The mission of the Lincoln County Public Library is to cultivate lifelong learners and facilitate connections that build community
- Residents will have high-speed access to the online world
- Library patrons will learn how to use technology effectively to accomplish their goals
- Children will enter school with the developmental skills needed (necessary) for learning (how) to read, write, and listen.
- Caregivers of preschool children will be well-prepared to foster in those children a love of reading and learning.
- Residents will have access to resources and information which enables them to create community connections.
Rumor has it that the idea for a borrowing library was the brainchild of a Miss Ann Henderson in the early 20th century who stored books in a building off of Court Square for any to come and borrow books. Others believe the idea behind a library came from Miss Virginia Hoke. Miss Hoke gathered books donated to her by her student’s parents and passed them out freely to those who wanted to read. Then in 1923 local book clubs gathered together to discuss ways and means of creating a library for Lincoln County. Donations of books and Monetary gifts were given to start this library. The Southern Stars chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy were kind enough to lend the ground floor of Memorial Hall on Academy Street to house the new library.
In May of 1925 Lincoln County had it’s official library run by a Miss Francis Fair. The library consisted of the main branch on Academy Street and 4 book stops in Lowesville, Denver, Northbrook, and Laboratory. In the 1930’s funding from the library went from membership dues to financial aid from the town and county. In June 1940 a new service was added to the library and the Bookmobile was launched, serving close to 11,164 adults and 10,179 children. The library started to receive State aid in December of 1947.
In 1964 Lincoln County joined up with the Gaston County Public Library and formed the Gaston-Lincoln Regional Library. This brought in more State Aid to both libraries and helped support the argument for a new facility to house the library. 1973 funding for the new building began and the new 18,000 sq. foot facility was opened in 1976. May 5, 2002 the West Lincoln Branch Library opened as part of a new strip mall on Highway 27. The following year on May 12, 2003 the Florence S. Shanklin Branch Library was opened in Denver. The land for the library was donated by Walt Shanklin in memory of his wife Florence.
2012 saw the dissolution of the Gaston-Lincoln Regional Library as new standards for a regional library came about. Both counties thought it would be more cost effective to dissolve the regional library. Since the dissolution the Lincoln County Public Library has increased programming, received multiple grants, has partnered with schools to provide access to resources through the STAR program, and have taken the libraries impact outside its four walls through Outreach Opportunities. 2021 saw the opening of a new West Lincoln Library that provides the west end access to new technologies, offers community meeting rooms, and a designated children’s space.
The Lincoln County Public Library was started by the community and continues to work in supporting the community by cultivating lifelong learners.