South Park joined Seattle in January 1907, but was never served by a branch library. The new Seattle residents petitioned for a branch library in 1908. From time to time, pharmacies and grocery stores served as book deposit sites and readers could check out the few volumes available there.
A bookmobile began serving West Seattle and the nearby Boeing Airplane Company in 1931, but the Great Depression of the 1930s saw mobile services and the deposit stations cut. The bookmobile reappeared in the late 1940s and South Park enjoyed weekly visits by vans nicknamed Molly and Benny and Ramona. By 1998, Seattle enjoyed the services of 22 branch libraries, but South Park’s library services continued to be on wheels. Readers other library options were West Seattle, High Point, or, after 2004, Delridge.
In 1998, Seattle voters approved the $196.4 million Libraries for All levy which provided for a new central library, remodels to the 22 existing branches, and five new branches. South Park was not on the original list of new libraries, but a Citizens Review Panel established by city officials listened to the community and set aside $2.5 million to build one of the new branches there. Seattle Public Library Trustee Linda Larsen served as the project’s special steward.
Johnston Architects of Seattle prepared a design that incorporated both a Southwest theme such as stucco and Northwest touches like raw cedar paneling. Cope Construction built the 5,000 square foot structure at 8604 8th Avenue S (at Cloverdale).
The grand opening was advertised with a banner reading, "La nueva biblioteca de South Park abre al mediodia sabado 9 de septiembre" (Seattle Post-Intelligencer). On September 9, visitors heard from a mariachi band and signed up for more than 100 new library cards in the first hour.