The Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County

Charlotte’s first free library opened its doors in 1903. Designed in the Neo-Classical tradition, it was built with funds from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation. This building, shown above, served the city until 1954 when it was demolished to make way for a new building, which opened in 1956. Thirty years later this building was stripped and expanded until the library was nearly double its size. The present building, shown on the left, celebrated its grand opening on June 18, 1989.

Over the years, the library system triumphed over financial shortages, which included a short-lived closing in 1939. Today it is the largest public library system in the state with twenty-two branches, including Main. The ease of access to the branches provides all Mecklenburg County residents an opportunity to broaden their horizons by opening doors across the world through free access to the Internet, as well as through the libraries vast collections of books, videos and CDs.

In 1995, PLCMC was named Library of the Year by the American Library Association. The library's greatest legacy is providing free information resources and services, as well as programs for all Charlotteans. In doing so, this tradition enhances the quality of life throughout Mecklenburg County.