Library Mission & History


Champion a knowledgeable and engaged community


Be a hub for engagement, literacy and learning, and lifelong curiosity and discovery.

Our Commitments
  • Free and easy access to the printed and digital word, information, and cultural enhancement
  • A rich reading and literacy culture for children and adults
  • Dynamic, current, pertinent and uncensored collection of materials in a variety of formats
  • Well-trained professional librarians, employees, and volunteers serving our community
  • Responsible resource development, management, and sharing
  • State-of-the-art technology and digital resources
  • Innovative and welcoming facilities to meet the needs of all people of Laramie County
  • Promotion of library services through a variety of communication channels
  • A flexible, nimble, and responsive approach to community needs
  • Equity, diversity, and inclusion of all members of our community

Adopted June 22, 2021, 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 With funding being withdrawn from city resources, American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie offered $50,000 toward a new building in 1899.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.

Despite the compelling reasons for abandoning the library, there were letters to the newspapers and heartfelt arguments with officials to preserve this historic building, an architectural icon, a memorial to Andrew Carnegie’s generosity, but the die was cast. On April 26, 1971 the city sold the building to the Capital Savings and Loan Association and it was subsequently demolished.

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.

A Partial History of the Laramie County Library System
Thanks to our long-time volunteer, Bill Rideout, MD 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 William Rideout, MD download the full document (consisting of 138 pages) below.
ViewPartialHistoryLCLS-01Purchase Your Own Copy

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.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Certification

In 2007 the new Laramie County Library building was opened in Cheyenne WY. The building achieved a LEED® Gold Certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® for New Construction program. It is the first public building in Wyoming to achieve LEED® certification.

During Construction We:

  • Reduced the building footprint with a three-story structure, thereby increasing open spaces
  • Recycled post-construction waste and used materials with recycled content
  • Used local and regional materials
  • Utilized low-emitting adhesives, paints, carpet and composite wood
  • Covered all the duct work to keep the building and the air clean
  • Flushed the building systems prior to occupancy

We’re Helping the Environment By:

  • Creating and following a thorough recycling policy
  • Managing and treating storm water
  • Reducing water usage by 50% with less thirsty landscaping and native vegetation
  • Reducing water usage by 30% via efficient plumbing systems
  • Controlling erosion and sediment on our site
  • Monitoring the amount of carbon dioxide we emit
  • Optimizing the energy performance of heating/ventilating/air conditioning units and lighting
  • Flooding our building with daylight in 90% of our space with the use of light louvers

We Encourage Travel to the Library Wisely By:

  • Riding the bus – a city bus stop is located at the library, and two more are within 1/4 mile
  • Pedaling their bike – we’ve provided numerous bicycle storage racks
  • Carpooling – two or more people in a vehicle can park in more convenient, marked spaces

LEED® Score Card
LEED® Presentation