The Pacific Improvement Club, a community group, organized a committee in 1935 under Minnie Lyon to establish a free lending library. The three members of the committee arranged for a portion of a classroom in Lake City School to be shared with the Works Progress Administration. Husbands of committee members built the shelves. The library was open one day a week and loaned out books donated by members of the community. In 1937, the library moved into its own space in the school basement.
On November 11, 1949, the branch moved from the school basement into the new fire station a block north on 30th Avenue E (later 30th Avenue NE). The fire commissioners permitted the library to use their meeting room until a proper branch could be found. In the general election of 1953, the North End voted to be annexed to the city of Seattle, taking effect after the New Year. King County continued to operate the Lake City branch for another year.