The Polk County Historical & Genealogical Library first opened to the public in January 1940. It was originally located in the office of the County Attorney and housed in a metal bookcase (which is still in use today.) As the collection expanded the library occupied several locations within the old Polk County Courthouse including the attic and a third floor closet. In 1968 the library had a full-time staff member for the first time. The collection was removed to a small frame house on Hendry Street in 1974 and a second staff member was added. In 1987 the library returned to its original home in the 1908 Courthouse after the judiciary moved into a new facility across the street. A ten year renovation process followed, resulting in the expansion of the library to encompass all three floors of the eastern wing, with a full-time staff of four.