The mission of the Carnegie-Stout Public Library is to improve the quality of life by providing resources that enhance and contribute to individual enjoyment, enlightenment, and knowledge.
Carnegie-Stout Public Library traces its origins to a subscription library of the 1850s when Dubuque was the largest and most prosperous city in Iowa. The activities of the Young Men's Literary Association, as this founding group was called, resulted in a demand in the 1890s for a free library.
Through the generosity of library philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who agreed to endow the City with a building, and the donation of a site by former Dubuque Mayor Frank D. Stout, the free public library opened on October 20, 1902. The present library occupies the same building with an addition built in 1981.