Library. The mural, made from ceramic tiles, depict major landmarks throughout the city.
In 2010, the building was designated a city historic landmark.