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Greenville Public Library

Who We Are

The Library's History

In January, 1856, the Greenville Ladies Library Association was formed and began raising funds for a library, hoping to secure higher-quality literature. The association gradually added to its collection, which was maintained in various homes and rooms in public buildings. In 1900, the women decided to seek city support and a building.

Andrew Carnegie was first approached by Lt. Gov. W. A. Northcott, who wrote in February, 1903. Shortly thereafter, Juliette Hoiles, president of the Ladies Library Association, also wrote to Carnegie. On April 23, James Bertram responded with a promise of $10,000, later increased to $11,000. The building was designed by the architect, Paul O. Moratz, of Bloomington, Illinois.

Construction began in 1904, and on August 4, 1905, the site was presented to the city of Greenville to be opened for business on August 10. Many of the original items--the circulation desk, tables and chairs, and the statue of "Apollo of the Lyre", which was donated by the Ladies Library Association--are still in use today.

It is a very unique place to visit. We often have people stop in to look around and ask questions. Our friendly and professional staff is eager to serve you. Welcome to the Greenville Public Library!

Our Mission

The Greenville Public Library selects, organizes, and makes accessible a wide variety of materials to the residents of the City of Greenville which will contribute to the dissemination of knowledge, the profitable and pleasurable use of leisure time, formal and informal educational needs, and the general enrichment of life within the financial resources available.