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History of the McCreary County Public Library

On March 21, 1976, the McCreary County Public Library District was born and the library officially opened its doors with a collection of 11,000 books.   The library’s first location was the basement annex of the courthouse.  In 1978, with funds from a grant, the library moved to its present location on Main Street in Whitley City—the former Patton Building.  Over the years, the Patton Building housed a theater and an appliance store.

From its humble beginnings, the McCreary County Public Library has grown into one of the busiest places in town.   The library also draws visitors from neighboring Kentucky counties and communities in nearby Tennessee.
The library serves as an important outlet to individuals, community groups, organizations, businesses, churches and schools.  Whether they are visiting the library to check out various materials, use the computer, escape to a quiet corner, or take advantage of the its various programs, the library is important to people of all ages.  

The library’s bookmobile also serves a large variety of patrons in McCreary County.  The bookmobile provides a valuable service to patrons who can’t come to the library because of transportation problems, illness or other reasons.  Many of the adults, who used the bookmobile as children, now have children who use the bookmobile.

The library is a conduit to several important programs such as those promoting literacy, improving health and welfare, encouraging fellowship and promoting life learning. The library’s attention to its patrons and its commitment to public service has been repaid in countless ways.

Through a grant and the generosity of the original owners and the county, the library expanded into the building next door in 2007.  This made it possible to have a new teen and children’s area, a coffee lounge, and additional offices.  The new section also boasts a children’s play area (complete with computers, a train, and seating for the kids during presentations and story hour). There are also computer sections for adults and teens.  Local businesses, community organizations, and individuals who use the library also have actively supported the library over the years.   The support has included funds to purchase large print and audio books for visually impaired, other books and materials, state of the art audio visual equipment, magazine subscriptions for all ages, food and prizes for various library events, funds for library improvements and so much more.

To many, the McCreary County Public Library is quite simply the heart of the county.


Our Mission
The McCreary County Public Library will make concentrated efforts to provide (and, or to make available) popular materials for leisure interests as well as technological resources for the educational needs for the people in its service area.

Our Vision
The McCreary County Public Library in its service to the citizens of McCreary County will be an information and enrichment source for all members of the community.  Emphasis will be placed on supporting formal educational pursuits and on stimulating young children's interest in reading.  The public library will continue to be the gateway for quality services to the community through the twenty-first century.