Independence Public Library

category : Carnegie Libraries
Independence Public Library The Independence Public Library is still located at the corner of Maple and Fifth, in the structure as it was built by the Carnegie Foundation in 1907. The Library currently houses 61,700 volumes of print and non-print materials, with a patron registration of 9,880 borrowers. The Library circulated 104,321 items in 1999. Today the Library is automated, offering more than adult and children's books, it also circulates large print books, books on tape, videos, and CD-ROM's. The Library also provides many other services, such as Internet access for the public, weekly programs for children, adult programs, outreach programs, interlibrary loan, and a genealogy research area.

On February 3, 1882, 12 women of Independence met at the home of Mrs. Edgar Hull to discuss the need for a Library in the community; thus the Ladies Library association was formed. George T. Guernsey donated $50.00 for the Library fund and the city offered the council room for the purpose of housing the books. The Library opened with 3,500 books. The books were moved almost every year to a new location, until the Library was built in 1907. In 1901 Mayor A. C. Stich offered to build a Library at the cost of $15,000.00, if the city would levy a proper tax for its maintenance. This was defeated, leaving the ladies "sorely mortified at this defeat." So, the Ladies decided to apply to Mr. Andrew Carnegie to build a Library in Independence. Mr. Stich and Mr. Carnegie's correspondence resulted in an offer of $20,000.00 and would increase to $22,500.00 if certain requirements were met by the City. Another election was held and the proposition passed by 18 votes.

The Ladies, after 25 years, having succeeded in their goal of obtaining a Library for Independence, did not stop or disband. They turned their focus to obtaining pieces of art work. The Library housed these pieces of work until the late 1920's. Mrs. Stich-Johns left in her will $3,000.00 for the Ladies to erect a home for its meetings and repository for its paintings. The home next to the Library was purchased for that purpose. The Ladies Library and Art Association sold the Library and its contents to the City in 1962 for $14,000.00.

Phone: 620-331-3030

Come visit us in Independence, Kansas

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Independence Science and Technology Center

Houses a wide variety of exhibits that invite visitors to examine and experiment. Register on a computer, hear sounds on the echo tube, ride the Anti-gravity Simulator, or experience the hair-raising Van de Graaff generator. You may even want to visit with the life-like Albert Einstein.

Independence, KS Learning Centers

Independence Museum

The Independence Historical Museum, owned and operated by the Ladies Library and Art Association, stands as one of the city's prime cultural attractions. Housed in the former city post office building, it has over 20

Independence, KS Museums

Little House on the Prairie

Located 13 miles southwest of Independence, just off of Highway 75, is an authentic, reconstructed log cabin located near the original site where famous author Laura Ingalls Wilder lived as a child. Near the cabin, the remains of what could possibly have been the well that Pa and Mr. Scott dug. An 1

Independence, KS Pioneer History

William Inge Festival and Collection

William Inge, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, was born and raised in Independence. Each year Independence Community College hosts a three-day festival to honor him as well as other nationally known playwrights. Past honorees include Arthur Miller and Neil Simon. Inge´┐Ż

Independence, KS Arts

Sycamore Valley Golf Course

Course Access: Public
Holes: 18
Reserve Advance Tee Times:

Independence, KS Golf Courses

Things to do Carnegie Libraries near Independence, KS

Carnegie Library

The Carnegie Library was built in 1906 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Girard was the sm...

Burlington Carnegie Free Library

Built in 1912 and dedicated on April 29, 1913, the library was placed on the National Register of Historic Places for ...