The Joel D. Valdez Main Library (“Main Library,” for short) was originally built in 1901 on 6th Avenue and Stone in the regal building that is now the Children’s Museum of Tucson.
In 1990, the library relocated to its current location on Stone Avenue to increase space and better position itself as a hub of activity in the heart of downtown. The sleek grey and white building encompasses 96,000 sqft and sees foot traffic of approximately 600,000 people a year.
Where is the Joel D. Valdez Main Library located?
In Downtown Tucson. The address is: 101 N. Stone Ave., Tucson.
What are the hours?
- Monday – Thursday: 9am–6pm
- Friday: 9am–5pm
- Saturday: 10am–5pm
- Sunday: 1pm–5pm
What is the parking situation at the library?
The Main Library Garage (45 W. Alameda Street) is conveniently located right underneath Joel D. Valdez Main Library. From Stone Avenue, head west on Alameda Street. The parking garage will be on your left before Church Avenue. The first hour of parking is free!
Main Library Parking Garage Hours
Monday–Friday: 5:45 am-9:00 pm
Saturday: 7:45 am-6:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 noon-6:00 pm
Main Library Parking Garage Rates
Parking in the library garage is free on the weekends: 7:45am-6:00pm on Saturdays and 12:00pm-6:00pm on Sundays.
The weekday rates are as follows.
Why would I visit the Main Library?
- To explore the 9,000 square-foot Children’s Room, which recently underwent a major renovation. Changes made include the construction of an early literacy center, a dedicated space for tweens, the addition of tactile toys for young learners, tablets, AWE Learning stations, and a touch table.
- To attend a Storytime with your baby, toddler, or preschooler.
- To browse the rotating art displays, featuring work by local artists.
- To check out open-pollinated and heirloom seeds from the award-winning Seed Library.
- To attend business and entrepreneurship programs in the Idea+Space.
- To use wifi, wireless printing, or one of 62 public computers.
- To conduct a meeting or study in one of the library’s meeting spaces.
- To visit the 101Space for teens and choose from dozens of events just for young adults.
- To enjoy the Cele Peterson Arizona and Steinheimer Collections.
- To check out materials, including DVDs, audio books, CDs, cookbooks, novels, and children’s books.
- To grab a Culture or Arts Performance Pass.
- To shop the Friends of the Pima County Public Library Bookstore (Monday-Friday, 11am-5pm).
- To seek Job Help and get support with everything from creating an email account to resume writing.
How much does it cost?
Admission to libraries is always free.
What is the cost of a library card?
FREE! Library cards are available as a complimentary amenity for all Pima County residents.
Are bathrooms available?
Yes, there are restrooms on every floor, including the children’s section.
Is outside food allowed in the library?
Yes. Outside food and drinks are allowed in the downstairs “cafe seating area.”
What dining venues are available on-site?
What restaurants are located NEAR the Main Library?
There are a plethora of outstanding dining options in the area! Our top picks within walking distance are:
- La Cocina, 201 N. Court Ave. (0.1 miles away) – tacos, salads, sandwiches, outdoor seating
- Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink, 101 E. Pennington St. (0.1 miles away) – pizza, pasta, drinks
- 47 Scott, 47 N. Scott Ave (0.2 miles away) – a neighborhood bistro featuring Modern American comfort food
- Cafe a La C’Art, 150 N. Main Ave (0.3 miles away) – beautiful cafe on-property of the Tucson Museum of Art
- Hub Restaurant & Ice Creamery, 266 E. Congress St. (0.3 miles away) – burgers, salads, sandwiches, pasta, beer, wine, cocktails, outdoor seating, delicious homemade ice cream in unique flavors
- Maynards Market, 400 N. Toole Ave. (0.3 miles away) – soups, salads, sandwiches, steak, fish, vegetarian
- Cup Cafe, 311 E. Congress St. (0.3 miles away) – indoor & outdoor seating, breakfast, lunch, dinner
- Visit the Bookbike and Food Trucks on Jácome Plaza on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Tuesday of the month from 11:30am–1:00pm.
BABIES & KIDS
Should I bring a stroller?
You’ll probably mostly be on the first/main floor if you bring your baby. It’s not a particularly large space so a stroller is probably unnecessary – unless you plan to roam the streets of downtown afterward to catch a bite to eat. :)
Is there a designated area for nursing moms?
No. That said, there are benches and comfortable chairs located throughout the library.
Are changing tables available?
Yes – in the restrooms.
What ages would be best suited for a library visit?
Can I have my child’s birthday party, wedding reception, or corporate meeting at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library and/or the Jacome Plaza?
There are two large meeting rooms and four study rooms that can be used at no charge “for organizations engaged in educational, cultural, civic, intellectual, or charitable activities.”
To book the plaza for an event, please contact the City of Tucson’s Parks and Recreation Department at 520-837-8054 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The daily fee is $50 for City residents and $65 for non-residents.
Is the Joel D. Valdez Main Library active on social media?
What else do I need to know before I go to the Joel D. Valdez Main Library?
That just about covers it. Have a great time!