- " 'I went to the public library to try to make some sense out of all the madness,' Doc explained over Marty's shoulder [as he read the newspaper story about his father's murder]. 'The place was boarded up — shut down. So I broke in and' — he waved at the book and a couple more like it still on the floor — 'borrowed some newspapers.' "
- —From Back to the Future Part II by Craig Shaw Gardner (quote, page 123)
On October 26, 1985, in the nightmarish alternate timeline where Biff controlled Hill Valley, Emmett Brown broke into the closed and boarded-up library, searched through the Hill Valley Telegraph archives and took some bound collections of the newspaper back to his now trashed lab. He discovered that Biff had become a millionaire, having made his first million betting on a horse race on his twenty-first birthday in 1958; George McFly had been murdered while en route to receiving a book award on March 15, 1973; and Doc's alternate self had been declared legally insane and committed to the County Asylum on May 2, 1983. He took this information back to Marty McFly, and they were able to stop Biff making use of Grays Sports Almanac in 1955 — thus restoring the timeline.
On May 15, 1986, Marty McFly visited the library in order to find out why the DeLorean time machine had arrived from August 18, 1931. Unable to supply him with the correct information, the librarian told him to ask Edna Strickland, who hoarded newspapers and did not allow the library to use them.
After Doc rewrote the timeline where a nuclear holocaust occurred in 2045, by preventing much technology from being made commercially available by 2015, the internet was shown to still exist, but it is unclear whether the library was still used to access the internet in this timeline.
- The library appeared to look very different in 1985A compared to how it did in 1986 and 2015 and had the appearance of an older building. This could mean that the building underwent a renovation at some point prior to 1986 that it did not receive in the 1985A timeline due to its premature closure.
Behind the scenes
- The fourth issue of Back to the Future: Untold Tales and Alternate Timelines told the story of when Doc Brown first visited 2015 before he came back to pick up Marty and Jennifer. Like Doc Brown Saves the World before it, it brings in modern technology that actually exists into 2015. However, unlike the previous story, this story takes place before the events of Back to the Future Part II. Doc Brown accessed Wikipedia on the internet at the library, which seemed to be the only way to access the internet in that timeline.
- Back to the Future Part II
- Back to the Future Part III
- Back to the Future: Untold Tales and Alternate Timelines