October 23, 1983 – A historic day in Tonto Basin that many people have dreamed of and worked hard to attain. On this day, the doors to the Tonto Basin Community/School Library were officially opened in a small room upstairs at the school.
The dreaming part began over a year before with visits to the School Board meetings to gain their interest and support. After a go-ahead from the Board, a support group—Friends of the Library—was formed. The Tonto Basin Community/School Library became a part of the Gila County libraries and the Arizona State Library Association.
The library’s beginnings were mighty humble, with boards and cement blocks for shelves and a picnic table and benches for the work area. All the books were donated by the people of the community. Everything that was later added was built with all donated work by volunteers and money for the material raised with bake sales, raffles and dinners. The library now receives county funding.
In December 1986, the second room of the library opened. As well as being used as a library, it was also used as a computer room for the school. The library was also able to acquire a copy machine and laminator.
In 1993, however, room for books was at a minimum. More space was needed to keep up with the growing demands of the community. Many options were discussed but it was finally decided that the library would move into a new building of its own. A modular building was bought in October 1994, and work began to get the site ready. Thanks to the hard-working volunteers of the community, the new Tonto Basin Public Library was opened at its present location in July 1995.