Through Reading, The World Comes To Abilene
Learning at Abilene's Newest Public Library
A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people.
It is a never failing spring in the desert.
– ANDREW CARNEGIE –
From the time of the city’s founding, Abilenians wanted a library. The first Abilene library was located on Pine Street and opened in 1898. Money was raised privately for the library and it was staffed by a rotating group of volunteers. Various committees over the years attempted to expand the library and make it a more permanent feature of Abilene and on July 17, 1909, their wish finally came true with the opening of the Abilene Carnegie Library. The Abilene Carnegie Library was located on the corner of North Second Street and Cedar Street.
The city opened the new Abilene Public Library in 1960. The new library was larger than the Carnegie Library and provided more resources to the city, but was only expected to meet the needs of the community for 20 years. After over 60 years of serving the community, the Main Library is finally getting a new home.
At Abilene Heritage Square, the library will have three floors. The first floor will include adult fiction, local history, a teen space, study rooms, a podcast/recording studio, and a Maker space. The second floor will contain dedicated spaces for children and families and will house the children’s collection. The third floor will feature group study rooms as well as the adult nonfiction collection and reference materials.
The new main library looks forward to continuing to serve all generations with new additions such as study rooms, meeting rooms, and a multipurpose room that will allow for expanding the library’s programming. Being housed in Abilene Heritage Square will also give the library access to the auditorium at Abilene Heritage Square and present opportunities for many partnerships including The Grace Museum through Spark Innovation.