The Caney City Library was established in 1869 by a small group of ladies in the young community. It was housed in various places during this era, including Thules Bakery, Post Office, Over Memphills Meat Market, the Porter Building, and the St. John’s Drug Store. Ladies of the Sigourneyan Club opened it one afternoon a week.

“Served 35 a week” In 1892, the Library found a home in an alcove of the High School in Caney.

Taken from 1910 Caney City Directory

Excerpt from 1922 yearbook: “In 1914, when we moved into the present High School building (that was located on 4th Avenue), the city and the high school libraries were placed in the room now known as Room Nine. We soon outgrew those quarters and in the Fall of 1922 we moved into our present room, formerly used as the study hall.  Pupils have the free use of all books in both libraries, which are being constantly added to. The city library has a total of 1995 books and the high school library has 826, making a total of 2,821 books.  Mrs. Eva Jarvis has been the high school librarian since Jan 1914, and city librarian since 1897.”

In 1941, the Library was moved to the Washington School building.

In 1969, the heirs of the A.J. Canary Estate presented the city their building which had housed the Post Office for the city. The Southeast Kansas Library Association gave a gift of $4,000, which made it possible to move, remodel, and provide for the citizens of Caney a very fine facility located at 105 W. 4th.

In 1977, a fire destroyed the Library. Some salvaged remains were moved to temporary quarters at the old Caney National Bank.

In 1978, the former Wakeland Grocery became the new home of the Caney City Library, and remained so for the next 38 years.

In 1988, a visual inventory was conducted. We had 11,928 books, 25 audio books, 125 videos and 30 periodical subscriptions.

November 29th, 2005, the Can-Kan Dreambuilders was formed, in order to begin raising money for a new library.

After many years of dedication and thousands of dollars in cupcakes and cookie sales, chicken noodle dinners, and other fundraisers, enough money was raised to apply for a matching grant, which was obtained with the help of the City’s Grant Writer. The new library is 4,889 square foot, and cost $500,000.

The Groundbreaking Ceremony was held in May of 2015. It was such an exciting day for all of us!

Jennifer Rosson, Pam Ernest, and Chris Bannon

On February 9th, 2016, the Library opened in it’s brand new building at 211 W 5th Avenue, on the site where the old City Hall used to stand before it was moved and then razed. Bricks from the old City Hall were salvaged and used to brick the building, in an effort to bring some of the past into the present. 

In 2015, our inventory is 14,567 books, 200 audio books, 536 DVD/VHS, 36 periodicals, and 1,124 inter-library loans.

In 2019, our inventory is 12,039 books, 309 audio books, 1,782 DVD/Blu-Rays.  Inter-Library loans: 4,645. Total collections, including E-books: 138,664.

We are excited about our future and our continued growth!

Libraries are the heartbeat of every community.