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Established in 1911 as a library for the City of Elmhurst, the branch was incorporated into the City of Oakland in 1949.

The collections of the Elmhurst Branch consist of popular and well-reviewed juvenile, young adult, and adult non-fiction and fiction books, as well as DVD’s, Books-on-CD, compact disks, magazines, newspapers, and video games. Elmhurst also offers popular African-American fiction, Spanish language materials, and urban fiction collections. A toy lending collection is also available at Elmhurst.