Our History, Our Future
Founded in 1909 by George Laidley, superintendent of schools, and the Woman's Kanawha Literary Club of Charleston, the Kanawha County Public Library has, since its inception, provided FREE and EQUAL access to information for all.
Did You Know?
- KCPL has been housed in 6 different locations, none of which was designed to serve as a library. The current Main Library was built in 1911 as a Federal Courthouse.
- Since the Main Library moved to its current location in 1967, the number of books published has increased by more than 5 times.
KCPL has nearly 100,000 cardholders and residents from all 55 West Virginia counties are represented in the cardholder database.
- Patron visits to all libraries in the system total nearly 1 million per year, and nearly 500,000 of these visits occur at the Main Library in Charleston.
- Research shows that new library facilities with parking typically experience a 50% increase in usage during the first year.
- KCPL offers more than 1300 free, educational programs annually for children and families attracting more than 31,000 people to the Main Library and its branches.
- Only 58% of WV households have a home computer, compared to 68% nationwide. Library computer use was up 13% this past year. Of those households in WV with a computer, only 54% have internet access, compared to 64% nationwide.