Apart from being a place where even the youngest of readers can learn new ideas and gain a lot of knowledge of the world. The St. Louis Public Library system is one the largest and most legendary in the state of Missouri, possibly Midwest.
Let us explore those numbers and take a look at facts and not fiction, if you will.
In 1865, Ira Divoll, the superintendent of the St. Louis Public School system, created a subscription library in the public school library that would later evolve into the St. Louis Public Library. Divoll believed that a library should work in tandem with the public education system and offer citizens an opportunity for self-improvement and culture.
The St. Louis Public Library operates 17 libraries, including the main Central Library. Branches include Baden, Barr, Buder, Cabanne, Carondelet, Carpenter, Central Express, Charing Cross, Compton, Julia Davis, Divoll, Kingshighway, Machacek, Marketplace, Schlafly, and Walnut Park. In addition to the Central Library building, Barr, Cabanne, Carpenter and Carondelet branch buildings were Carnegie libraries
And as a proud native not transplanted St. Louis icon, I must brag about our Central Library, such a stupendous piece of engineering. Here is that historiic story on that.
The Central Library building at 13th and Olive was built in 1912 on a location formerly occupied by the St. Louis Exposition and Music Hall and was designed by Cass Gilbert. The main library for the city’s public library system has an oval central pavilion surrounded by four light courts. The outer facades of the free-standing building are of lightly rusticated Maine granite. The Olive Street front is disposed like a colossal arcade, with contrasting marble bas-relief panels. A projecting three-bay central block, like a pared-down triumphal arch, provides a monumental entrance. At the rear, the Central Library faces a sunken garden. The interiors feature some light-transmitting glass floors. The ceiling of the Periodicals Room is modified from Michelangelo‘s ceiling in the Laurentian Library. Renovation and expansion of the building began in 2010 and finished in 2012.
The Library has more than four million books and items in its collection and 109,115 active cardholders. SLPL’s mission is to provide learning resources and information services that support and improve individual, family and community life through a variety of services, programs and initiatives.St. Louis city residents can always use the St. Louis county library system, they just have to have an ID. Lawmakers are working to consolidate the city and county systems together, but for now they are merging the catalogs.https://www.slcl.org/using-the-library/system-upgrades
Moreover, the largest public library system is not here in St. Louis metro, due to St. Louis City and St. Louis County being separated; it is in a suburban area of K.C, Mid-Continent Public Library, officially known as Consolidated Library District #3, is a consolidated public library system serving Clay, Platte, and Jackson Counties in Missouri, with headquarters in Independence, Missouri.
Kansas City, MO Central Library:
The Central Library is the main library of the Kansas City Public Library system, which is located in the Library District of Downtown Kansas City, Missouri, United States. It is situated at 14 West 10th Street, at the corner of West 10th Street and Baltimore Avenue, across Baltimore Avenue from the Kansas City Club and up from the New York Life Building. It contains the administration of Kansas City’s library system.
Within the Central Library, the Missouri Valley Room contains a wide collection of items related to Kansas City local history, including original and published materials, news articles, postcards, photographs, maps, and directories dating from the city’s earliest history. The Library’s Ramos Collection includes books, pamphlets, journal articles, and other materials relating to African-American history and culture.
The Rooftop Terrace offers patrons a self-guided tour of the cityscape to the west, east, and south of the Central Library. Six information panels explain the past and present of the immediate surroundings, including how early planners carved the city from 80-foot bluffs, and the proper terms for the architectural flourishes on nearby buildings, such as modillion, festoon, and flora. Also enjoy the native plant garden and a game of chess with the Library’s famous giant chess pieces.
The Rooftop Terrace, on the fifth floor of the Central Library, is open during regular hours.