Although the Švenčionys library was established only in 1940, we have traced its origins to a considerably earlier time. It is known that in 1416-1420 a school was functioning next to the church, in which youth were taught to sing religious hymns. Later, a Piarist school was established. There was a library for use by these schools. According to historical data, in 1804-1810 there were reading rooms for use by the gymnasium and parish school. In the 19th century, public libraries began to be established.
A public library was in operation in 1860 in Švenčionys. There were two sections in the library, it was open all day, and users (patrons) had to pay 5 rubles annually. The tsarist authorities closed the library in 1863. Later, there were libraries as part of schools, clubs and the church. In 1934, a public library was established, and in 1940 the state public library was established. In 1943, the library was burned.
The history of the Švenčionys District Municipal Public Library begins on 4 August 1944. At that time, there were 4,000 books in the libraryʼs collections and there were 700 readers (patrons). In 1977, the districtʼs centralised network of libraries was established, joining the main branch and its rural branches. After declaration of Lithuaniaʼs independence, to implement the Law on Libraries of the Republic of Lithuania, the districtʼs network of libraries changed and the library regained its former name. At present, 20 library branches serve the districtʼs residents, including the Švenčionys District Municipal Public Library, 2 city library branches in Pabradė and Švenčionėliai, and 17 rural library branches. 31% of residents make use of the district librariesʼ services, in 2015 there were 7,700 users (patrons), and there were 202,129 items in the collections of publications, including books, reference materials, electronic publications, magazines and newspapers.
Each year, about 34,000 visitors come to the library, and more than 42,000 publications are loaned.
Today, the Public Library is a centre for providing information services and organising free-time activities.
Since 2002, there has been a computer network and internet access at the library. Since the end of 2007, the Public Library has been a part of the project “Libraries for Innovation”, sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, encouraging residents to make active use of information technologies.
Since 2004, the library has participated in the LIBIS programme.
The library collects and registers everything it can that has been and is written about the area, and provides thorough information about the Švenčionys area. Since 2008, the library has been making local area studies information available on the internet by joining the ongoing Vilnius County project “Vilnijos vartai” (www.vilnijosvartai.lt ).
The Information Centre of the European Commission Delegation to Lithuania maintains a stand with literature about the European Union.
In 2015-2016, the library implemented the project “Establishment and activity of the IT centre ‘Failiukas’ in libraries”, part of the project “Libraries for Innovation 2” administered by the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania.