Main Library

Remodeled Main Library

Location Details

Location

Accessibility

Patrons with strollers, wheelchairs, or other wheeled devices will find it easier to use the Jacobson Tower entrance on Quarrier Street or the Skybridge entrance via Summers Street Garage.

Address:

123 Capitol Street

Charleston, WV 25301

Directions:

Google Maps

Upcoming Events

This event is in the "Children" group.
This event is in the "Babies: 0-18 Months" group.
This event is in the "Toddlers: 18-36 Months" group.
This event is in the "Pre-K: 3-5 Years" group.
This event is in the "Elementary: 6-11 Years" group.
This event is in the "Tweens: 10-12 Years" group.
This event is in the "Family" group.

Celtic Calling: Children's Celtic Crafts

02/28/2024 @ 9:00am - 03/03/2024 @ 4:30pm
Main Library
Library Branch: Main Library
Age Group: Children, Babies: 0-18 Months, Toddlers: 18-36 Months, Pre-K: 3-5 Years, Elementary: 6-11 Years, Tweens: 10-12 Years, Family
Program Type: Arts & Crafts
Event Details:
While downtown for the 8th annual Celtic Calling Gathering, stop in for activities and crafts for children in KCPL's 4th floor Children's Services Department. Celtic fun for the entire family!   ...

Disclaimer(s)

Accessibility

Individuals with disabilities who require accommodation to attend a program at any KCPL facility should contact the ADA Coordinator at least 48 hours prior to the event. Phone: 304-343-4646 ext. 1242 or 1268 Email: facilities@kanawhalibrary.org

Main Library Patrons with strollers, wheelchairs, or other wheeled devices will find it easier to use the Jacobson Tower entrance on Quarrier Street or the Skybridge entrance via Summers Street Garage.

Accompanying Adults

This program is designed for children and accompanying adults. Please plan to attend and be engaged with your child for this program. Drop offs will not be permitted.

Photo & Video

We often photograph and videotape library events. These images are used for publicizing KCPL and its programs. If you do not wish to be photographed, please let the photographer or a staff member know.

This event is in the "Toddlers: 18-36 Months" group.

Tiny Tots Storytime

10:00am - 10:45am
Main Library
Library Branch: Main Library
Room: Main 406/407 John L. and Maude Dickenson Room
Age Group: Toddlers: 18-36 Months
Program Type: Storytimes
Event Details:
Interactive program with books, songs, musical instruments, play and more! ...
This event is in the "Adults" group.
This event is in the "Seniors" group.

Wednesday Book Group

11:30am - 1:00pm
Main Library
Library Branch: Main Library
Room: Main 311B GKVF Meeting Room
Age Group: Adults, Seniors
Program Type: Book Discussions
Event Details:
Join us on the last Wednesday of each month at 11:30 a.m. as we discuss each month's title at the Main library in Charleston. In February, we will be discussing Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. ...

Disclaimer(s)

Accessibility

Individuals with disabilities who require accommodation to attend a program at any KCPL facility should contact the ADA Coordinator at least 48 hours prior to the event. Phone: 304-343-4646 ext. 1242 or 1268 Email: facilities@kanawhalibrary.org

Main Library Patrons with strollers, wheelchairs, or other wheeled devices will find it easier to use the Jacobson Tower entrance on Quarrier Street or the Skybridge entrance via Summers Street Garage.

Inclement Weather

All programs are subject to rescheduling or cancellation in the event of inclement weather.

Photo & Video

We often photograph and videotape library events. These images are used for publicizing KCPL and its programs. If you do not wish to be photographed, please let the photographer or a staff member know.

This event is in the "Children" group.
This event is in the "Babies: 0-18 Months" group.
This event is in the "Toddlers: 18-36 Months" group.
This event is in the "Pre-K: 3-5 Years" group.
This event is in the "Elementary: 6-11 Years" group.
This event is in the "Tweens: 10-12 Years" group.
This event is in the "Family" group.

Happy Leap Day!

9:00am - 7:00pm
Main Library
Library Branch: Main Library
Age Group: Children, Babies: 0-18 Months, Toddlers: 18-36 Months, Pre-K: 3-5 Years, Elementary: 6-11 Years, Tweens: 10-12 Years, Family
Program Type: Arts & Crafts, Holiday, Storytimes, Other
Event Details:
Visit Children's Services as we celebrate Leap Day! There will be stories, crafts, and photo opportunities for young readers and families to enjoy this extra day of learning and fun.   ...

Disclaimer(s)

Accessibility

Individuals with disabilities who require accommodation to attend a program at any KCPL facility should contact the ADA Coordinator at least 48 hours prior to the event. Phone: 304-343-4646 ext. 1242 or 1268 Email: facilities@kanawhalibrary.org

Main Library Patrons with strollers, wheelchairs, or other wheeled devices will find it easier to use the Jacobson Tower entrance on Quarrier Street or the Skybridge entrance via Summers Street Garage.

Accompanying Adults

This program is designed for children and accompanying adults. Please plan to attend and be engaged with your child for this program. Drop offs will not be permitted.

Photo & Video

We often photograph and videotape library events. These images are used for publicizing KCPL and its programs. If you do not wish to be photographed, please let the photographer or a staff member know.

This event is in the "Toddlers: 18-36 Months" group.

Little Explorers Storytime

10:00am - 10:45am
Main Library
Library Branch: Main Library
Room: Main 406/407 John L. and Maude Dickenson Room
Age Group: Toddlers: 18-36 Months
Program Type: Storytimes
Event Details:
Enjoy books, songs and rhymes followed by a sensory play activity. ...

Disclaimer(s)

Accessibility

Individuals with disabilities who require accommodation to attend a program at any KCPL facility should contact the ADA Coordinator at least 48 hours prior to the event. Phone: 304-343-4646 ext. 1242 or 1268 Email: facilities@kanawhalibrary.org

Main Library Patrons with strollers, wheelchairs, or other wheeled devices will find it easier to use the Jacobson Tower entrance on Quarrier Street or the Skybridge entrance via Summers Street Garage.

Accompanying Adults

This program is designed for children and accompanying adults. Please plan to attend and be engaged with your child for this program. Drop offs will not be permitted.

Food Allergies

We cannot guarantee that food served at this program has not come into contact with tree nuts, soy, or other allergens.

Photo & Video

We often photograph and videotape library events. These images are used for publicizing KCPL and its programs. If you do not wish to be photographed, please let the photographer or a staff member know.

This event is in the "Adults" group.

Celtic Poetry Sharing and Workshop

12:00pm - 1:00pm
Main Library
Library Branch: Main Library
Room: Main 308/309 Conference Room
Age Group: Adults
Program Type: Classes & Workshops
Event Details:
Join Poet James Cochran in a poetry circle outside the library on the plaza facing Capitol Street. Share work that you have penned or favorite works by Celtic poets, as part of Charleston's 2024 Celtic Calling festivities. Time permitting, we will al...

Disclaimer(s)

Accessibility

Individuals with disabilities who require accommodation to attend a program at any KCPL facility should contact the ADA Coordinator at least 48 hours prior to the event. Phone: 304-343-4646 ext. 1242 or 1268 Email: facilities@kanawhalibrary.org

Main Library Patrons with strollers, wheelchairs, or other wheeled devices will find it easier to use the Jacobson Tower entrance on Quarrier Street or the Skybridge entrance via Summers Street Garage.

Reserve a Room at Main

We have meeting rooms, conference rooms, and quiet study spaces you can reserve online.

Reserve a room now.

Notary

We provide notary services at the 3rd Floor Reference Desk.

Used Books

There is a used book shelf located on the 1st Floor between the Media Desks and the staircase. These books are available for purchase by suggested donation, and you can pay for your items at the Media Desks.

Copy, Print & Fax

20 cents per page to print from a PC, make copies, or fax a document from any of our computers on the 3rd Floor.

Credit/debit card minimum for prints is $5.00.

Our fax machine requires a $10 hold via credit or debit card.

Wireless Printing Click Here
Print jobs can be picked up at the Reference or Circulation desks located on the 3rd floor.

Parking

Meter parking is available in the Summers Street Garage as well as on the street. Meters are free after 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. on weekdays. Find more information on parking here. Park Mobile pay-by-cell spaces in Summers Street Garage on Levels 3 and 4 are $1.00 per hour (plus a transaction fee). Enforcement hours are Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Learn more about the Park Mobile app in this short video.

Under the building by the Drive Up Window, accessible via Quarrier Street, are two handicap parking spots that can be used by the public if they have a handicap permit. The other two spots there are designated for library vehicles and presenters only.

Laptop Lending Kiosk

On Monday, November 7, 2022, the Main Library launched a Laptop Lending Kiosk, made possible by the City of Charleston ARPA Grant.

This kiosk has six laptops patrons may borrow for use inside the library. They may be used for three hours at a time and include standard office and video conferencing software. The kiosk is located on the 1st Floor between the Media Desks and the Restrooms.

FAQ

A: Any KCPL patron with a library card in good standing. You must have your physical card with you.

A: Laptops may be checked out for 3 hours. If you keep a laptop longer than 3 hours, you will be charged a fee of $1.00 per hour each hour, to a max of $20.

A:  Anywhere inside the library. Laptops cannot leave the library.

A: No. PC Reservation is not available for the laptops. They log onto a limited profile automatically and do not shut off after a time limit.

A: Yes, they are programmed to automatically connect to the KCPL Guest Wi-Fi. This is filtered like all library public computers.

A: No. At this time there is not an option for patrons to print from the laptops.

A: Yes, the laptops have HDMI ports and will work with KCPL study rooms.

A: No. Laptops are only available on a first-come, first-served basis.

A: You can only check out one laptop at a time. You may return the laptop and check out another at any point in the three-hour session.

A: You will be charged the full cost of the laptop ($943.00).

A: No. The laptops have a software that completely reimages them when logged out or shut down. This wipes all information, programs, and anything not in the original laptop setup.

A: The laptops require, at minimum, 10 minutes from the time they are returned before they will be available again. During this time the kiosk is checking the charge, resetting the laptops, and checking for software problems. The kiosk will also not release any laptop below a 30% charge.

A: You should put it back into the kiosk immediately. Any laptop returned within 5 minutes of it being checked out will pop up a survey asking if there was a problem. This information is emailed to the IT department, and it puts the laptop out of service.

A: There are buttons on the right of the kiosk screen that features both Terms of Use and FAQ. When you check out a laptop you must first click “I ACCEPT” on a screen showing the Terms of Use and state that you are fully responsible for the laptop. 

A: Green means the laptop is available for use, Yellow means the laptop is charging or being cleared, Red or a Wrench Icon means the laptop is out of service, and Grey means the kiosk believes the bay is empty.

A: The laptop needs to be pushed into any open kiosk slot until it makes the click. There is a metal rail bolted to the back of the laptop case and this rail goes up and slides into a track in the kiosk. The kiosk only marks the items as returned when the laptop is fully inserted and locked into place.

Reimagine Your Library

The Kanawha County Public Library is the largest public library system in West Virginia. The Main Library in downtown Charleston and its 9 branch libraries and Mobile Library serve more than 92,000 card holders. All 55 West Virginia counties are represented in the card holder database, although the vast majority of KCPL patrons reside in Kanawha and Putnam counties.

Patron visits to KCPL libraries total more than 337,000 each year, and approximately 750,000 library items circulate in a year’s time. Nearly all of the library’s services are FREE to the public. KCPL’s long-awaited Reimagine Your Library project broke ground in 2020. This $32 million development renovated the downtown library’s existing 60,000 square feet and added 20,000 new square feet of space to the iconic structure.

The renovation of this landmark building features beautifully sculpted glass walls, an enlarged children’s floor, more study rooms and meeting spaces, a new technology center, and a covered walkway attached to the Summer Street Parking Garage. The facelift includes an open, flowing layout that enhances patron access and provides more efficient services for KCPL patrons. Construction was completed in May 2022.

History in the Making

In 1908, the Women’s Kanawha Literary Club appointed a committee to organize support for a public library in Charleston, WV. A year later, these efforts gave birth to the Charleston Public Library, which housed 1,200 volumes in the YMCA building on Capitol and Washington Streets.

Throughout the early years of its existence, the Library relocated to several sites in the city – to the former manse of the First Presbyterian Church on Quarrier Street in 1912, to the basement of the YWCA on Virginia Street in 1913, to a building on McFarland and Kanawha Streets in 1914, and to the Red Cross building on the levee in 1921. The Library finally found its first permanent home in 1926, establishing itself in the old Capitol Annex building on Lee Street.

In 1934, the Library renamed itself the Kanawha County Public Library and expanded service by introducing the Book Truck and Library. New bookmobiles were purchased in 1953 and 1990, and KCPL’s current Mobile Library first hit the road in 2010.

After more than 40 years in the old Capitol Annex, KCPL moved to a new home in 1967 – Charleston’s landmark downtown federal building on Capitol Street. The interior of the former post office and federal courtroom was extensively remodeled for library use and a sculptured fountain was added to the front of the building.

In the early 1960s, KCPL began the development of branch libraries to better serve Kanawha County. The first branch was added in 1963 in St. Albans, where local citizens had started a volunteer library in 1952. Other branches followed: Cross Lanes – 1976; Glasgow – 1976; Dunbar – 1977; Elk Valley – 1977; Sissonville – 1979; and Marmet – 1980. In 1988, the local library in Clendenin was added as a branch library, and the Riverside Public Library, located at Riverside High School, began service in the fall of 1999.

KCPL’s Reimagine Your Library project broke ground in 2020, 53 years after KCPL moved into the Capitol Street location. This $32 million renovation of the Library’s iconic downtown home will add 20,000 square feet of new space and completely renovate the original building. The facelift includes an open, flowing layout, an enlarged children’s floor, more study rooms and meeting spaces, a new technology center, and a covered walkway across Summers street. Construction was completed in May 2022.