The Monona Public Library began with cooperation from the Monona Women's Club in 1929. On November 19, 1934, the city council passed an ordinance establishing the library by law. At that time the library was in a single room in the City Hall. For the first year's budget, the city alloted $200. No salaries were paid. The City Hall building was enlarged in 1949, at which time the library was given a larger room.
In 1970, the library benefited from the estate of Miss Florence Murphy. It was in Miss Murphy's will that the greater portion of her estate be used to build a new library in Monona. Construction on the new building began in 1972. The new library officially opened in January of 1973. It was renamed Murphy Memorial Library, in honor of Miss Murphy. The library still inhabits the same building.