The Wilmer branch of the Dallas County Public Library, as it was known at the time, opened August 21, 1966, because of a collaboration between the Wilmer Chamber of Commerce and the Dallas County Library. The Chamber members remodeled a service station owned by James A. Leftwich. Located at the intersection of Dallas and Johnson Streets, the Wilmer Library opened with 555 books with Mrs. R. T. "Alice" Johnson served as librarian from 1966 to 1973. On March 1, 1969, the city purchased the Dillon Hardware Store at the corner of North Dallas Avenue and East Beltline Road, which is where the library is currently located.
In honor of the late Elvis Maxine Gilliam, librarian from September 1973 to June 1979, the City of Wilmer passed a resolution on July 20, 1979, to rename the library the Elvis Maxine Gilliam Memorial Public Library.