About Our Library

The library building is a two-story, rectangular, Neo-Classical red brick building. The east elevation houses the main entrance with a stone pediment above, carrying the Carnegie library name. The library is listed on the Kansas and National Register of Historic Places.

The library has recently undergone outside maintenance and repairs, though no design changes. This project was partially supported by a Heritage Trust Fund grant from the Kansas State Historical Society, in the amount of $24,000 with a $6,000 match from the city.

History

The library movement began in Kingman in 1885, when members of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union donated a few books for a circulating library. In 1890, the Nineteenth Century Club was organized, and the infant club gave impetus to the library movement. In 1888, the library was moved from a private home to the city hall building, and a reading room was opened.

As early as May 1911, the library board was obtaining a Carnegie grant, and in May 1912, an investigation for a site for a Carnegie library got underway. Correspondence was begun with Andrew Carnegie and on May 21, 1913, the library board obtained a Carnegie grant for $10,000 to build a library.

Two lots were purchased from Robert and Rebecca Cates for $700.00, the lots being in the 400 block of North Main at the intersection with Avenue D West (U.S. Highway 54). The library dedication was held on June 23, 1914, at which time the library was opened to the public.

In 1932, the main stairs to the entrance on the east were removed, and a divided entrance stair, present today, was constructed. Completed in 1987 was a 2,600 square foot addition to the existing 4,280 square foot building.

The Board Members:

Galene San Romani

Linda Burket

Mark Bigelow

Julie Wollen

Kathy Hurst

Susan Woodward

Brad Kirk


President

Vice President

Secretary

Member

Member

Member

Member

Our Librarians Through The Years...

  • Mrs. Mary M. Conkling

  • Mrs. L.M Berry

  • Mrs. Davis: 1913

  • Mrs. Alice McIlhenny: 1913 - 1919

  • Miss Ethel Summers: 1919 -1965

  • Mrs. Reva Jo Weniger: 1965 - 1981

  • Mrs. Carol Grimes: 1981 - 1989

  • Mrs. Linda Slack: 1989 - 2006

  • Mrs. Grace Helm: 2006 - 2021

  • Mrs. Nichole Kostner: 2021 - Present

Library Memberships & Associations...

  • KLA: Kansas Library Association

  • PLA: Public Library Association

  • ALA: American Library Association

  • SCKLS: South Central Kansas Library Association

  • Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce

  • Bibliographic Center for Research: Through the Kansas State Library and the South Central Kansas Library System