Sabah State Library (SSL) was established in 1953 as a section under the Department of Information to provide library services and information for the community in Sabah. It became a department by itself in 1972 under the Ministry of Social Services and is funded by both the state and federal governments. Sabah State Library is now governed by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of the Sabah State Government following the rebranding of Ministry of Education and Innovation on 8th October 2020. As of today, Sabah State Library is made up of an extensive network comprising a Headquarters, 25 branches, 3 Additional Service Centre, 74 Rural Libraries (state), 13 mobile libraries and 8 Desanet.
- A Knowledgeable and Connected Society.
- To Sustain A Reading Culture.
- To set up a state-wide library service for the urban and rural areas by setting up branches and the mobile library service.
- To promote and encourage the use of library resources and information therefrom by providing facilities for loan and references.
- To assist the State Government in promoting the learning, development and use of Bahasa.
- To provide educational and recreational needs and facilities for the public.
- To promote an understanding of Sabah's culture through the local collection.
- To maintain a collection of publications by the State and Federal Governments and Departments, and State and federal statutory bodies in Sabah including a comprehensive collection of library material relating to Sabah and its people.
- To maintain close co-operation with the National Library of Malaysia and other State Libraries and State Library corporations in Malaysia.
- To provide or promote such other services or activities in relation to library matters as the Minister may direct.
- To provide for the preservation and use of library resources published in Sabah.
- To create standard bibliograpic records of library resources published in Sabah.
- To maintain statistical records of library resources published in Sabah.