Gates Library

With more than  6,000 art books,  numerous art periodicals, videos, and teacher resource packets  available, the Gates Library is an excellent community resource to  learn more about the visual arts.

The library features casual seating overlooking Pacific Avenue, a large study table,  internet-accessible workstations, a video station, and a children’s book corner in the Betty Gene and John Walker Reading Alcove.

The library is free and open to the public during regular museum hours, no museum admission is required to visit.

Researching in the  Gates Library

The volunteer staff in the library are on hand to assist with research. In addition to our book collection, the library’s extensive Artist Files  and Ephemera Archives focus on Northwest artists and Tacoma Art Museum’s exhibitions through the years, and contain many rare primary  sources.

Browse our Catalog

Use the link above to search our available resources.  Materials from the Gates Library are not available  to borrow, with the  exception of  teacher resources, which include materials from the National Gallery of Art.

Contact Us Prior to Visiting

As the Gates Library  is staffed by volunteers, we recommend contacting the library directly prior to your visit, by calling 253-272-4258 x3024 or emailing us at

Family Resources

Families can continue to connect with museum exhibitions through our careful selections of art-related books and games in the library.  There is also  free access to  the computer game Never Alone which was made in collaboration with Indigenous communities.

You’ll Like Tacoma

Our library features a growing collection and display of books made in or about Tacoma. Stop by and experience locally made  paper and book arts.

Caldecott Collection

The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. Since 1938 it has been awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

The Gates Library has the entire collection of Caldecott winners, making it the only library in the region with the entire collection on view in one location.