The local library association that would later become Oswego Public Library was formed in 1867. They were known as The Reading Room. In the early 20th Century they petitioned Andrew Carnegie, and in 1912 the original library building was constructed at 704 Fourth Street in Oswego, Kansas at the cost of $5,000.
The library building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987, and when the building was expanded with a grant in 1995, great care was taken to preserve the historic architecture stylings of the building.
In 2006 the Southeast Kansas Library System announced Oswego Public Library had won its “Library Makeover,” a grant project worth over $15,000 for interior re-design. Along with a $7,000 pledge from the Oswego Public Library library board, this idea became known as “Project OSWEGO” and yielded great results, including a new young adult section, an entirely redesigned children’s area, complete with a life-size tree sculpture. A coffee house style reading area with pub seating and an adequate selection of coffees and teas, was also added. Under the direction of OPL Librarian/Director Elizabeth Turner, the project was completed on-time and under budget by the summer of 2007.
In 2009 the Library moved to the Koha library automation system, thus providing patrons with off-site online access to library services, including inter-library loan and book reservation.
By the summer of 2010, OPL staff had completed the transition which allows patrons to use their library cards at any other participating Southeast Kansas Library System library.