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  Table of Contents about Andrew Carnegie About Allen Gardiner, author of The Carnegie Legacy in Kansas Further information about Libraries featured in this book Carnegie Legacy in Kansas logo: Link that takes you to the home page  


The first library was maintained by the "city fathers" with most of the revenue generated from the local dog tax. Each family paid $1.00 to use the library. On March 15, 1888, the Lincoln Library Association was formed. Annual dues were $1.00. The books were placed at first in a millinery store, then moved periodically to various locations including a bookstore and drugstore. The library was owned by the stockholders. In 1897, the books and property were turned over to the city and it became a public library in 1899. An election was held in 1903 to establish a library tax.
Carnegie Library: Lincoln, Kansas

On February 13, 1913, voters approved a .40 mill levy for establishing a library. The Carnegie Corporation was applied to and it responded on April 13, 1913, with the offer of $6,000.00 for a library provided that the city would supply $600.00 annually for the library's maintenance. Voters approved the measure 424-166. The Christian Science Church donated a site on Third and Court Streets. A Salina architect, C. A. Smith, who designed a number of public libraries in the western part of Kansas, was chosen to design the library building. After approval of the plans by the Carnegie Corporation, bids were advertised in August, 1913. The contract was awarded to the firm of Wilson & Gilbert, of Hoxie and Plainville, for $5,770.00.
On May 5, 1914, the Social Science Club hosted a reception and on May 6 the library was opened to the public. Persons living within one mile had free usage of the library; others paid $1.00 per year or $.10 per book.
The building is rectangular, a 2,560 square foot one-story building on a raised basement. The exterior is of impressive native limestone (or "post-rock"). Originally the building had a roof of red tile.
The library underwent extensive interior remodeling in 1970. Central heating and cooling systems were installed; the lofty ceilings were lowered and outfitted with new lighting; carpeting and new window blinds were also installed. In 1978, the basement was improved by the addition of carpeting, new lights, shelving and special equipment. In April, 1979, it was opened as a children's library.
The library owns 17,200 volumes and serves a population of 1,600. 24,000 items were circulated in 1984. The 1985 budget is $16,550.00. The library is a member of the Central Kansas Library System.