Library History

Through funds advanced by the Carnegie Corporation, and supplemented by local contributions, Cape Girardeau Public Library opened its doors at its Common Pleas Courthouse Park location on April 1, 1922.  Efforts to start a public library began at the turn of the century and in 1914 a library was opened in the Ellingood building at the corner of Themis and Spanish streets.  World War I stopped efforts to build a Carnegie library here, but they were renewed after the conflict and resulted in this $30,000 structure. 

An addition was constructed at the front of the building in 1959.  It served its original purpose until 1980, when a new library was built on Clark Street and the old facility was converted into government office space. (Southeast Missourian photo by G. D. Fronabarger) This story and photo appear in the book "Images of the Past in the City of Roses: Cape Girardeau, Missouri" Copyright 1993 Southeast Missourian Newspaper. 

In February 2007, voters of the Municipal Library District of Cape Girardeau voted a $.15 tax increase to build and equip a new state-of-the-art Destination Library.  The new library was designed by The Clark Enersen Partners of Lincoln, Nebraska and was constructed by Kiefner Brothers Construction Company. The doors to the new facility were opened on May 16, 2009.