If you could step in a time machine and go back to 1977 to where the Sam Lena-South Tucson Library currently stand, you would find a simple trailer full of books.
Nearly 10 years later, in 1986, the permanent Sam Lena-South Tucson Library opened to the public.
The library was expanded in 1991, adding 1,500 square feet and creating a 4,777 square-foot library.
In October 2017, the library was closed yet again to undergo an overhaul of the space to create a more purposeful space for customers.
The changes made included:
- Brand new entrance connecting with the City of South Tucson Dan Eckstrom plaza
- Updated collection, furniture, and flooring
- 13 more public computers and improved wifi capacity
- Events for the whole community, with family, adult, teen, and child-friendly offerings weekly
- Larger children’s room and creative youth space for tweens and teens
- Open floor plan and more natural lighting
- New study rooms and community meeting room
- Curbside book drop
The Library reopened in December 2018.
***There will be a Grand Re-Opening on Saturday, March 16, 2019 from 10 am–2pm. Enjoy music with Gertie & the T.O. Boyz and Los Perritos de Hollinger PK-8 Mariachis. Take in a performance by the John Valenzuela Youth Center Hip Hop Team. Plus, enjoy poetry chalking, giant games, refreshments (pan dulce and cake), and more!
Where is the Sam Lena-South Tucson Library located?
The Sam Lena-South Tucson Library is located at 1607 S. Sixth Avenue in south Tucson.
What are the hours?
- Monday – Thursday: 9am–6pm
- Friday: 10am–5pm
- Saturday: 9am–5pm
- Sunday: Closed
What is the parking situation at the library?
Free and plentiful.
What year did the Sam Lena-South Tucson Library open?
Who was/is Sam Lena?
The library is named in honor of Sam Lena (1921-1996), a longtime South Tucson politician and former member of the Pima County Board of Supervisors, who advocated for the funding for the permanent building.
How many square feet is the Sam Lena-South Tucson Library?
4,777 square feet
How much does it cost to visit the library?
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?
KIDS & TEENS
Should I bring a stroller?
The library is small and walking will be minimal so a stroller is probably unnecessary.
Is there a designated area for nursing moms?
No. That said, there are comfortable chairs located throughout the library.
Are changing tables available?
Yes, there are changing tables in both public restrooms.
What ages would be best suited for a library visit?
Is there a Children’s area?
Yes! The recent renovation included enlarging the children’s room.
Is there a Teen area?
Yes! There is a creative youth space for teens and tweens.
Is there a snack bar and/or vending machines?
There is not a snack machine at this Library, but as the Tucson Foodie says, “If you’re looking for Mexican food—good, authentic Mexican food—South Tucson is a great place to find it.” After visiting the Library, try one of the restaurants listed below. Don’t forget to swing by Isabella’s Ice Cream for dessert!
Is outside food allowed in the library?
The library asks “that you act responsibly when consuming food and drink in the Library. Please clean up after yourself and alert staff if you need assistance with a spill.”
- Food and drink are permitted throughout the library except while using special collections.
- Beverages need to be in covered containers.
- Delivery of food to the library is not permitted.
What restaurants are located NEAR Sam Lena-South Tucson Library?
There are excellent restaurants galore in this area – especially since Downtown Tucson is right around the corner! Our top picks within approximately 2 miles are:
- Mi Nidito, 1813 S. 4th Ave (0.4 mils away) – Mexican food, margaritas
- Five Points Market & Restaurant, 756 S. Stone (0.7 miles away) – breakfast, lunch, sandwiches, salad
- Rigo’s Mexican Restaurant, 2527 S. 4th Ave (1.1 miles away) – chimichangas, burros, tacos, tostadas
- Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails, 135 S. 6th Ave (1.3 miles away) – Modern American cuisine
- Empire Pizza & Pub, 137 E. Congress St. (1.4 miles away) – NY style pizza, heros, wings
- Cafe Poca Cosa, 110 E. Pennington St (1.4 miles away) – “imaginative Mexican cuisine in an upscale, urban bistro setting”
- 47 Scott, 47 N. Scott Ave (1.5 miles away) – a neighborhood bistro featuring Modern American comfort food, brunch and dinner
- Reilly Craft Pizza & Dinner, 101 E. Pennington St (1.5 miles away) – pizza, sandwiches, salad, beer, wine, cocktails
- HUB Restaurant & Ice Creamery, 266 E. Congress St (1.5 miles away) – salads, sandwiches, burgers, ice cream
- Cafe a La C’Art, 150 N. Main Ave (2.3 miles away) – beautiful cafe on-property of the Tucson Museum of Art, indoor + outdoor seating
STUDY ROOMS & MEETING SPACES
How many study rooms are available?
This Library has two study rooms that each hold 10 people.
How many meeting rooms are there?
There are three meeting rooms that hold up to 104 people and a conference room that holds 12 people.
To find more information about the library’s meeting rooms and to access a meeting room application, please visit the Pima County Public Libraries website.
Can I have my child’s birthday party, wedding reception, or corporate meeting at the Sam Lena-South Tucson Library?
See above. Feel free to inquire at the library directly with your request.
Does the Sam Lena-South Tucson Library have its own Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram accounts?
***Have you heard of the PCPL Social Media Ambassador program? As a valued ambassador, you can help raise awareness of the Library on social media and, at the same time, raise the Library’s awareness of you, its supporter. Learn more about getting involved on the PCPL website.
LAST, BUT NOT LEAST…
What makes the Sam Lena-South Tucson Library special?
The Sam Lena-South Tucson Library serves as a vital resource for the South Tucson community who rely on it for access to materials, public computers, wifi, and meeting and study space. On average, more than 9,500 people visit the Library monthly.
“The renovation has made our space so much more inviting,” says manager Kelly Wilson, “and we’re excited to re-open our doors to the wonderful people we already know and to those who may be visiting for the first time. Welcome to the new and improved Sam Lena-South Tucson Library!”
Did we mention it now has a curbside book drop?!