Originally named the Charles Edward Sprague Library, the library was opened on September 2, 1901 on the second floor of the newly constructed Sprague Opera House. The initial collection was about 1,000 volumes. This library served the community until July 18, 1931 when Matheson Memorial Library was dedicated.
William John Matheson was born in a house on the site of the present library on September 15, 1856. A chemist of some renown in business and industry, Mr. Matheson left Elkhorn and made his fortune in the East; however he never forgot his beginnings and he purchased the land of his birthplace and offered it to the city for a library building. He hired a New York architect of some repute and took a personal interest in all aspects of construction, but sadly Mr. Matheson died before the library was completed.
This 9,000 square foot building served the community well but was clearly outgrown by the 1980s. A 4,500 square foot addition was constructed in 1990 which was carefully planned to be in harmony with the original building. In 2004, the library opened the doors to a 14,000 square foot addition that included new space for the library and a new Elkhorn Community Center. Today our library has approximately 70,000 items including books, magazines, DVDs and CDs. In addition, patrons have access to over a million additional titles through the SHARE consortium.