The Municipal Library of Imola draws its origin from that of the Conventual Minorities of San Francesco of Imola, under the initiative of Father Giuseppe Maria Setti.
During the French presence, the religious library was confiscated from the friars and given to the Municipality.
During this period, in addition to the requisitions made to the suppressed religious groups, other ecclesiastical libraries of Imola converged in San Francesco, including those of the Capuchins, the Jesuits, the Dominicans, the Carmelites, and the Seminary.
The library was opened to the public on January 11th, 1799 with a public ceremony.
During the Austro-Russian counter-revolutionary intermezzo (June 1799 – June 1800), the bookshop returned to the friars.
With the return of French authority, the library once again was returned to the City.
Until the 1920s, the library’s patrimony consisted of funds from various religious libraries.
In the next age, together with small purchases, numerous private donations were received.
Among the most valuable gifts first given to the library was the collection of works of the writers of Imola that belonged to Giovanni Codronchi Argeli (1843), an illustrious bibliophile and gonfalonier of the city. It marked an important change in the historical physiognomy of the collections.
Other religious funds converged following the law of suppression of religious orders of 1866.
In 1867, after the unification of Italy, the Library was endowed with a new regulation, which replaced the precedent of 1821.
In 1900, the circulating popular library Andrea Ponti was opened in the rooms of San Francesco, founded by Countess Maria Pasolini Ponti.
In 1957, the Municipality assumed ownership of the library heritage of the Ponti library, which until 1993 retained its administrative autonomy and then moved to the municipal library.
In 1959, the Children’s Garden Library of Imola was established and inaugurated in 1961. Then in 1989 it ended its activity.9.
On January 20th, 1990, Casa Piani opened the new section for the students of the Imola Municipal Library, in the area donated by the Piani family.
In 1954, the provincial loan network was born. In the seventies, they opened reading rooms in Ponticelli, Sasso Morelli and Sesto imolese.