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Huntsville-Madison County Public Library facts for kids

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Huntsville-Madison County Public Library
Huntsville Public Library Dec10.jpg
The main branch in Huntsville in December 2010
Established 1818
Location Huntsville & Madison County, Alabama
Coordinates 34°43′22″N 86°35′22″W / 34.7227°N 86.5895°W / 34.7227; -86.5895
Branches 12
Size 530,000
Access and use
Circulation 1,915,548 (2007)

The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library is a public, Carnegie library in Huntsville, Alabama. Founded in 1818, when Alabama was still a part of the Mississippi Territory, it is the oldest continuing library in the state.

It was first located in the office of attorney John Nelson Spotswood Jones, in the Boardman Building, which is now a part of Constitution Hall Park. The Library also occupied space in the Green Academy from 1821 until Union soldiers burned the school during the Civil War, and moved to borrowed spaces several times until the Carnegie Library was opened in 1916. A new building was constructed to accommodate city and county growth, and opened in 1966. The area enjoyed rapid growth with the influx of government employees involved in the development of the space program, including the United States Army and NASA, and the library eventually needed more space as early as 1969. Library officials began planning for a new building in 1983.

The current facility's main branch, sometimes referred to as "Fort Book" for its fortress-like appearance, opened on Monroe Street in April 1987 and serves as the headquarters for the Huntsville Madison County Public Library System. The building contains 123,000 square feet (11,400 m2), has a seating capacity of 930 and contains over 530,000 volumes, with administrative offices located on the third floor. The library had a circulation of 1,915,548 in 2007, making it the highest-circulating library in Alabama.

The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library received a federal grant from the Library Services and Technology Act in 2004 specifically to digitize photographs from the Library's Archives for inclusion in the Alabama Mosaic Project.


HMCPL systems owns and operates the Main Library building in Downtown Huntsville, and 12 branch libraries throughout Madison County:

Branch Location
Bailey Cove Public Library Huntsville
Bessie K. Russell Library Huntsville
Cavalry Hill Public Library Huntsville
Eleanor E. Murphy Library Huntsville
Elizabeth Carpenter Library of New Hope New Hope
Gurley Public Library Gurley
Madison Public Library Madison
Monrovia Public Library Monrovia
Oscar Masion Branch Library Huntsville
Showers Center Library Huntsville
Tillman Hill Public Library Hazel Green
Triana Youth Center Library Triana

The Triana branch has a new building after the original was destroyed by fire in late 2009. The new building opened in the spring of 2014, adjacent to the old location. The Bailey Cove branch will be combined with other branches in the south Huntsville area to create a new South Huntsville Branch.

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