The first Woodlawn Library was created in 1904 by the efforts of the Women's Club of Woodlawn. It occupied space in the Woodlawn City Hall and received an annual contribution from the Woodlawn Board of Aldermen of $25 per year for the purchase of books. When Woodlawn was annexed into Birmingham on January 1, 1911, the Woodlawn Library, with its 890 books, became the first branch of the Birmingham Public Library, then operated by the Birmingham Board of Education. Pearl Sandifer served as the branch librarian until 1920.
The current $80,000 building was designed by E. B. Van Keuran and constructed by A. L. Sullivan. It opened on October 29, 1950. The building's dedication featured speeches by Senator Lister Hill, Mayor Cooper Green, Public Safety Commissioner Bull Connor and Birmingham Public Library director Emily Danton. Poplar Camp No. 118 of the Woodmen of the World donated a flagpole and flag to the library.
- Cruikshank, George H. (1920) History of Birmingham and Its Environs: A Narrative Account of Their Historical Progress, Their People, and Their Principal Interests. 2 volumes. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company.
- Campbell, Joe (October 30, 1950) "Woodlawn library dedicated" The Birmingham News - Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections