The McKinley Park Branch first entered the Brooklyn Public Library system as a deposit station on May 1, 1911 at Fort Hamilton Parkway and 70th Street. As early as 1949, the Mother's Teacher's Club of JHS 259 had led a drive for a better neighborhood library. In 1956 the World Telegram and Sun reported how Children from eight schools in the McKinley Park area make a beeline each day for a small 20 x 75 foot store that passes for a library. Their efforts were finally rewarded when, in 1957, plans for a new branch building were approved by the city. The new, 7,425 square foot branch opened in January, 1959.
The current branch building is the result of a recent renovation funded by the City of New York and Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden. When the recently renovated building reopened to the public with great fanfare and celebration on July 17, 1995, it boasted a new roof, walls, floors and lighting fixtures, and had been made fully accessible to people who use a wheelchair.
The McKinley Park Branch remains among the busiest branches in the Brooklyn Public Library system, serving an ethnically diverse community of about 48,000 people.