Kirkwood Public Library’s 95th Birthday

This year KPL is celebrating it’s 95th birthday, and with that comes an impressive history of connection to the Kirkwood community and a commitment to fostering learning and creativity. The backbone of KPL has always been the people of Kirkwood. You provide support so that we can stay innovative, keeping up with the changing times, providing resources that benefit your daily lives, while also remaining a warm, welcoming and communal space where you belong amongst the books and library staff. We’re excited to kick off the celebration of 95 fantastic years with you!

Library Card Design Contest

In honor of Kirkwood Public Library’s 95th Birthday, we are asking everyone to create art for a special limited edition library card! The winning designs will be chose from each age group- children, teen and adult.


Contest Criteria

  • Theme: The theme is a celebration of the 95th Birthday of the Kirkwood Public Library. The design should feature some aspect of the library.
  • Creativity: Have fun!
  • Clarity: The design will have to work well in the small format allowed.
  • Eligibility: Open to all ages!

Contest Rules

  • Designs may be drawn, painted or computer designed. Remember to make it colorful. Artwork may be submitted on paper with the paper entry form attached, or the online entry form (below) with artwork attached as a JPEG, PNG, or PDF.
  • An artist may submit only one design. Layout must be just about a square, ideally 4 1/8 wide by 4 1/4 high. It will be reduced to 2″ x 2″ to fit on the front of our standard library card (credit card size & key ring card).
  • Entries will be accepted until 9:00 PM on Wednesday, October 20, 2021. Paper entries must be submitted at the Children’s Desk, Teen Desk, Reference Desk or Customer Service Desk. Online Entries must be submitted with digital artwork attached.
  • Entries without complete artist information & signatures, or electronic consent if submitted online cannot be accepted.
  • Three winning designs, one from each age category, will be selected.
  • Winners & their designs will be announced on Saturday, December 11, 2021.
Online Entry Form - Click to Open

History of KPL

A local arm of the League of Women Voters (LWV) was organized in Kirkwood and one of their earliest endorsements was for the creation of a public library in Kirkwood.  In 1922, the LWV appointed a committee to explore the opening of a public library.  On March 8, 1924, the Kirkwood Public Library committee declared the date “Library Day” for the City of Kirkwood.  Local Boy Scouts collected over 2,000 donated books from local residents to help start the new library.  Volunteers cataloged the donations for use by the new Kirkwood Public Library.

On May 10, 1924, the Kirkwood Library opened on the second floor of City Hall.  Downstairs were City Hall offices and jail.

Just over two years later, on December 10, 1926, Kirkwood Public Library became the first tax-supported library in St. Louis County.  The first meeting of the Kirkwood Library Board was held on April 11, 1927.

In 1940, the new library building cost approximately $41,500 to build (including the purchase price for the lot).

1945 – The Library was given a dedicated phone number, Kirk 1212 – prior to that, it went through the switch board at the City Hall.

1954 – Bond issue passes for expansion.

1954 – Construction began on the new addition.  The completed extension opened in Fall 1955.

1962 – The Bond issue passed.  Board plans expansion to existing building.  The Board employed Drake-O’Meara Associates as architects.  $115,000 addition was completed in 1964.

2007 – KPL received the “Missouri Library of the Year” award.  Another bond issue passed for another addition.  Voters approved a .12 cent property tax increase, and the Library used .08 cents of the tax to finance the $6.5 million in bonds for renovations. The other .04 cents went toward increasing the library operation revenue.

2009 – Kirkwood Public Library relocated to Station Plaza for 15 months to allow for the renovations.

2010 – Grand opening of newly renovated KPL.

2016 – KPL received a $733,000 donation from the Earl E. and Myrtle E. Walker Foundation, and the Edward Chase Garvey Foundation, and an anonymous donor to transform the Children’s Room into an interactive center focused on the whole child.

2016 – KPL held a year-long celebration of the 90th Anniversary.

April 2017 – KPL hosted a grand opening celebration for the newly remodeled Children’s Room.

2019 – The library’s cupola was removed, restored and reinstalled.

Coming in December 2021 – KPL celebrates it’s 95th Anniversary.

What once began as a one-room library on the top floor of City Hall has grown into a three-story building housing a wide collection of all types of materials.

Visit the Kirkwood Public Library Digital Archives for more history of the Library and the Kirkwood Community.

Sign our Birthday Card