Albany County Public Library was chartered in 1887, making it one of the first county library systems in America. Our library history is even older; the first private, subscription library in Laramie began in 1870. The Wyoming Library and Literary Association offered periodicals, books, lectures and discussions to help residents through long winter months. Moving from home to home, even to a dentist office, the WLLA amassed 1,000 volumes and earned high praise when the Greeley Tribune wrote, “The catalogue of the Wyoming Library in Laramie, Wyoming is a good advertisement for any place. Anyone having access to its well selected volumes ought to be well educated in a few years.” After the free county public library was established, the WLLA collection was merged into its holdings.
The young ACPL was very popular; by 1898 an estimated 22 percent of Laramie’s population was using the county library. Finding a permanent library building proved to be a challenge. First housed in the public school, it moved to various locations until 1905 when the Carnegie Library (Fourth Street and Grand Ave) was opened. Andrew Carnegie provided $20,000 for the building and local fundraising provided the contents. In 1981, the library moved to its current building at Eighth Street and Grand Avenue. Today, the library offers free access to everyone from residents to people passing through. An estimated 55 percent of Albany County residents hold a current library card. Branch libraries serve the communities of Centennial and Rock River.