Library Mission & History
The Laramie County Library System’s mission is to serve all people of Laramie County in their quest for lifelong learning and adventure.
Our commitment is to:
- Provide free and easy access to the printed word, information and cultural enhancement
- Promote reading and literacy for children and adults
- Offer a dynamic, current, pertinent and uncensored collection of materials in a variety of formats
- Maintain high quality customer service through well-trained professional librarians, managers, staff and volunteers
- Strengthen the library by developing, maintaining and sharing resources in a responsible manner
- Be a focal point for access to information, self-improvement, social interaction, cultural exposure and leisure
- Remain committed to continually utilizing and providing state of the art technology
- Provide appropriate facilities to meet the needs of all people of Laramie County
- Promote the services of the library
Adopted November 30, 2010, by the LCLS Board of Directors.
Established in 1886, when Wyoming was still a territory, the Laramie County Library System (LCLS) located in Cheyenne is the oldest continually operating county library system in the United States.Territorial citizens of Cheyenne rallied for five years to fund the first library building, opened in 1886. It was located on the third floor of a business building on Carey Avenue and after that in the basement of what was then known as the Central School. When Wyoming became a state in 1890, state statute dictated library service should be provided for residents by the county government. With funding being withdrawn from city resources, American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie offered $50,000 toward a new building in 1899. Three years later, the Laramie County Library opened on May 19, 1902, on the southeast corner of 22nd Street and Capitol Ave, offering 10,000 square feet of space.
Almost sixty years later, the need arose for a larger building, and on October 19, 1969, a new building of nearly 38,000 square feet was opened to the public, located at 2800 Central Avenue.
Once that facility was built, ownership of the historic Carnegie Library building reverted to the City of Cheyenne. No one came forward with adequate funding for major renovation and repair needed to bring the building up to code; sadly, it was torn down in 1969.
On September 8, 2007, the new Laramie County Library in Cheyenne opened at 2200 Pioneer Avenue. Thanks to money approved by voters, the new library is a three-story, 100,000+ square foot experience that has become a destination for the community – it’s more than “just a library.”
Some of the highlights include:
- My Library Place, a spectacular interactive literacy center for children created and installed by The Burgeon Group.
- Five new meeting rooms for the community, each with extensive audio-visual services, and eight study rooms.
- A 50-station computer center and training classroom (plus 23 more stations just for kids and teens).
- The Capital Room, a quiet reading area that serves as the living room for the community.
- An expanded collection of books, audiobooks, movies, music and more.
- The Loft, an area made just for teens (with input from the award-winning Youth Advisory Board).
- Self-check stations, with anticipated usage of 90% by library patrons.
Thanks to the Laramie County Library Foundation, $1.7 million in donated funds provided additional enhancements and amenities throughout the building.
Even with all of those amazing elements to the new library, one of the most remarkable components is that the library building received a Gold Certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). This new library is the first LEED-certified public building in Wyoming.
And to top it off, Laramie County Library was named the 2008 Library of the Year by Library Journal/Gale, and it was also listed as a Top Ten Destination Library by Nancy Pearl in USA Today.
Today, LCLS serves a population of approximately 87,500 people through the library in Cheyenne, rural branches in Pine Bluffs and Burns, and a bookmobile. The library system has a staff of 80+ employees, an annual budget of $4.4 million, circulation in excess of 900,000 annually and a collection of more than 305,000 items.
LCLS is still funded through the Laramie County government by a portion of the county’s property tax and 10% of the county’s share of an optional 1% sales tax.
The library continues to grow and serve the people of Laramie County with an ever-increasing collection, new and expanded services, and programs to promote lifelong learning.