Baldwin City Library staff, volunteers and board members pictured: Leigh Anne Bathke, Shara Stephenson, Barb Mathews, Becky McMillen, Anne Walker, Cheri Armbrister and Phylls Braun.

The vision of the Library is provide resources, services, programs as a gateway to information and experiences that support and enhance lifelong learning, personal leisure and the community’s quality of life.

Your Baldwin City Library is loaded with BIG RESOURCES including a large selection of books, magazines, movies and programs for all ages. The library houses the Kansas Room filled with historical documents related to Baldwin City and its rich cultural history. In addition, the library provides important meeting room space and functions in our community as a vital “third place” for community building where all are welcome.

According to Becky McMillen, Board of Trustees Chairperson, the library employs seven staff and manages approximately 20 volunteers. This summer, the library engaged 600 children during Summer Reading. In 1986, Becky spearheaded the creation of  the Friends of the Baldwin City Library  to help raise funds, promote publicity and help the progress of the library. If you would be interested in joining the friends, fill out and send in the membership form. Membership Form 2019.

 History of the Baldwin City Library

The Baldwin City Public Library was established in 1916 at the initiative of a Baker University professor, Willard H. Garrett, and community member William Clark who served as superintendent of the Sunday school program at the local Methodist Church. Garrett wrote: “I thought how fine it would be if the children of Baldwin could have access to some of these inspiring books.” The library opened on August 18, 1916 with 75 books on the shelves in the city hall with the city clerk serving as the librarian.

In 1992, the library moved from the current City Hall building, 8th and High, to its present location, 800 7th Street.  Over 1,000 books were moved hand to hand by citizens down High Street as the “bucket brigade of books.” Becky recalls this as one of the most outstanding examples of the community coming together.

In 2014, the library underwent substantial expansion. In 2016, the library celebrated its centennial and was selected as a host site for a Kansas Humanities Council’s Pulitzer Prize Centennial Campfires Initiative program. In the last year, the library, with leadership of its former executive director, Cheryl Sylvester,  engaged in strategic planning that resulted in four key areas of strategic emphasis:

  • Literacy
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Community Engagement
  • Kansas History & Genealogy

The library values:

  • Customer Service Excellence
  • Individual & Community Learning
  • Our Town’s Rich Heritage
  • A Spirit of Innovation
  • Community Enrichment & Diversity

Check out the Library’s website to learn more about the BIG Resources available to you!

And don’t forget, to support your local library through membership, volunteerism and support in fundraisers such as this weekend’s Library Mum Sale!