Library Mission & History


Provide opportunities for everyone to reach their full potential.


Encourage and support 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.

4-CarnegieLibraryLibrary History

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 With funding being withdrawn from city resources, American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie offered $50,000 toward a new building in 1899.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 Avenue, 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 renovations and repairs 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.”

A Partial History of the Laramie County Library System
Thanks to our long-time volunteer, Bill Rideout, we now have an accurate account of the history of Laramie County Library System up to 1990. The document currently details the library from its beginnings as the Laramie County Public Library Association in 1886, to the closure of the Carnegie Library in 1969.

To read the detailed research compiled by Mr. Rideout, download the full document (consisting of 138 pages) below.

Today, LCLS serves a population of approximately 96,389 people through the library in Cheyenne, rural branches in Pine Bluffs and Burns, and a bookmobile. The library system has a staff of 75+ employees, an annual budget of $5.4 million, circulation in excess of 705,000 annually and a collection of more than 319,000 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.