Richmond Public Library is celebrating 100 years of service to the City!
Richmond Public Library’s history begins before the City Council formally created a City-funded public library in November 1922. We are choosing November 2022-November 2023 as our Centennial Year to recognize when Richmond began the process of creating a public library for all. Our history mirrors the city’s in many ways, especially in the enforced segregation of library users. Our history also includes hopeful, progressive achievements like the popular, well-used Rosa Bowser Branch for Black Richmonders, the gradual establishment of branch locations throughout the city, and a constant, continuing dedication to increasing access to information and literacy for all Richmonders.
Currently, Richmond Public Library includes nine locations throughout the City. All library locations offer programs and classes, event spaces, free wireless internet access, and public use computers. We provide a variety of services including research assistance, job search support, computer help, reader’s advisory, and notary services. Some of our proud recent achievements include the elimination of overdue fines, a new and improved online catalog, hosting numerous authors, journalists, and community representatives, and the creation of library rain gardens through a partnership with the James River Association—to name a few!
As we look to the future, we have so many exciting things planned. We recently developed a brand new strategic plan with goals focused on accessibility, early literacy, lifelong learning, organizational strength, and attention to what makes Richmond unique, achieved through community engagement and the expansion of a Richmond history collection. We also plan to renovate our Main Library, creating a future-ready community hub focused on books, technology, and people. Finally, we hope to continue to provide first-rate customer service as we have done over the last century.
RPL 100 is a collaborative project with representation from all branches and areas of Richmond. It is committed to producing an accurate, thorough, and inclusive record of the Library’s first 100 years and presenting public programs that Inform, Enrich and Empower.
We are glad you are here.