Dayton Metro Library is a multi-branch library system serving 476,000 residents of the Dayton Metropolitan Area. It has 21 locations across the area (as well as two bookmobiles). Over 7.6 million items were checked out in 2008. The Dayton Metro Library ranks in the top ten best libraries in the United States serving a population of over 250,000 by HAPLR. The Dayton Metro Library system is considered a county system with branches in cities and towns throughout Montgomery County, Ohio, but does not have branches in Centerville, Germantown, Oakwood, Riverside or Washington Township. All are serviced by libraries of their own, save Riverside, various parts of which are geographically close to Dayton Metro Library locations, including Burkhardt, Electra C. Doren and Huber Heights.
Library service in Dayton began in 1805 with the Social Library Society of Dayton. The Society was also the first library to be incorporated in Ohio. The Society was dissolved in 1821 and books were sold at auction.
In 1847, the Dayton Library Association was established. This lasted until 1860 when it merged with the Public School Library, founded in 1855. In 1887 it was organized as a school district library. A new building was opened in Cooper Park in January 1888. Bookmobile service began in October 1923. In 1948, the library changed in legal form from a school district library to a county district library.
In November 1956, the library officially changed its name to the Dayton and Montgomery County Public Library. A new $2.3 million building was constructed for the Main Library in 1960, with groundbreaking taking place on August 29. The new building, adjacent to the old building (since razed), opened on March 26, 1962, and is still in use today (albeit with renovations done in 1987 and 1998–2000). The Dayton and Montgomery County Public Library name stayed on until June 19, 2002, when it officially changed its name to the Dayton Metro Library. A new logo and website were unveiled in January 2003. (source of library history: compiled from Dayton Metro Library Personnel Manual, June 2005) Another new website was unveiled in December 2014, featuring a new logo, overall new design and a number of new functionalities.
In November 2012, Dayton, Ohio area voters passed Issue 70, a $187 million bond issue covering building and renovation, with a vote of over 60% support. The project will allow for a completely renovated main branch of the library, expansion and/or remodeling and renovation on a number of existing branches, entirely new facilities for certain locations, and the consolidation of certain underperforming and outdated facilities with larger, modernized branches. The Dayton Daily News reported on this levy and said, “the plan would change libraries from “books and bricks” into community centers designed to provide traditional library services, as well as the latest technology.”  The renovated and new facilities were originally expected to be completed by year-end 2017, though delays in construction and property acquisition have moved this back to at least early 2020. On March 20, 2013, it was announced that a re-examination of the plan had determined that in certain cases new libraries could be built rather than expanding or renovating certain branches, without increasing the cost of the plan. As such, it was determined that the Brookville, Miamisburg, New Lebanon, Northmont and Trotwood Branches would all be moved to new buildings, rather than being renovated/expanded.
- Belmont Branch, 1041 Watervliet Ave.
- Brookville Branch, 120 Blue Pride Drive, Brookville
- Burkhardt Branch, 4680 Burkhardt Ave.
- East Branch, 2008 Wyoming St.
- Electra C. Doren Branch, 701 Troy St.
- Huber Heights Branch, 6160 Chambersburg Rd., Huber Heights
- Kettering Moraine Branch, 3496 Far Hills Ave.
- Madden Hills Branch, 2542 Germantown St.
- Main Library, 215 E. Third St.
- Miami Township Branch, 2718 Lyons Rd., Miamisburg
- Miamisburg Branch, 545 E. Linden Ave.,, Miamisburg
- New Lebanon Branch, 715 W. Main St., New Lebanon
- Northmont Branch, 333 W. National Rd., Englewood
- Northwest Branch, 2410 Philadelphia Dr.
- Operations Center, 120 S. Patterson Blvd. (Not open to public)
- Outreach Services, 3207 Hoover Ave. (Not open to public)
- Trotwood Branch, 651 E. Main St., Trotwood
- Vandalia Branch, 330 S. Dixie Dr., Vandalia
- West Carrollton Branch, 300 E. Central Ave., West Carrollton (Closed for renovations until Fall 2018)
- Westwood Branch, 3207 Hoover Ave.
- Wilmington-Stroop Branch, 3980 Wilmington Pike
- Dayton Mall Mini-Branch Library (Discontinued in the early 2000s)
- Dayton View Branch, 1515 Salem Ave. (Permanently closed March 30, 2016, and replaced by Northwest Branch.)
- East Carnegie Branch, E Fifth St. (Discontinued in the 1960s, structure remains, and is used for meetings of the town's Southeast Priority Board)
- Ft. McKinley Branch, 3735 Salem Ave. (Permanently closed April 9, 2016, and replaced by Northwest Branch.)
- Genealogy Center, 359 Maryland Ave. (This was a temporary branch from 2015-2017 while the Main Library was being renovated.)
- Hills and Dales Branch, Kettering. (This was a branch located in a shopping plaza in the 1970s.)
- Northtown-Shiloh Branch, 35 Bennington Dr. (Permanently closed March 29, 2016, and replaced by Northwest Branch.)
- Temporary Main, 120 S. Patterson Blvd (first floor). (This was the temporary Main branch from 2015-2017 while the Main Library was being renovated.)
- West Carnegie Branch, 1612 West Fifth Street (corner of Euclid and West Fifth). (Discontinued in the 1960s, later destroyed by a fire in 1979.)
Issue 70 Branch changes
Under the ten-year bond issue, Issue 70 (also known as "Libraries for Tomorrow"), passed by voters, the branch structure will be modified as follows:
- Main Library, Kettering-Moraine Branch, Miami Township Branch, West Carrollton Branch (Fully renovated and expanded)
- Belmont Branch & East Branch (Combined and replaced with Southeast Branch)
- Electra C. Doren Branch (Updated and renovated, Electra C. Doren branch was renamed from "E.C. Doren Branch" and re-opened January 3, 2015)
- Brookville Branch, Burkhardt Branch, Huber Heights Branch, Miamisburg Branch, New Lebanon Branch, Northmont Branch, Trotwood Branch, Vandalia Branch, Wilmington-Stroop Branch (Replaced with larger and modernized facilities in new locations)
- Dayton View Branch, Ft. McKinley Branch, Northtown-Shiloh Branch (Combined and replaced with Northwest Branch)
- Madden Hills Branch, Westwood Branch (Combined and replaced with West Branch)
At one time, borrower's cards used at Dayton Metro Library use the nearly 40-year-old Codabar barcode format, with the symbol 'A' preceding and following the account number in the barcode proper. As of at least the early 2000s, all cards issued begin with the sequence 10060 or 10061, followed by 8 digits, with the exception of online-only cards, which begin with the sequence 10065.
As of 2012, the Dayton Metro Library's catalogue operates under the Polaris system, but had previously used Horizon from 2003 onwards, which was no longer offering software updates. Prior to this, it had used DRA from 1985.
- "HAPLR Index". Retrieved 2010-04-25.
- Germantown Public Library official website
- Wright Memorial Public Library official website
- Washington-Centerville Public Library official website
- "Voters approve bond issue, levy for libraries". Dayton Daily News. November 7, 2012. Retrieved November 9, 2012.
- Smith, J. H. (2012, June 13). Library levy to seek $187m from voters. Dayton Daily News. Retrieved from http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/news/local/library-levy-to-seek-187m-from-voters/nPgsz/
- Dayton Metro Library - Facilities
- Smith, Joanne (March 20, 2013). "Library constructing more new buildings, instead of renovating". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
- Library Technology
- Dayton Metro Library - East Branch
- Southeast Priority Board, Dayton, Ohio - Carnegie Library Buildings on Waymarking.com
- Library campaign website with details on renovation / construction plans Archived April 16, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
- Dayton Metro Library homepage - "Your library's first renovation in Old North Dayton will re-open on January 3, 2015, at 11 A.M."
- Library Technology - Dayton Metro Library
- Dayton Metro Library Collection (MS-007). Dayton Metro Library, Dayton, Ohio. "View online finding aid". Retrieved August 29, 2012.
- Dayton Metro Library
- Dayton Metro Library locations and hours
- Dayton Metro Library News and Events
- Dayton Metro Library Online Catalog
- Dayton Metro Library Facebook Page
- Dayton Metro Library Digital Images Collection
- Dayton Metro Library Local History's Flickr photostream
- Library campaign site, with details on building/renovation bond issue passed by voters, available on the Internet Archive