The Hot Springs Public Library was organized March 26,1898, at a mass meeting sponsored by the Shakespeare and Travelers Clubs, with Dr. C.W. Hargens as temporary chairman. Mrs. Fred Evans was the president of the first Board. Mrs. G.C. Smith headed the first committee of membership and subscriptions, and the first librarian was Mrs. S.D. Basford.
In 1901, Dr. Dailey, who was a member of the first Board, wrote a letter to Andrew Carnegie saying that Hot Springs could use $50,000 for a library. Twelve years later the city received $10,000 from Mr. Carnegie.
Miss Dorothy Osmotherly was the first paid librarian. It was open only on Saturday afternoons. June 1, 1906, the library had thirty-one cents in the treasury and the City Council decided to close the doors. Mrs. Evans determined the library must be a success. Two hundred books were promptly ordered and a series of musical concerts on the Evans Hotel porch and bake sales throughout the summer helped to raise the funds.
The Library was housed in City Hall, in a room behind Dr. Hargen’s office. In 1913 the Carnegie Library was built.
In 1995 the Carnegie Library building was declared unsafe and the Library was moved to temporary quarters in the old Bethesda Lutheran Church. Those temporary quarters extended to 12 years as plans were made to build the present log building at the south end of Butler Park.
Community members, Friends of the Library, private donations, and city and county funding all worked together toward the same goal, and Sunday June 10, 2007 the Grand Opening was held for the present building. Hot Springs Public Library is an accredited Library with the South Dakota State Library.