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The first public library was established in Hamilton in 1870. The initial library in Garden Place was opened on 17 February 1908 by the Premier, Sir Joseph Ward. The Hamilton City Council took control of the library in December 1948 after negotiations between the Hamilton Public Library Committee and the Hamilton City Council Cultural Committee. The Library moved to its present location in the former Arthur Barnett/DIC building in 1993. 

Hamilton City Libraries now has six branches throughout Hamilton