Kings County's first library was a public reading room, established in Hanford, California in 1891. Books were donated by the citizens of Hanford and funds were raised by sponsoring socials and concerts. In 1902, the Library Trustees met with the City Trustees to propose making an application to Andrew Carnegie for funds to build a new library. The city agreed to procure the land for the building and to provide an annual budget of $1,500. (Hanford Daily Journal, 19 September 1902) The application was successful, and the reading room was replaced in February 1906 when the city library was opened--built with a gift of $12,500 from Andrew Carnegie. Designed in the Romanesque style, this building served as the public library until 1968. The building still stands, and after a renovation in 1974 became the local museum.
Six years after the opening of the City Library, the County Library was established by a resolution of the Board of Supervisors in November of 1912. Initially the County Library operated from the second floor of the Hanford Carnegie Library, and from 1912 to 1935, the Hanford City and Kings County libraries operated as a consolidated system. The Hanford City Library resumed its independent status in 1935, and the County Library was moved to the basement of the courthouse. The County Library was later relocated to a small frame structure on Lacey Blvd. near Redington Street. The current library opened in August 1968. Partially funded by a Library Services and Construction Act, Title II Grant, this new facility became the home of both the Hanford City and Kings County libraries. In July 1975 these two libraries were again consolidated, and the Hanford library became a branch of the Kings County Library.
The Kings County Library is a member of the San Joaquin Valley Library System (SJVLS), a cooperative network which includes Coalinga Library District, Fresno County Library, Kern County Library, Madera County Library, Merced County, Mariposa County Library, Porterville Library,Tulare County Library, and Tulare Public Library. Besides circulating library materials, the Library will assist you in finding information in print or online, or provide you with an alternative source. Books requested by patrons which the Library does not have are either obtained from a member library of the San Joaquin Valley Library System or from another library. The Kings County Library is also a member of the Heartland Regional Library Network of the Library of California.