History of the Library
As early as 1874, subscription libraries were available in the city of Atlantic. First called the Atlantic Reading Room Association, then the Atlantic Lecture and Library Association, each group brought in speakers and authors, musical presentations, and loaned books for a fee.
In 1889, Hon. J.K. Powers donated his private library to the Atlantic Lodge No. 175, I.O.O.F, starting the Powers Memorial Library. This library was housed in the Old Fellows Lodge at 314 Chesnut St. Community members could become members if they donated materials. In one year's time, the Powers Library grew to thirteen hundred items. Materials were added to the collection by Mr. E.V. Burke.
The Semi-Weekly Telegraph reports on Friday, March 21st, 1902, Andrew Carnegie offered $12,500 to build a public library building, as long as the city agreed to support the library with $1,250 per year. Groundbreaking for this library building took place on September 9th, 1902. On December 28th, 1903, the Library opened its doors to the public with entertainment and speeches.
Some renovations and remodeling has happened to the Carnegie Library building over the years. In 1953, renovations took place in the basement of the library, creating a larger Children's area. In 1979, a ramp for handicap access was added at the back of the building.
An addition was added to the Library starting in 1996. Both floors were expanded with the library's entrance moved to the side of the building. The addition was completed in 1997.
The library currently houses over 42,000 items in the form of books, audiobooks, music CDs, DVDs, and VHS. The library also has access to thousands of electronic books and audiobooks, online research tools, and supplies 14 computers for public use.
The Atlantic Public Library is funded with City of Atlantic property tax dollars.