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About the library

We strive to empower and enrich the Durham community through a wide and diverse range of library services, programming, and collections.


The mission of Durham County Library is to encourage discovery, connect the community, and lead in literacy.


Inspiring lives, transforming Durham.


Durham County Library was the first free, tax-supported library in North Carolina. In the more than a century since it first opened, the library has continued expanding its reach and offerings to keep up with the changing needs of the community. Learn more about the history of Durham County Library.

Annual Report

Get a year-by-year snapshot of some of the many things the library has been up to.

Most recent

2020 Annual Report

Previous years

2019 Annual Report
2018 Annual Report
2017 Annual Report

Strategic Plan

Literacy and lifelong learning. Bridging the digital divide. Workforce Development. Capturing the culture of Durham. Accountable, efficient, and visionary libraries.

Download the 2019-2022 Strategic Plan (PDF)

Message from the Director

Durham County Library is proud to serve our community at library locations across the county. Every day our staff work to achieve our mission to encourage discovery, connect the community, and lead in literacy. Library staff have been working over the last year to refine and develop our priority goals and objectives as part of the strategic plan. This new strategic plan will focus and guide our work through 2022. From early literacy storytimes, to mobile hotspots available for check out, to OASIS (Older Adult & Shut-In Service), we are serving Durham County residents across the lifespan. We serve people with a wide range of interests, needs, and gifts. It’s our joy that Durham County Library opens our doors and services to the community each day and that community members make the library their own.

I hope you will find a moment to review our strategic plan. The plan centers on five priority goals: literacy and lifelong learning; bridging the digital divide; workforce development; capturing the culture of Durham; and accountable, efficient, and visionary libraries. For me, I see in this plan the hard work of our staff, the Executive Leadership Team, and the Strategic Planning Committee led by Sandra Lovely, Assistant Director for Planning and Facilities. I see their passion and expertise, and I am filled with hope for all that is possible as we work together, guided by a strong plan that is both flexible, focused, and and responsive to Durham County’s changing needs as well as focused. Our strategic plan is entirely geared toward improving our service to the community and driving positive community change, positioning us to fulfill our vision of inspiring lives, transforming Durham.