Verily, with the birth of the college also came about the organization of the library. San Beda University was established at the Arlegui in June 19, 1901. Within the confines of two storey building was a room set aside for the library. The private collections of the Fathers mostly in Spanish, and a few books purchased and donated to the College, resulted in the humble beginning of the library to cater to the needs of the graders, high schoolers and a few of college men. There was no permanent and formally trained librarian. The books were unclassified and uncataloged.
The need for a healthier surrounding and greater space for an ever increasing enrolment forced the Benedictine Fathers and students to transfer the school to its present site, Mendiola. The first two rooms adjacent to the church, southwing of the college, were assigned for the library. Records show that as of December 8, 1941 there were 6,593 volumes. From 1942-45, the college compound became some kind of a "quarter" for the Japanese. Taking advantage of the benevolence of the Japanese, the Fathers conducted a bit of schoolwork and catechism, the enrolment reaching a peak of 200 students. During this year, the library was kept intact.
The end of WW II brought spectacular changes not only in the annual increase of enrolment but also in buildings and facilities. To provide a more spacious place for the Bedans for their research, personal reading and lesson preparation, the whole first floor of the once auditorium was converted into library. Formally trained and professional librarians were employed and the collections were organized according to Dewey Decimal Classification System.
The collection increased by leaps and bounds through the unending purchase as the years gradually elapsed. A serious need was felt to decentralize the library. Thus, in 1963, the college library was transferred to the newly constructed St. Anselm Bldg. Located on the second floor is air-conditioned Concon Library named after its donor alumnus, Gregorio Concon, who partly financed its construction. It has a total floor area of 762 sq. m., more than half the second floor. The mezzanine (196 sq. m.) is set aside as the Periodical Section.
With the increased in enrolment, there was a need to extend the College Library. First, in 1984, the St. Anselm Extension Building was constructed. A 324 sq. m. floor area was alloted for the LAW Library. Then in June 1995, the College Library was transferred to the St. Maur’s Hall. The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Library also known as the Gregorio Concon Library occupies the second floor while the LAW Library or the Dean Feliciano Jover Ledesma Memorial Library at the third floor.
In 2003, the Graduate School Library was established for the Graduate School of Business, Graduate School of Liturgy and Graduate School of Law and was housed also at the third floor of the St. Maur’s Building. The Graduate School Library now has an extension at St. Maur’s Building and a satellite (mini) library for the Graduate School of Business at the Robert G. Coyiuto, Jr. Business Management Hall, at St. Bede’s Building.
The growth of the library was tremendous. In 2007 the administration of the Health Sciences Library was transferred to the College Library. The said library which primarily caters the College of Nursing and College of Medicine is located at the 2nd floor of St. Anselm’s Building.
The College Library facilities has grown as well as its resources and services. The information needs of the library clientele has evolved hence to be in sync with these changing information landscape, the library has introduced a hybrid collection of print and electronic resources. The onset of technology paved the way for the enhancement of the Reference Section which is now called as the Information Commons. The new section houses reference sources in print and electronic format.