The Coronado Library was founded in 1890 by the Coronado Library and Free Reading Room Association. It was supported for many years by gifts and fundraising. In 1895, the Hotel del Coronado provided a small, rent-free pavilion building for the "Coronado Beach Library", which was located by the trolley stop across the street from the hotel. John D. Spreckels, the owner of the Hotel del Coronado, was later asked by the Coronado Library Trustees to build a permanent library building. Mr. Spreckels agreed and had architect Harrison Albright design and build a classical revival library building in the West Plaza Park in 1909.
The library building was given by John D. Spreckels to the City of Coronado and the people of Coronado. The building still stands at 640 Orange Avenue. This original building serves as the Spreckels Reading Room within the 40,000 square feet remodeled and expanded library building.
The Library includes study space at tables and carrels, lounge seating, wireless Internet access, a large public meeting room, and smaller conference room, separate Children's Library and Teen area, an Exhibit Gallery, public-access computers, and collections in various subjects and formats. A used bookstore, the Second-Hand Prose, is operated by the Friends of the Library.